When it comes to conference or national weekly performance honors, offensive linemen have never been considered for those types of awards, which normally go to skilled-position players.
That all changed this week after Hutchinson Community College’s dominant overall rushing performance in a 49-14 victory over Garden City.
On Tuesday, sophomore center Tanner Stallings was named the Jayhawk Conference Offensive Player of the Week. On Wednesday, the NJCAA followed suit and tapped the 6-foot-1, 301-pound offensive lineman from Sterling the National Offensive Player of the Week.
Stallings has become the unquestioned leader of the Blue Dragon offensive line – which was minus two starters for last week’s game at Garden City. Stallings simply went out and led by example, garnering the highest grade of all the offensive linemen.
Stallings and the Blue Dragon offensive line paved the way for 493 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns against Garden City. It’s the first time the Blue Dragons have rushed for more than 400 yards as a team since 2011.
A deeper look into how well the offensive line worked was the fact that not one, not two, not three, but four HCC running backs had individual performances of 100 or more rushing yards in the game. Treyvon Paulk went for a team-high 137 yards, Tyren Jones ran for 119 yards and three touchdowns, Blaik Middleton had 105 rushing yards and two scores and Tre Griffin rumbled for 104 yards.
That’s the first time in Blue Dragon football history to have four 100-yard backs in a single game.
Stallings had two pancake blocks and seven key blocks that all led to runs of 10 or more yards in the game. He had the highest grade of any Blue Dragon offensive lineman in the game at 89 percent.
Stallings is the first Blue Dragon football player to earn National Player of the Week honors since Week 7 last season when running back Alvin Kamara and his memorable game against Coffeyville.
– See more at: HCC Sports Information