During a particular play last week against Gaither, Alonso defensive lineman Demonte McAllister first beat his man at the line of scrimmage, then got to the quarterback just as he was handing off the ball. When that happened, "he tackled both of them," Ravens coach Mike Heldt said.
It has been that kind of season for McAllister.
A 6-foot-3, 263-pound senior who committed to Florida State during the summer, McAllister has imposed his will on opposing teams every week. And his coach isn't the least bit surprised.
"The guy works harder than anybody else," Heldt said.
Entering tonight's game against Chamberlain, McAllister, who lines up at both end and tackle, has recorded what is believed to be a county-best 15 sacks, including five in a win over Blake. In doing so, he has made a believer out of longtime Chamberlain coach Billy Turner, who said McAllister is every bit as dominant as NFL standout Brodrick Bunkley when he played on the defensive line for the Chiefs earlier this decade.
"He's as good as anybody I've ever went against," Turner said. "And I'm not just saying that to butter the guy up. We're scared to death of him. He's a one-man wrecking crew. He can change the tone of a game. The guy is sensational. That's my definition of McAllister. Everything they say he is, he is. We can't take our eyes of him."
An honorable mention all-county pick last season, McAllister has taken his game up a notch or two this fall. He credits that to an improved understanding of opposing offenses, which he said has allowed him to anticipate better.
He's also playing harder.
"My stats are better already and we're only seven games into the season," McAllister said.
"In the past, I'd take some plays off, if we were losing. But now, I realize every play matters."