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If tonight’s Class 4A playoff game between Fairdale and Collins is going to be decided in the proverbial trenches, there is no one Titans Coach Jerry Lucas said he would rather have lead his team in there than Blake Ellis.
“He’s one of the best kids I’ve ever been around in twenty years of coaching,” Lucas said. “He’s a strong, Christian young man, with great morals and a tremendous work ethic. He’s an impressive young man.”
At 6 feet and 244 pounds, Ellis, a senior, is a leader on both sides of the line for Collins.
“He’s one of those kids who you know what you’re going to get every single practice and every single game,” Lucas said.
Starting at right tackle on the offensive line (for the third consecutive season) and defensive tackle on the D-line (for the first year), Ellis has been in on almost every play in every game this season for the Titans (7-3).
“We really ask a lot of Blake,” Lucas said.
And Ellis delivers. “Rarely is he out of position,” Lucas said. “Blake is always doing what he’s supposed to do every game.”
On offense that means protecting junior quarterback Lawson Page and opening holes for running backs. On defense it means he tries to draw double-teams and make tackles (he has 45 on the season) when the play comes his way.
“I’m pretty strong; I’ve got pretty good feet [too],” Ellis said. “I’m maybe not the strongest [he bench presses 275 pounds in the weight room] or the fastest, but I guess I’m a good mixture of both.”
Ellis began playing the game when he was in the first grade.
“I like the struggle that’s involved in it,” he said of the sport. “You’re not going to win every play, but in order to win most plays you have to work as a team. That’s the best thing.”
And the best way for Ellis to cap off his senior season?
“The big goal is to get to state and win the whole thing, but there are steps to take to do that,” he said.
The Titans can take their first step tonight.