Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pat Richard of the State Champions Orrick Bearcats

Pat Richard
Head Coach
of the Class 1 State Champions
Orrick Bearcats

I was fortunate enough to be able to ask Coach Pat Richard, Head Coach of the Class 1 State Champions Orrick Bearcats, a few questions.

Single-Wing Sentinel – What is your background with the Single-Wing?
Coach Pat Richard -- My father, Charlie Richard, was the single wing blocking back/play caller on William Jewell's only undefeated football team ever back in the 60's. 40 years later dad is in the college football hall of fame as a coach, and two of his players/assistant coaches (Myself and Mike Berg Baldwin KS High School 4A state semifinalist) are running the single wing for success.

SWS – How are you using he Single-Wing in your offense at Orrick?
PR -- Here at Orrick, we had played against the single wing the past two years when we faced Wellington-Napolean high school and coach James Perry. We did a great job of stopping it our second year, but I thought it was one of the toughest schemes that we had ever faced. Last year, Wellington rang up 76 points against our conference rival Concordia, and a couple weeks prior to our week 6 game against Concordia I thought that it might be a great series to put in. We installed an eight play series out of single wing and worked it each day at the end of practice. All that we used that week was an unbalanced single deep with three lead blocking back set for 2 point conversions. We continued to practice our single wing series each day. Our players asked me each day that we worked on it, "coach, we practice this every day, when are we going to use it?" My answer was always, "when we need it"

SWS – When was it that “you needed it”?
PR -- We were fortunate to not need it until the state quarterfinal game against defending state champion South Shelby. We went in at halftime, only up 6-3 despite moving the ball easily in our T formation offense. We simply stalled every trip inside the 30. At halftime, we told our players, we are going to pound the ball on our opening drive, and when we get to the 30, the Dog (our single wing formation) is coming in. First drive, we get to the 28, we bring in our Dog personel, run FB Power Belly 4 times to score and get the 2 point conversion, and the game changed from there. We ran two more plays out of it that night, 1 more Power Belly and 1 QB Counter kickout that we scored on. The next week in the semi's we used Dog to run wedge 3 times scoring 2 pt conversions on all three to help us to a big win.

SWS – And did you need it in the Championship game?
PR -- The next week at practice for the state championship, we continued to work on our Dog formation, with five plays that still had yet to appear on film. In the state game we used Dog wedge for our first 2-point conversion, but otherwise didn't use it. We went in at halftime tied 8-8, after making several mental mistakes. We told our kids at halftime, we are going to open in Dog from whereever we get the ball, and we are going to phisically take the game over. We started our opening drive on our 30 and drove to their 20, we didn't score but we completely wore them out on the first drive of the second half. After that we mixed the Dog and our T formation with great results to win the State Championship.

SWS – Do you plan on using it next year?
PR -- We are looking forward to running it quite a bit more next year now that our "secret" formation is out.

SWS – What advice would you give a coach that may be considering running the single-wing?
PR -- My advice to coaches that may be considering it as an offense, is to give it a try. Get on a board, grab a pen, have fun with all of the possiblities. The unbalanced line, the multiple lead backs, the misdirection and power, it is a great offense.

I want to thank Coach Richard for his time, and to wish the Bearcats great success in the years to come!
Dan Spain
Single-Wing Sentinel

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