Rancifer credits offensive line

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 9, 2007

They are rarely mentioned on television sports highlights andjust occasionally in the newspaper but the offensive line isextremely important to Friday night’s high school football heroes.They wouldn’t get past the line of scrimmage or have time to passwithout the key blocks provided by the unsung linemen who labor inthe trenches.

Brookhaven standout quarterback Charles (Bobo) Rancifer valueshis offensive line and is quick to share his success. Ranciferenjoyed an offensive game Friday night against the Florence Eagles.He rushed for three touchdowns and passed for a pair, leading thePanthers to a 48-20 victory over the Florence Eagles. The winraised the Region 6-4A champions to 8-1 overall and 6-0 in theregion.

For his performance, Rancifer has been selected The DAILYLEADER’s Offensive Player of the Week.

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Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey said he was pleased withRancifer’s performance and the overall team effort. “Bobo playedwell. We played good everywhere. He ran the offense and made gooddecisions. He threw the ball well.”

Rancifer completed 5-of-11 passes for 105 yards, throwing TDpasses of 19 and 52 yards to senior teammate Simmie Yarborough.Rancifer also rushed 12 times for 136 yards. His scoring runs were73, 28 and 5 yards.

“Our offensive line made the plays,” said Rancifer. “They havebeen a key to our season being successful.”

Working in the offensive line are Darrion Smith at center, GradyAutman at left tackle, Jonathan Buie at left guard, DerreckHenderson at right tackle, and Quartez Lyons at right guard. Buiehas taken over for Anthony Harris who is sidelined by aninjury.

Smith and Autman are the senior members of the front line. Theyenjoy satisfaction when Rancifer or Semmie Smith, the team’sleading rusher; makes a good gain or scores a touchdown.

Lying on the ground after making a pancake block, Darrion Smithsaid he felt good seeing No. 1 (Rancifer’s jersey) cross the goalline. “The first thing I want to do is get up and congratulate himin the end zone.”

Autman said he was pleased to see the young linemen make steadyprogess this season. “We came on strong and made a good group. Weworked hard in the summer getting stronger and faster.”

BHS offensive line coach Mike Powell realized the dauntingchallenge that faced his unit last spring after three startersgraduated. “We had three new players and another one changingpositions. I think our line has done a great job.”

While the line blocks, Rancifer runs the attack. At 6-foot-2 and200 pounds, he can throw with accuracy and run with authority.

“Bobo does his own thing and that’s good,” said Peavey. “He’s agood leader for us. He has worked hard.”

Rancifer’s knowledge as a 3-year starter is invaluable,according to Peavey. “He’s a good athlete and he has a real goodunderstanding of what we are trying to do. He makes good decisionsand understands what opposing defenses are trying to do.”

BHS offensive coodinator Jaymie Palmer said Rancifer’sexperience and athletic ability are important assets atquarterback. “Bobo has had a good year and he’s very talented. It’sgood to have a player who can run and throw. He’s coachable and hasa football mentality.”

Besides football, Rancifer also excels in basketball. Right nowthe priority is football, starting with Friday night’s stateplayoff home opener against West Jones. The Panthers would like toduplicate the 2004 team that won a state championship.

“We have a good chance to win it all,” said Rancifer. “It’s upto the players to execute and get the job done.”

Darrion Smith agreed. “I believe 100 percent that we can go allthe way. We have the tools and we are in the right bracket.”

Rancifer has received some recruiting interest, mainly fromSouthern Miss and Memphis. He’ll decide on his future after thefootball season.