|East RBs are double trouble|
|By John Coon|
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune
|It doesn't bother Kali and Tusi Masiva to share time in East's backfield with one another. There is no competition to see who gets the most handoffs or the most yards on a given play.|
When you grow up as twin brothers, sharing everything - right down to a birthday - is just a fact of life. But the Leopard offense is designed to allow both brothers to flourish.
"I like the way the Wing-T is set up, how everything is not only to a certain running back," Tusi said. "You have the ball divided [among] three backs."
Even though they are twins, Kali and Tusi each bring a distinct style to the Wing-T offense. Tusi is more of an outside guy, a type of runner who would just as soon avoid tacklers as plow through the middle of the line.
Kali, on the other hand, is a power runner who's not afraid to take on anyone in his path. He admits he likes to dish out and take the hits, even though it worries his mother.
"She tells me to juke them out, but I don't know how to," Kali said with a laugh.
Both players have a similar trait of consistency from one down to the next. East coach Aaron Whitehead said he doesn't have a worry in the world when the ball is in either brother's hands because he knows they will get the job done.
"They're both players where once you call a play or once you have them do a drill in practice, you never have to question whether or not it will be done," Whitehead said. "They are both the type of kids that finish the job."
Whitehead said that the brothers bring an element of consistency to the backfield. They can be counted on to pick up three or four yards per carry. Combined with the explosive ability that Jake Cook possesses, it makes for a dangerous backfield.
"We've got three good running backs, and if one of us is not stepping up, we have the other two that can bring the team up," Kali said.
Ever since they started little league football, neither Tusi nor Kali wanted to play any other position except running back. Tusi ended up at tailback in little league and carried the ball frequently. Kali played at wingback, where he saw what the football looked like but never got to touch it.
With the Leopards' varsity team, however, each brother is a key part of the rushing attack. East narrowly avoided disaster when one of those components, Kali, went down with an ankle injury in the loss to Highland.
It happened in the fourth quarter when an East lineman hit a Highland lineman and the Ram player fell onto Kali. His left leg was behind him when he went down.
Initially, Whitehead feared the ankle was broken on the play - which would have meant an untimely end to Kali's season. Thoughts of that injury ate him up more than the loss to the Rams.
In the end, it was a high ankle sprain and Kali sat out the Murray game. He is scheduled to return against Granger.
"We all assumed the worst," Whitehead said. "We're not pleased he's hurt, but we're relieved to know that it's nothing major."
The Masiva brothers' contributions are not limited solely to offense. Tusi starts at outside linebacker and Kali also rotates in at the same position. With middle linebacker John Tauteoli, the unit forms the backbone of East's defense.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
at 10:32 AM