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Comfortable outside spotlight

For a good chunk of the season, Plant's resident blue-collar defender had a left thumb to match.

By JOEY KNIGHT
Published December 7, 2006


For a good chunk of the season, Plant's resident blue-collar defender had a left thumb to match.

Chris Breit smashed it in a collision with teammate Brent Thomas on the first play of the Hillsborough game (Oct. 6), forcing him to wear a cast several weeks. This after he agreed to move from his more prominent linebacker position to defensive end.

Clearly, glamor has eluded Plant's two-way junior, who has all of two carries this season as a fullback. But for one breathtaking, bizarre moment Friday night, glory did not.

Miami Washington quarterback Sancho McDonald, in the shotgun formation inside Plant's red zone midway through the fourth, had his head turned when the ball was prematurely snapped. When it landed near McDonald's feet, Breit scooped it up and rambled 24 yards.

"I don't know what I was thinking," Breit said four days after that 20-15 state semifinal triumph. "I was just surprised the refs didn't blow the whistle."

Considering Breit has had two significant hand injuries in as many seasons, the fact he possessed the carpal flexibility to retrieve the ball may be surprising. The fact he was in a position to do so isn't.

According to coach Bob Weiner, Breit (5-foot-11, 200 pounds) frequently makes big plays, albeit not as dazzling as quarterback Robert Marve's or as nifty as two-way star Luke Rorech's. Of Breit's 75 tackles (fifth on the team), 21 were for losses.

"Chris is really a linebacker, but we're playing him at defensive end," Weiner said.

"I guarantee you, if you ask him, he doesn't like it as much as he likes linebacker. He doesn't get to make all the plays and doesn't get all the glamor. ... He's never once said anything about it. He's never complained."