The Huntington football team hopes to field a strong defensive unit. (Darin Reed photo)
The Huntington football team hopes to field a strong defensive unit. (Darin Reed photo)

H-ton Defensive Line Plans to Meet at the Quarterback

March 15, 2023

Ron Wilson feels confident and if he gets his way, his defensive line will be having dozens of meetings at the opposing quarterback. Huntington High School’s new varsity football head coach believes the Blue Devils will field a very competitive team next fall.

Wilson has been quietly assembling his staff and attending to the organizational details that he considers essential to winning. Turnout for a weekly intramural program has also been encouraging.

There are so many moving parts to a football team. Naturally one of the most important is defense. Being able to stop an opposing team from moving the ball and scoring points is just as important as being able to score points offensively. So Wilson plans to strive to develop a very powerful defense that limits foes to as few points as possible and also scores itself on turnovers. It’s called Big Play Defense and Wilson intends Huntington to be one of the best at it.

The defensive line of the great Minnesota Vikings teams of the 1960s and 1970s were nicknamed “The Purple People Eaters.” The team’s uniforms were purple and the defense was oppressive. The nickname is a takeoff on Sheb Wooley’s No. 1 1958 song, “The Purple People Eater.”

While Huntington wears blue and white uniforms, Wilson hopes to have a defense just as stingy as Minnesota’s was all those years ago. So no one should be surprised if the Blue Devils adopt the Minnesota defensive line’s motto: “Meet at the quarterback.”

“The slogan of the Purple People Eaters was ‘Meet at the quarterback,’” according to, a Vikings fan website. “On every drive and every play, their goal was to get to the quarterback. They used a big-play defense that could turn a game around in one play. All four of them expressed that they did not feel successful unless they had intercepted the ball, sacked the quarterback, blocked a punt or forced a fumble. When the Purple People Eaters were playing it did not matter much if the opposing team was in the red zone, the defense seemed to score as much as any offense.”

“Meet at the quarterback” is a challenge teammates pose to each other to pressure the quarterback into making a mistake; throwing an interception; fumbling the ball, abandoning the passing pocket, rushing a throw and not being able to survey the field in its entirety.

Wilson is planning on an exciting style of play. If the defensive line does, indeed, meet at the quarterback, it will bring Blue Devil fans to their feet. “Big play defense” is coming to Huntington.