Saturday, November 24, 2007

Kittrell always around the ball

Kittrell always around the ball

Sometime in the next few months, Tyler Kittrell will face one of the most difficult decisions of his young life.

He could play college football at a Division I school. He could play college baseball at a Division I school. He could play college football and college baseball at a Division I school. He could sign a pro baseball contract with a seven-figure bonus.

Decisions, decisions. We should all be faced with these "difficult" decisions.

But when you are blessed with the kind of athletic ability that Kittrell has, those are the decisions that you face your senior year of high school.

The Oak Grove High School standout is the leader of the Warrior defense - and is now also an offensive threat - and he has been the ace of the Warriors' pitching staff in baseball the past two seasons.

"He's such a super athlete; he could play any sport," Oak Grove football coach Nevil Barr said. "Basketball, football and, of course, he's a great baseball player."

Kittrell, who is a sturdy 6-foot-3 and weighs 205 pounds, has gotten much of his notoriety in baseball, beginning with his days as one of several area athletes who led Hattiesburg to the Dixie Youth World Series championship in 2000.

"There were a lot of great athletes on that team," Kittrell said. "That was one of the best teams I've been a part of. I think that's where the tradition of wanting it and getting it done got started."

As a sophomore baseball player for Oak Grove in 2006, Kittrell was 9-2 with a 3.75 ERA as a pitcher. He had 69 strikeouts and batted .335.

After starting slowly as a junior last spring, Kittrell came on to finish 8-1 with one key save and 64 strikeouts. He also batted .337 with four home runs and 20 RBIs.

Moreover, his save came in the first game of the Class 5A state championship series and one of his wins came in the winner-take-all finale against Madison Central that gave Oak Grove its ninth state championship.

"He's a tremendous competitor," Oak Grove baseball coach Harry Breland said. "You want him in there in the big ball games. He's going to go out there and make big pitches, and he's going to challenge hitters. He's not going to back down."

Barr sees the same thing on the football field. Last year as a junior, Kittrell had 109 tackles, including 71 solos, from his outside linebacker position. He also had five sacks, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and nine tackles for loss.

"He's the kind who in the final game in baseball, he wants the ball," Barr said. "He wants to make the final play in football. He's just a great clutch player."

Barr has begun to utilize that clutch ability on offense by devising a special goal-line offense called "heavy," that has elements of the old single-wing.

In the formation, Kittrell lines up in the shotgun and takes the direct snap and he can either run or pass, depending on what the defense does.

He scored the first touchdown of his career against Brandon and added two more scores last week in the Warriors' 42-27 victory over Pascagoula in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

"It fires me up to get the opportunity to play offense," Kittrell said. "It was unbelievable (to score that first touchdown). Us defensive guys don't get the chance to score very often."

Barr said the goal-line formation came out the Warriors' failure to punch the ball in the end zone against Hattiesburg

"We had to kick three field goals inside the 20-yard line," Barr said. "We moved a couple of defensive guys in a three-point stance in the backfield, and we feel like if we get Tyler inside the 5-yard-line, he's going to score."

But if Kittrell plays football after this season, it will almost certainly be on defense, probably as a strong safety, or perhaps a bandit linebacker.

That's assuming he plays college ball at all. Right now, Kittrell says his top three college choices are Southern Miss, Ole Miss and Alabama. But lurking in the background is the enticement of major-league baseball.

"From what the scouts have told me, he's got an excellent chance of being drafted pretty high," Breland said. "Last year, he got to where he was more consistent in the strike zone than he was as a sophomore.

"He's always thrown hard, but he's also got two curveballs he can throw and a slider that comes in real handy. And he's been working on a change-up, and when he masters that, he'll be a complete pitcher."

Right now, however, the only thing on Kittrell's mind is tonight's playoff clash against George County, and, in a few weeks, the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game, to which he was the only Warrior player selected.

Kittrell knows he has a big decision looming, but it isn't a decision he has to make immediately.

"It's hard to think about that right now," Kittrell said. "I've been putting that off until signing day, then I want to concentrate on baseball, then see what my options are."

Oak Grove, Warriors, MS, Hattiesburg

Single-Wing Mavericks March To State

James Monroe 21, Wayne 14
Posted Sunday, November 25, 2007 ; 12:09 AM
Updated Sunday, November 25, 2007 ; 12:30 AM

Watch Story Video

Pioneers fall one win short of Wheeling
Story by Steve McGehee

WAYNE -- Wayne opened the game with a turnover and finished the game with a turnover. James Monroe defeated Wayne in the semifinals Saturday night at Pioneer field, 21-14.

