Bayport-Blue Point will be counting on a strong offensive line this season, and senior tackle Dylan Ingber is relishing the opportunity.
"We've got a big responsibility," said Ingber, who is 6-3 and 270 pounds. "I think we're up for the challenge. We've got a good group of guys and we're ready to go."
The Phantoms went 7-3 last season and reached the Suffolk IV semifinals, and will rely on strength in the trenches to build off that in 2015. Ingber, who also plays defensive end, will be joined upfront by J.T. Brine on both sides of the ball.
"They're both the anchors, on offense and defense," coach Eric Iberger said. "They've been starting for us for three years. A lot of what we do, they're the foundation for it."
Part of their job will be blocking for Rob Johnson, the Phantoms' new quarterback who can move the ball with both his arm and legs on designed runs.
"I'm definitely excited to start running the ball behind our big line," Johnson said. "They're going to be able to push kids down the field. There are going to be some big holes. We just need to find them."
Johnson will combine with running back Rob Romano, who rushed for over 600 yards last season, to form what Iberger calls "a dual-threat backfield."
The Phantoms were already well aware of their linemen's strengths, and Johnson has earned praise from his teammates as well.
"Rob looks really good," said receiver Anthony DeNicola, who Iberger said will be one of the keys to the Phantoms' passing game. "His arm got a lot stronger, he's good on his feet, he's a very smart quarterback, he finds the holes and he's a good leader."
Vinny Lombardi will be another target for Johnson to throw to.
"We're going to be able to power the ball down the field," Ingber said. "We'll be able to run the ball a lot and throw short, quick passes to keep the pressure on the defense."
Defensively, the Phantoms allowed 12.8 points per game last season, and Ingber said "we're going to have 11 guys flying around the field, and be aggressive and fast paced and keep the offense on their toes."
This strength on both sides of the ball has allowed the Phantoms to aim high.
"There's one goal," DeNicola said, "and that's to go all the way."