Friday Night Heroes: West Rowan's offensive line
By Ronnie Gallagher
West Rowan’s Ricky Moore used to be on the side of the ball that stopped the offense.
This season, he’s on the side that makes it go.
Moore was switched from defensive line to offensive line, and whenever you see K.P. Parks on one of his patented 30-yard jaunts up the middle, you can turn to Moore and the rest of the Falcon offensive line as the reason why.
Parks has run for over 2,000 yards this season and seniors Moore, Garrett Teeter and Joseph Kerley are the main reasons why. Teeter is the center. Moore and Kerley are the guards.
They team with tackles Timmy Pangburn and Davon Quarles and senior tight end Dustin Davis to continue a tradition of opening holes for the top running backs in the North Piedmont Conference.
They certainly opened the holes in a 33-6 rout of Mooresville last week that helped sew up West’s fifth straight NPC title. Parks finished with 225 yards on the ground.
“As a whole, they’re a veteran group,” West coach Scott Young said. “They are really starting to show some continuity and gelling together. Friday night was their most impressive performance of the year because the Mooresville defensive front was real, real solid.”
For the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Moore, Parks’ success is something to revel in.
“The offensive line doesn’t get much recognition, he said, “so when we see K.P. do well, we realize we’re doing a good job.”
Moore moving to offense was something difficult to deal with. He said offensive line coach Joe Nixon nurtured him.
“It was tough learning plays and the steps,” Moore said. “But Coach Nixon is a really good coach. He worked with me after practice.”
Nixon and Young put their heads together and decided Moore would be a better player on offense.
“We thought he might be a better player when he knew where to go instead of having to read, react and go,” Young said. “Early on, it was a hard transition. Joe had to spent a lot of extra time with him, pumping up the mental aspect of being an offensive lineman. He’s coming into his own.”
The 6-0, 235-pound Teeter has started at center for two years, but got off to a slow start this season.
“To be quite honest with you, we felt, as a staff, he was underachieving. We didn’t feel he was playing at the same level as last year. Lately, he has settled down and played well.”
While Pangburn is the largest lineman at 6-1, 300, Kerley is the smallest at 5-11, 180.
“He’s the smallest lineman we’ve ever had,” Young said. “But he plays with great effort at all times.”
Moore says the veterans have guided him.
“Pangburn and Teeter play on both sides of me,” he said. “They’ve helped me a lot.”
Now, they’re heading into the playoffs, knowing the success of Parks depends on them.
“We’re feeling pretty confident,” Moore said. “The O-Line has had good games the last two times out and we’re all working together.”
“They’re the heart and soul of the offense,” he said. “You can’t do anything without the horses up front.”
One of those horses is Moore, who is convinced he made the right move when he forgot defense to be a blocker.
“I’m an offensive lineman,” Moore said proudly. “That’s me.”