They anonymously work up front and have the muscle to clear the way for great talent to run free.
When that happens, it’s rewarding for the offensive line.
Just ask Auburn Riverside center Cade Foster, who has a close view of the action when running backs Javon Forward, Jayden Solis and Arthur Tauiliili charge through defenses, avoid the wreckage and tear off big runs.
“Incredible because all three are so deadly,” said Foster, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound two-way senior lineman. “All three can do pretty much anything, anywhere on the field.”
Such was the case Friday night at Auburn Memorial Stadium.
Forward ran for 236 yards and four touchdowns, Solis vaulted for 130 yards and two TDs and Tauiliili erupted for a 38-yard score in the Ravens’ 55-7 rout of Auburn.
All told, Auburn Riverside’s spread attack ran for 460 of its 589 yards.
“They played hard. We ran the ball hard,” said Ravens coach Marcus Yzaguirre. “Rivalry games make me nervous. Anything can happen. They’re well coached. … Our kids came to play.”
The Ravens, with their fourth straight win over the Trojans, retained the Fugate Trophy for the third straight year, a program first. Auburn Riverside, which opened the season with a 52-13 win against Auburn Mountainview, has swept its two rivals in each of the past three seasons to claim city-series bragging rights.
“The Fugate is not only important to our team but for our school,” Foster said.
Auburn Riverside (2-0) ran early and often, scoring on four of its first five possessions to build a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
“Last week we started off a little slow but this week we came back,” said Jordan Robinson, the Ravens’ 6-2, 250-pound senior guard and defensive end. “We did a lot of studying in the film room. We saw where we were going. We knew the gaps we had to block, and we did it.
“We have three great backs who can make plays for us,” he added. “It’s a great feeling because I know if I make a good block, it’s going to be a great play.”
The Ravens went 76 yards in 10 plays on their opening-game drive, which ended on sophomore quarterback Payton Acceturo’s 28-yard scoring connection with freshman wideout Jace Villers.
Forward then broke free on TD runs of 71, 28 and 3 yards and Solis exploded off tackle 64 yards for another.
Auburn got on the board with 2:51 left in the half on sophomore quarterback Frank Lakisa’s 2-yard run that was set up by a Raven fumble.
The Ravens responded, converting a Forward interception into a Forward scoring run, an 8-yarder, that extended the lead to 35-7 as time expired in the half.
Forward broke up the middle and took it to the outside, racing 59 yards on the Ravens’ first play from scrimmage in the second half, padding the cushion to 42-7.
The Ravens tacked on two more scores – Tauiliili’s run late in the third quarter and Solis’ breakaway 53-yard dash early in the fourth.
Auburn Riverside – despite 12 penalties for 108 yards – proved to be too much for rebuilding Auburn (0-2) to match.
“We try to turn everything into a learning experience,” Trojans coach Aaron Chantler said. “We’re super young. We started two seniors on offense and maybe two on defense. We’re starting a lot of guys who have never played varsity football before, so every time they get out on the field it gives them a chance to improve.
“Riverside is a good football team. Even though the scoreboard might not have shown it, we did improve from Week 1 to Week 2,” Chantler added. “We put more things together, but we have to find a way to get ourselves to be more consistent. … We’re working on that every day.”
The Trojans showed some flash in sophomore Joeray Kilgore, who returned one kickoff 77 yards and another 47.
Auburn faces Auburn Mountainview (0-1) next Friday at 7 p.m. Auburn Riverside hosts Lakeside of Seattle (1-1) in a nonleague game at 7 p.m. Thursday