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Defense expecting another big season in 2011

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Kentrell Brothers made it out to the start of the spring practices for the Guthrie football program, but for the first time in four years he was just a spectator on the sideline.

Landry Chappell will anchor the BlueJay defense in 2011.

The BlueJays started their five days of spring work Monday afternoon with a heavy of dose of defensive work at the practice field. It is a defense that returns eight starters and  a defense that expects to be among the best in the state come fall.

It was the BlueJay defense that allowed 13 or more points in just four of their 13 games in 2010 that aided another state semi-final game and an 11-2 season. The defense allowed just 162 yards a game while allowing an average of 10 points a game. Both were tops in 5A.

The focus of the defense will rest on the broad shoulders of Landry Chappell. The incoming senior has been the top tackler on the team the past two seasons and among the tops in the state in the same category. The aggressive, tough-minded linebacker has a nose for the ball and will again be expected to stop the opposing running games.

Chappell will benefit from having fellow linebacker John Clark to give the defense a solid nucleus in the middle. The duo combined for 306 tackles and 9 sascks last year.

The secondary was young in 2010 and they will be young again in 2011, but this season will have 13 games of experience under their belts. Kai Callins, JT McFadden, and Donovan Jordan all took snaps at the corner back position. The secondary leadership will come from four-year letterman Luke Davis. Davis has been a quiet staple for the defense despite over 100 tackles in each of the last two seasons.

Trevor Blassingame, Zack Brown, and Marc Allison will look to continue physical play for the Jays.

The defensive line will need to replace Brothers and Felix Scott, who both were forces for the Jays in the years past, but Guthrie was able to gain depth and experience with Trevor Blassingame, Elaunta Sherrill, Zack Brown, Marc Allison, and Richard Brothers in the 2010 season.

The defensive line plays a major role in not only getting to the quarterback, but allowing Chappell and Clark to penetrate the gaps to stop the opponents rushing game. A season ago, the 13 opponents managed just an average of 55-yards rushing the ball. Once again, leading Class 5A and among the best in the state.

Vincent Norris, Conner Howard, Blake Finley, and Clint Schemink adds depth to the Jays defense that will be tested early in the season with Duncan, Ponca City, Enid, and Deer Creek to begin the season with the only home game of those four coming in Week 3 against the Plainsmen.

Copyright 2011 Guthrie Sports Page. Some rights reserved.

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