When Bani Gbadyu lined up at end in Quince Orchard's 50 defense last season, teams had two options if they hoped to neutralize him: run far away from him or run right at him.

But since moving to linebacker in the Cougars' newly installed 4-3 defense this season, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound LSU recruit has been able to rove between the three linebacker spots and play in space, where he is at his best.

"Now he's got guys in front of him keeping the blockers off of him," Coach Dave Mencarini said of Gbadyu, who had 10 tackles in leading the Cougars (6-1) to a 12-0 win over Northwest on Friday.

The entire team has thrived in the more blitz-heavy, attacking defense. Gbadyu has forced five fumbles, the Cougars have a plus-14 turnover margin this season (17-3) and have shut out two straight opponents.

"The stat that's most important to me is the zero on the scoreboard and just how aggressive the defense is," Mencarini said. "It sets the tone for the game because you never really know where the next hit is coming from."

-- Andrew Levine

Linebacker Bani Gbadyu has forced five fumbles this season while helping Quince Orchard record consecutive shutouts.