SALT LAKE CITY — When they started preparations for their team's big 5A semifinal game against Lone Peak, the Fremont Silver Wolves knew their small-in-stature-but-big-in-heart offensive line would have to rise to the occasion.
And that was Monday morning.
But the time that day had finished, the Silver Wolves had gotten significantly smaller.
Their biggest offensive lineman, right tackle Tucker Hurd, limped out of practice on Monday with a broken foot, and you couldn't have blamed Fremont's players and coaches for wondering how their line could possibly get it done without him.
But Fremont's players and coaches had no doubts about their line. They were both confident and sure that their linemen — whoever they were — would get the job done.
On Thursday, that's precisely what Fremont's O-line did.
Despite being undersized and outmatched physically, Fremont's makeshift O-line went out and battled and battled and battled, and their efforts helped propel the Wolves to the 5A championship game for the first time since 1995.
Fremont blew Lone Peak's D-line off the scrimmage early on, and they settled down later and made plays in the second half as Fremont beat the Knights, 20-14, Thursday afternoon.
"Oh gosh, those guys are amazing," said Fremont QB Aaron Van Woerkom. "We've (probably) got two starters out for next week, but man, they've been so great. They work hard. … They work their butts off."
They certainly did on Thursday in the 5A semifinals.
"We've been nicked up in that spot, and they've done a very good job," said Fremont coach Kory Bosgieter. "We've had a lot of young kids playing in there, (and) we've got some kids playing out of position where they had to play. We're real proud of them."
One of those young kids was sophomore Tucker Zanone.
When Hurd went down on Monday, Bosgieter shifted right guard Tracy Hess to tackle and inserted Zanone at guard.
Hess, Zanone and fellow linemen Evan Ross (left tackle), Kelton Thomas (left guard) and Zach Gibson (center) all shined Thursday, just as Van Woerkom has seen them shine throughout the 2010 season.
"Us being here is because of them," said Van Woerkom. "I don't know how to explain it, but they are what got us here to this point. So my hat's off to them; they deserve it."
Now Fremont's line just has to figure out how to play as well again in the championship game.
It's possible that task grew exponentially more difficult late on Thursday, as Ross went down with a knee injury against Lone Peak in the fourth quarter and could unavailable next Friday.
"We'll find out soon," Bosgieter said of the injury.
However, even if Ross can't go, rest assured that whoever can go for Fremont's O-line will give it all they got.
"We're blue-collar," said Bosgieter.
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