Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Vikings’ offense single-winging it

Vikings’ offense single-winging it
By Bryan Fazio
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Randy McPherson was excited about returning so many players to the Lowndes football team this season, and four games in, he’s starting to show why.

In the Vikings 42-0 route of Central Gwinnett Friday during their final non-region game of the season, McPherson did something he has been wanting to do since spring practices - open up the play book.

The Vikings, usually known for sweeps, veers and draws showed a little more against the Black Knights, throwing to several receivers, running option plays and even mixing in a new formation.

The new additions were spurred on by both the way the Black Knights were defending and the improvement of the Vikings.

“I don’t think the amount of plays is the secret,” McPherson said. “Whether you’re throwing the ball or passing the ball, the game comes down to blocking or tackling, no matter what you’re doing.”

For one whole drive, the Vikings ran their offense out of the single wing formation, with Darriet Perry or Greg Reid lined up behind the center. The formation allows the Vikings, stacked with talented running backs, to run with even more options.
“It makes people line up to another formation and defend another formation,” McPherson said. “I think that gives us an advantage.”
McPherson has used the single wing formation before, but not in his tenure at Lowndes. The debut of the Vikings’ second formation was a successful one, as Reid and Perry were both able to break runs out of the backfield.
“I think it worked pretty good,” Perry said. “It kind of offset their defense a little bit, and opened up some holes. Especially with the offensive line we’ve got.
The offensive line sparked the Vikings to 325 total rushing yards and 7.93 per carry.
“They took a step forward Friday night for sure,” McPherson said. “If you can block, you can run the offense.”

Whether or not the Vikings run more of their playbook against Coffee Friday, depends on what kind of defensive front they face. With Lowndes known for a running team, opposing defenses usually show a lot up front, giving openings down field.
Against Central Gwinnett, the Vikings took advantage of those openings, passing 12 times, and completing 50 percent of its tries.

On three occasions Lowndes went deep, just barley missing a wide open target.
“We certainly feel like we can run everything we ran the other night, and more,” McPherson said. “A lot of it depends on how well we can handle Coffee.”
The Trojans come into Martin Stadium Friday, as the state’s No. 2 ranked AAAAA team, providing the Vikings’ biggest game of the 2007 season.

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Photo by Andy Harrison Darriett Perry fights for yardage against a Central Gwinett defender Friday night. The Valdosta Daily Times

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