(NEW ROCHELLE – NY) Last night on a cool, drizzly evening in New Rochelle, New York, we were placed in a time capsule to when football was played differently. I glanced over at my bookshelf last night and grinned at the Single Wing book by Kenneth Keuffel. It was a reminder that every so often the style of play that once dominated football in the early 1900s brings us back in time to show us how much the game has evolved. As Suffern RB and Army Commit Clev Lubin took over 30 direct snaps gaining 300 plus yards and 5 TDs, I thought about Jim Thorpe, The Four Horseman and other greats of an era of football that laid the foundation for what we see today.
Lubin showed a combination of speed and power that you simply don’t see often in a player that is that size. He consistently showed contact balance and play strength to lower his pad level and drag defenders 3-7 yards downfield after initial contact. His offensive line did an exceptional job by not losing the line of scrimmage which allowed Lubin to get downhill and find creases. New Rochelle often had 9+ players in the box and Lubin still found creases. There were several 30+ yard runs that answered all the questions we had answers to prior to the game. Lubin has exceptional “Long Speed” in the open field to separate from players.
His stamina and command of the offense was also on full display. He seemed to never tire despite playing on over 90 percent of snaps on both offense and defense. As you watched, you asked yourself when he was going to get fatigued. The body simply can’t sustain that level of power and speed snap after snap. Lubin defied what we know about lactic acid buildup and recovery. Every rep seemed like his first rep and he ran the ball with a level of physical toughness that is desirable on any team at any level.
You couple Lubin’s efforts with the job the Suffern defense did, and it was the perfect ingredient to defeating a New Rochelle team that year after year possesses arguably the best team speed in AA football in New York. Overall, the Suffern defense consistently took good angles and maintained positional leverage on perimeter runs. They also consistently had a force, fill and backside pursuit player to cut off angles.
Army football is getting a player that exemplifies the level of play we see from the Black Knights year after year. I’m not sure what Jeff Monken will do with Lubin, but he sure fits the criteria as an Outside backer who can set the Edge, pursue from the backside and drop into Coverage.