PAUL PUTIGNANO | FOR HOMETOWNSTATION.COM
Hart lineman Blake Porter doesn’t take a play off.
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The Northern Arizona University-bound senior has been a two-way starter for the Indians all season, and heading into Saturday’s CIF State Regional Football Championship Bowl game against Chaminade of West Hills, he’ll be relied upon to open up holes and fill them.
“He’s one of the best linemen we’ve ever had here at Hart High School,” says Indians head coach Mike Herrington.
Because he doesn’t take a play off.
The 6-foot-tall, 270-pound front-line mainstay plays both center and defensive tackle, and when you ask his teammates about him, the responses are instantaneous – and full of admiration.
“Blake Porter. He is a man,” says Hart middle linebacker Garrett Updegraft with a laugh. “He is an absolute nut case on both sides of the ball. It’s a dream come true for linebackers because he goes so hard they have to have two, maybe three guys blocking him at a time. As a linebacker, that frees us up to make plays.”
Described as “all business,” Porter is a leader on the field and in the weight room. He loves to be in the trenches, physical and grinding out play after play.
During the Indians’ CIF-Southern Section Northern Division Championship victory over Valencia on Dec. 6, Porter says his legs began to cramp up.
However, he didn’t let that derail him. He couldn’t, he says.
“I’m not trying to hype myself up, but I don’t take any plays off,” Porter says.
“There’s no reason to play football if you don’t go out there and play your best every play.”
Heading into the CIF-SS championship game, the senior led the team with six sacks and had recorded 59 total tackles.
Offensively, his scrappy, blue-collar work ethic has proven to be a unifying force for an undersized offensive line that returned only two starters this season.
And it continues to get the job done, pass projecting and run blocking to the tune of nearly 500 yards per game.
“He’s a freaking beast, man,” says quarterback Brady White. “Blake is one of the strongest most dominant lineman I’ve been around and played with. Every week, I don’t think he has a problem with anyone that lines up over him. I cannot even express to you what a monster he is.”
Herrington agrees, and that’s one of the reasons why Porter has earned such high praise from the longtime Indians head coach.
“For a big guy to go two ways every play and play at the level he plays is just phenomenal,” Herrington adds. “He’s had a lot of opposing coaches praise him on how great he is on both sides of the ball, offense and defense. He’s had some dominant performances, and we expect that out of him this Saturday night.”
Count on it.
“[I’m] very motivated,” Porter says. “Not a big fan of Chaminade, so we definitely want to win this game and keep the ball rolling.”
He’ll get the chance to do just that at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the College of the Canyons.
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Source: Santa Clarita News