Fullbacks seldom see their name splashed across the front page of the sports section but for Cache’s Andrew Toms, when he sees Kynel Daniels breaking into the clear on a big play, that’s the reward he loves to enjoy.
Because in the long run, while Daniels may be rushing for 198 yards on 24 carries, the Cache program is the one most benefitting from those long runs.
“I love to do what I can to help the team,” Toms said right before Wednesday’s practice. “If my blocks help get us into the end zone, that’s all the reward I need.”
So, just what makes a fullback a good blocker?
“You have to get your hands on them and stay locked up,” Toms said. “When you have a guy like Plainview had (Caden Pickens), you have to watch his waist and make sure you get him turned away from the hole. It’s technique and you have to do it over and over for the team to have success on offense.”
Toms isn’t huge by any means – 5-9, 195 pounds – and he isn’t the strongest guy on the team.
“I’ve got enough strength to get the job done but when you are my size you have to use good technique and your quickness,” he said. “I wasn’t always that good a blocker but I’ve worked hard to get better and the coaches have really helped me.”
One thing is obvious by talking to the Bulldogs, they all seem to have the same class that they love.
“I love forensics class; it’s very interesting and you learn a great deal about the law,” Toms said. “There are quite a few football players in that class and we’re always talking about what we learned. I think understanding the law is important.”
Another thing that is probably out of the norm for an offensive blocker are his eating habits. He’s not out chasing down a big steak and baked potato like most of the other guys whose job is to make room for the backs and protect the quarterback.
“I think my favorite food is a chicken sandwich from Popeyes,” he said.
Do you like them spicey?
“No, I’m not really into hot food but I love that sandwich,” Toms said. “I usually ask for the mild sauce because I am a lightweight when it comes to eating spicey food.”
Whatever he’s eating seems to be working because Toms and the Bulldogs have been able to avoid the cramps that have affected many players during the early part of the season.
“Coach is doing his part to make sure we’re in shape,” Toms said. “He told us that in the past he’d let players slow down during bye weeks but since we’ve been playing bad after those byes, he’s changed things around and had us doing the ‘swarm” drill Tuesday.
“I don’t mind the running because I know it will help us when we get down to the important district games later in the season.”
That first district opponent will be Bethany which comes to Ulrich Stadium a week from Friday.
“We have seen some video on them but we will get a better look later in the week and then early next week,” Toms said. “We’re practicing hard because we all want to get another shot at the playoffs.”
Cache ended a long playoff drought last year by beating Tecumseh in the first round of the 4A playoffs but now the Bulldogs are shooting for a higher finish and since Bethany is the first district foe, for the time being next week’s game is the most important of the season thus far.
Bethany has lost to Janes (31-7) and John Marshall (51-20) and it beat Woodward (22-16) last week.
“We all want to get ready for the district and that’s why we’re all working hard these two weeks to get ready for that district opener,” Toms said. “We want that district title and it starts with Bethany.”