Gallagher column: You should fear this foursome
West Rowan coach Scott Young loves defensive linemen. And for good reason.
“We’ve been blessed to have some good defensive fronts,” he said.
He pointed to the line anchored by Tristan Dorty and Maurice Lyerly. And the one showcasing J.D. Watkins and Brent Marlin.
“But this is perhaps the best one,” Young said.
Chris Smith, Eli Goodson, Mackel Gaither and Emmanuel Gbunblee form the 2009 version.
They’re so good they deserve a nickname.
The Fearsome Foursome?
The Doomsday Defense?
The Steel Curtain?
The Monsters of the Midway?
“None of those guys will know who any of them are,” defensive coordinator David Hunt said.
Gaither looked befuddled as the names of those great defenses from the Rams, Cowboys, Steelers and Bears were recited to him.
Goodson wasn’t familiar with them either, but he did pick a favorite name.
“I like ‘Fearsome Foursome,’ ” he said. “That’s a name that sounds dominant.”
Dominant is what these four are expected to be.
“I hope they develop into the Fearsome Foursome,” Young said. “I know one group that’s scared of them already.”
“Us,” he laughed.
The offensive line?
“The offense is general,” Young said. “We try not to let them hit us but occasionally, a train wreck happens.”
Hunt sees a little of all those pro defenses in his guys.
“The Doomsday Defense ó that’s who they remind me of the most,” Hunt said.
He envisions the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Smith as Too Tall Jones rushing the quarterback. He sees the 5-11, 250-pound Goodson as Randy White, a run-stopper inside. The other guys, Gaither (6-0, 22) and Gbunblee (6-1, 220), fill in as needed.
The Steel Curtain?
“That scheme is similar to what we play,” Hunt said.
Hunt even brought up the Purple People Eaters from the old Minnesota Vikings days of the 70s. He sees Goodson as a Carl Eller clone.
“Eller was always undersized,” Hunt said. “I can see a little of that in Eli. But he uses his quickness, just like Eller.”
Smith is a Sackmaster like the Fearsome Foursome’s Deacon Jones and Doomsday’s Too Tall.
Hunt said Smith did not have the size of Too Tall, and as far as Deacon, “he’s not that mean. Nobody’s not that mean. But Chris does play with a lot of quickness and athleticism.”
Hunt noted that Gaither is a solid run-stopper and Gbunblee is the “best technician of the bunch.
“They’re all different in how they approach things,” Hunt said.
“All four of those guys are impressive,” Young chimed in.
Opponents know it and many game plans will revolve around slowing their penetration.
“It feels great that they’re paying us attention,” Gaither said. “We’re coming out to play hard and do what we’ve got to do.”
West’s Fearsome Foursome is ready for Friday’s opening game at Central Cabarrus. Goodson said they’re motivated to live up to their reputation.
“To know we’re already looked at as the best, we’re going to thrive off that,” he said.
Hunt believes it.
“It’s the best front four around,” he said. “That’s just my opinion. I’m biased, I guess.”
Goodson is certainly confident. When asked if he thinks other teams will fear West Rowan’s defensive front, he smiled.
“They will,” he said. “They will.”