Justin Gilkerson scored Wayne's first touchdown on the very first play in the 2nd Quarter. Wayne still trailed 7-6 after the missed extra point. The Mavericks led at halftime 14-6.

The Mavericks jumped out to a 21-6 lead in the 3rd quarter, thanks to a 4 yard touchdown by Taylor Robertson.

The defending double-a champions would not give up. Trailing by 15 points, Wayne's Joey Ferguson tossed a 20 yard td strike to Justin Gilkerson, after the two point conversion, Wayne only trailed 21-14.

The Pioneers last second effort were dashed with under 1:00 to go when Ferguson was intercepted at midfield, sealing the win for the Mavericks.


Clarksburg Studio

904 West Pike Street

Clarksburg, WV 26301

No. 3 James Monroe ends Wayne’s bid for repeat in Class AA

November 25, 2007
No. 3 James Monroe ends Wayne’s bid for repeat in Class AA

By Shawn Ross
For Sunday Gazette-Mail

WAYNE — After nearly a decade of postseason frustration, James Monroe finally earned a trip to Wheeling.

In their sixth trip to the Class AA semifinals, coach David Witt’s third-seeded Mavericks rode the legs of Ernie Tincher to the tune of 152 yards and two touchdowns en route to a 21-14 victory over No. 2 and defending state champion Wayne in the Class AA semifinals Saturday night at Pioneer Field.

James Monroe will take on top-ranked Bluefield in next weekend’s Super Six finals at Wheeling Island Stadium. The Beavers edged the Mavericks 14-7 on Oct. 26. That loss was James Monroe’s only defeat this season.

The Mavericks had been turned away five times in the semifinal round in the last decade. JM ended its season one game shy of the Class AA title game in 1998, 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2006.

“We’ve battled our butts off for daggone four years,” Witt said. “We told them we were going to come down here and battle our daggone butts off and we’d see what happened. [The team] deserves all the credit they can get.”

With a 15-point lead and a run-oriented offense, JM began to milk the clock in the fourth quarter. However, a Kisiel fumble killed what could have been a game-clinching drive at the Wayne 35 early in the quarter.

This time, Wayne (12-1) capitalized on Kisiel’s miscue with a seven-play, 67-yard drive that consisted of three impressive passes by Joey Ferguson.

Jeremy Maynard was on the receiving end of two passes. The first was a one-hander that accounted for 31 yards to set the Pioneers up at the JM 37. Ferguson found Maynard again on a screen pass that picked up 25 yards.

The third completion of the drive was the capper as Ferguson found Gilkerson from 20 yards out to slice the lead to 21-12. Since Jason Thompson missed the extra point on the Pioneers’ first score, they were forced to go for the 2-point conversion. Ferguson connected with Brandon Fletcher on a bubble screen to cut the lead to 21-14 with 8:26 left to play.

The Mavericks nearly iced the game with a minute left to play when Logan Ray attempted a 32-yard field goal. However, Ray’s attempt fell short and Wayne had one last gasp at defending its title. Ferguson found Maynard on an out route to move the ball to the 15, but John Ballengee intercepted Ferguson on the next play to seal the win.

“We talked about the fighting spirit,” Wayne coach Tom Harmon said. “The second half, we did come out and fight. The odds were against us at times, but when you play for Wayne, you put your whole heart into it.”

The Mavericks (12-1) appeared to put themselves behind the 8-ball on the first play from scrimmage when Nick Robinson fumbled at the Wayne 49-yard line.

However, the Pioneers’ Rodney Endicott was unable to hold on to a handoff on the ensuing play and JM recovered the loose ball at its own 44. From there, the Mavericks marched 56 yards in nine plays to take the early lead.

Not surprisingly, Tincher headed the single-wing rushing attack with 41 yards on just four carries on the drive. He turned in the score on a 17-yard jaunt to give JM a 7-0 lead after just five minutes of play.

JM entered the game with some uncertainty regarding its backfield as starters Taylor Robertson and Kisiel did not play offensively in the first quarter because of injuries sustained in the Mavericks’ 13-7 quarterfinal win over Magnolia a week ago. Although the duo accounted for nearly 3,000 yards during the regular season, their absence was alleviated by Tincher’s performance.

