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‘No weak link’ on Mountaineers line

Theresa Proudfit/The Daily News Photos Iron Mountain right tackle Gavin Goulette prepares to block, Saturday in the Mountaineers’ 21-7 Division 7 regional championship win over Traverse City St. Francis at Mountaineer Stadium.

IRON MOUNTAIN — A football team that is effective on offense almost always has athletic skill players — and that includes Iron Mountain quarterback Marcus Johnson and running backs Caleb Evosevich-Hynes, Caleb Burklund and Bryce Pietrantonio.

But a key part of any team’s successful offense is a solid line.

The Mountaineers’ offensive line has five seniors — two of them with three years of varsity experience in U.P. Dream Team center Gio Colavecchi and right tackle Gavin Goulette. The group is cohesive and level-headed, working together to generate holes for the running game and time for Johnson to pass.

“There’s no weak link of our group, we might be smaller as a whole group, compared to some teams we play, but we are just as strong as anyone we’ve faced.” said Colavecchi.

Guards Nick Opolka and Brett Aman aren’t large in stature — Opolka is 5-foot-9 — but they do their jobs effectively, often pulling on running plays and taking on bigger linemen in pass protection.

Iron Mountain left tackle Tony Feira (63) blocks Traverse City St. Francis linebacker Andrew Simaz (43) in Saturday’s Division 7 regional final.

The two tall and lanky players of the group are left tackle Tony Feira and tight end Jake Dumais.

“Make sure to say that we’re all quick and athletic,” said Feira, drawing laughter from his teammates. “Any one of us are able to pull and get down field and block for our running backs.”

Dumais is a strong blocker, even at a lean 6-foot-4. He also has great hands when called upon to catch a pass down field.

Joe Dumais, younger brother of Jake, holds his own when substituted into the lineup.

The Mountaineers have put up nearly 37 points per game over 12 games. The consistent play of the offensive line is a large part of that.

“They’ve done their job well throughout the season, they really have.” said head coach Robin Marttila.

Iron Mountain (12-0) faces Pewamo-Westphalia (12-0) in a state semifinal at the Superior Dome in Marquette Friday at 6 p.m. Central.

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