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O-line has powered Dacula's playoff berth

Photo: Karl L. Moore Dacula's Diego Rodriquez (75) looks upfield to open the way for Rocky Capobianco, back, while teammate Ryan Malizia (77) takes on Mill Creek's Phillip Leconte (41) during a game earlier this season.

Photo: Karl L. Moore Dacula's Diego Rodriquez (75) looks upfield to open the way for Rocky Capobianco, back, while teammate Ryan Malizia (77) takes on Mill Creek's Phillip Leconte (41) during a game earlier this season.

You're probably pretty familiar with these three names -- Capobianco, Cox and Goodson.

They make up the three-headed monster of Dacula's offense.

Now you've probably never heard of the five guys responsible for the trio's success.

Dacula's offensive line doesn't have a big-time college prospect and they won't overpower you with their size.

They are just good old-fashioned hardworking offensive linemen. Their success as a unit has been measured by the do-it-all Rocky Capobianco, running back Marcus Cox and quarterback Brandon Goodson this season.

"I tell the team all the time, there's two things you have to do to win," first-year Dacula head coach Jared Zito said. "One is play good defense. The other is be good up front on the offensive line."

The Falcons' offensive line has done its part. The unit has led the offense to 28 points a game. Capobianco is one of the county's leading rushers, Cox has scored nine touchdowns and Goodson has thrown for more than 1,000 yards. Even better, Dacula holds a 7-3 record and is in the first round of Friday's Class AAAAA state playoffs where it will host Norcross.

"They're opening holes and doing what they are supposed to," Zito said.

Corey Levin (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) and Sam Hurst (5-11, 220) are the left tackle and guard, Michael Jimenez (6-1, 200) and Zac Campbell (5-11, 215) have split time at center, and Diego Rodriquez (6-3, 245) and Ryan Malizia (6-0, 235) are the right tackle and guard.

"They are very physical and athletic," Zito said. "They are not overly big, but they can move around well."

The entire group is seniors and Levin, Hurst and Rodriguez started last season. Hurst was an all-county selection and is the most athletic of the group. With their size, Levin and Rodriguez have drawn the most college interest. Malizia has the most pancake blocks on the team with more than 40 this season.

"They all do some really good things," Zito said.

The group grew up learning how to block in the triple option offense. When Zito took over, he installed a spread-style offense. That meant new adjustments for the linemen to learn under offensive line coach and former Berkmar head coach John Thompson. They had to learn to pass block more, guards and tackles had to be able to pull. It was a whole new way of thinking for the group.

"What we're doing this year is nothing like they've done in the past," Zito said. "It's a lot more variety in what they do."

The offensive line has responded nicely to the change. The group began to take over games in the second half against Mill Creek. Since then Dacula has won seven of its last eight games. They'll try to keep that streak going against an athletic Norcross defense on Friday.

They are not big or flashy, but Zito wouldn't trade them for any other line in the world.

"They really have to be smart guys. You've got five guys doing different things at one time," Zito said. "They all have to work together as one to have success. If they don't, it doesn't look very good. Those five guys have done a tremendous job."