Keikiokalani Misipeka looks at the left side of the Silverado offensive line and knows he’s looking at the reason for his personal and team success.
“This is the key of the offense,” Misipeka said of left guard Jaeden Loa and left tackle Ryan Scoggins. “Without them, I wouldn’t be able to have all these runs and yards and touchdowns.
“When I run to their side, knowing that they’ll be able to get the job done and open up those gaps is just a great blessing.”
Silverado’s massive linemen will continue to try to pave the way for the team’s running game when the fifth-ranked Skyhawks (7-2) travel to No. 10 Las Vegas High (7-2) for a Sunrise Region quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Friday.
“We’re really happy with our entire line and our tight end,” Silverado coach Randall Cunningham said. “They’re big guys, but they’re relentless and they believe in themselves. And they go out and they play hard in practice, and they’re on that sled.”
The 6-foot-3-inch, 335-pound Scoggins and the 6-2, 330-pound Loa are the biggest of the team’s group of linemen and a clear reason for the team’s success in running the football this season.
Silverado has averaged 208.9 rushing yards, led by Misipeka, who is third in the area in rushing with 1,373 yards and has rushed for 18 touchdowns. Seventy percent of the team’s yardage has come on the ground, and that’s just fine with Scoggins and Loa.
“I like to run the ball, because you can get more pancake blocks and get more highlights and get Keiki all the yards he can get,” Scoggins said.
Loa added: “It’s fun. I like hitting, every play.”
Cunningham compared his Skyhawks to the Baltimore Ravens’ 2000 Super Bowl team, a squad built on a strong defense and a bruising running game. That, and two massive linemen on the left side of the line.
“We’re a ground team,” Cunningham said. “We’re patient, and our boys love to play football. And these two big guys right here, these are my fat boys. Not frat boys, but fat boys. They’re doing a great job.”
Las Vegas has rolled to three consecutive wins since losing 21-13 to Canyon Springs on Oct. 7. The Wildcats won their past three games by a combined score of 160-22. Running backs Elijah Hicks and DiQuan Brown combined for just six touches last week against Valley but scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Zach Matlock completed 6 of 7 passes for 165 yards and four TDs against the Vikings.
“Vegas is a great team,” Cunningham said. “They’ve got a great quarterback in Matlock, and Hicks is just a player, and they’ve got great receivers. They’ve just got a bunch of athletes, and they’re a feisty, tough team. We’ve got to go in there with loaded guns.”
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at email@example.com or 702-380-458. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.