Everyone knows that quarterback is the most important position in football.
But the second most important position? Or simply the second most-important job?
It's disrupting the quarterback and few, if any, high school football players in the state of Montana do it better than Helena High's Forrest Suero.
And during this 2021 season, Suero has been flat-out dominant.
But in the last three weeks in wins over Helena Capital, Gallatin and Bozeman High — he's been unstoppable — registering 15 tackles, six sacks, six tackles for loss, an interception, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, eight hurries and two passes defensed.
Suero who was also the starting third baseman for the state champion Helena Senators back in August, plays offensive line because it helps his team win. Yet, his talent, is showcased on defense.
"He's the best defensive lineman in the state," Helena High head coach Scott Evans said. "He's dynamic and we tell him: We are going to showcase you, so you have to step up and I think he likes that. He likes being that money player."
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Of course, in the pros, it's the quarterbacks who make the most money. But after that, the pass rushers are right there and in terms of getting after the quarterback, no one in Class AA football has been better this season.
The 5-foot-11, 245 pound senior has been stuffing the stat sheet week after week and has been doing so for three seasons. In all, he goes into Friday's Class AA state semifinal against Billings West with 21 career sacks, 161 total tackles, 43.5 tackles for loss and 65 quarterback hurries.
Yet, Suero does more than hit the quarterback — he's got a nose for the football too and taking it away.
In 12 games this season, Suero has two interceptions, three forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. Heck, against Kalispell Flathead, he even took an interception to the end zone, which makes you wonder what Forrest can't do?
"Do I love Forrest making big plays?" Evans said. "Absolutely. And he's been doing it play after play after play."
According to Suero, one thing Evans won't do is let him play fullback, even after he nabbed a one-handed interception against Gallatin in the opening round of the playoffs two weeks ago.
But Evans had other plans and so far, they have worked out pretty well.
"I keep telling him to play me at fullback," Suero said. "That's where I started out in fifth grade in small fry. I was a running back and receiver and then in middle school, coach Evans moved me to D-line right away."
It was a wise move and the proof is in the pudding. The all-state selection in 2020 is likely to earn that designation again after leading the state in hurries and ranking among the Class AA leaders in sacks.
However, the bigger goal is winning Helena High's first state championship in football since 1932.
The Bengals are two wins away and after putting together five straight wins, including a 42-7 win last Friday in Bozeman, Suero and HHS will look to make it six in a row Friday night, with a berth in the championship game on the line at Billings West (9-1).
For Suero and his teammates, it's the biggest game of their high school football careers and the Independent Record caught up with Suero for five questions before the AA semifinals Friday night at 7 in Billings.
IR: What's been the key to you making such an impact this season?
Suero: "Just watching film and staying in good shape has helped me a lot this year. In years prior, I haven't been in the best shape and right now, I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life."
IR: When did you get into sports?
Suero: "I've played baseball, basketball and football my entire life. I retired from basketball in about eighth grade. I'm just not a basketball player. I'll stick with football and baseball."
IR: So was going to D-line a good move for you?
Suero: "Oh yeah. My brother (Caeden Suero) played D-line for Helena High. So I think that's why coach Evans made the move. He knew I had a future there. But playing running back and receiver, that's where I get my agility from."
IR: So are you more proud of your sack numbers or interceptions?
Suero: "Probably the sacks. Just because it shows I can get the quarterback and have a lot of speed, but my interceptions, those are awesome to have too."
IR: How does it feel to be one win from playing for a state title?
Suero: "It's really insane to think about. This is the first time we (this group of Bengals) have made to the semifinals and I'm really excited for it. This is what we have been working for."