The Charleston Gazette
Charleston, WV


Orrick defeats Thayer using Single-wing for Missouri Class 1 State Title

Orrick defeats Thayer 20-8 in Missouri Class 1 state title game
The Kansas City Star

Taylor Eubank was a huge factor in Orrick’s victory over Thayer in the state title game. He scored three touchdowns. ST. LOUIS. With 2½ minutes left in the game and Thayer having called a time-out, exhausted Orrick running back Taylor Eubank had to take a knee. The Missouri Class 1 state championship game had been a hard-hitting, grind-it-out type of affair.

As it turned out, it was an ironic sight because, figuratively speaking anyway, Eubank turned out to be the last man standing.

In fact, on the very next play, Eubank took a handoff, broke behind left guard Jerry O’Dell and ran into the end zone from 41 yards out, putting a cap on Orrick’s 20-8 victory Saturday afternoon at the Edward Jones Dome.

The win, in turn, put a cap on a magical season in which the Bearcats finished 14-0 and brought Orrick its first state football championship since 1975.

“(Thayer’s) kids are a lot like ours,” said Pat Richard, who completed his eighth season as Orrick’s head coach.

“Good ol’ farm kids who like to work. They made us earn everything. We knew it’d be a grinder.”

Thing is, as has been the case in several of the Bearcats’ victories this season, the vast majority of their grinding came in the second half and especially in the fourth quarter when, as Richard put it, “I think they got tired of being hit by us.”

Indeed, Thayer controlled the ball for much of the first half and piled up 161 yards of offense in 36 plays while holding Orrick to just 68 yards on 19 plays. But by the end of the game, the Bearcats had 293 yards to Thayer’s 220.

“Typical of our kids, we battled (in the first half) and stayed in it,” Richard said. “In the second half, we came out and physically seized it.

“We went to a single wing in the second half, which allowed us in the fourth quarter to continue to move the ball.”

Still, finding the end zone was difficult the entire afternoon.

Thayer, which also came into the Show-Me Bowl 13-0, held the ball for most of the first quarter by driving from its 14 to Orrick’s 14 before stalling.

Orrick got its first break when Eubank blocked a Thayer punt, and teammate Jordyn Butler recovered at the Thayer 29. On the next-to-last play of the quarter, Eubank broke free on a 30-yard touchdown run. Eubank also added the two-point conversion run.

Thayer tied it late in the half when Michael Lowther’s interception and return to the Orrick 5 set up quarterback Jacob Eckman’s 1-yard plunge.

In the second half, it seemed as if Eubank was the only player who could find significant daylight. With 53 seconds left in the third quarter, he capped an eight-play, 56-yard drive with a 34-yard touchdown run. He then iced things with his 41-yarder after catching his breath on the time-out.

“I was just running hard, taking care of the football,” Eubank said.

“And, I completely trust my line. They tell me which holes to hit, and they’ll be there.”

Eubank finished with 211 yards rushing in 24 carries and three touchdowns. He also had the blocked punt and was in on eight tackles.

“That first season eight years ago we won three games, and we thought it was the greatest thing in the world,” Richard said.

“Those guys I coached then … now I can look them in the eyes. I told them we were going to build a program to where we can win state championship, and we did that. They were a big part of it.”

It's Menominee again

Saturday, November 24, 2007
Division 5: Menominee 21, Jackson Lumen Christi 7
It's Menominee again

Rod Beard / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- The trip down to the Lower Peninsula was well worth it for Menominee.

For the second straight season, the Maroons came to Ford Field and left with a state championship. This time, it was after a 21-7 victory over Jackson Lumen Christi in the Division 5 final Saturday.

Ethan Shaver led the Maroons with 208 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries and went 6-of-13 passing for 89 yards.

Menominee (14-0) started the scoring on its first drive of the game, going 65 yards in six plays, capped by Shaver's 11-yard keeper.

Neither team scored again until the fourth quarter, when Shaver dove in for a 1-yard score with 6:37 remaining in the game.

Lumen Christi (12-2) finally got on the scoreboard at the 5:41 mark of the fourth quarter on Conor Sullivan's 67-yard touchdown pass to Mark Lathers.

The Titans had a couple of opportunities to tie the score, but Menominee's defense held and Shaver scored his third touchdown on a 6-yard run with 1:21 left to clinch it.

It was the sixth finals appearance for Lumen Christi since 2000. The Titans won titles in 2000-01 and 2003-04. Lumen Christi lost to Muskegon Oakridge, 42-28, in the 2005 title game.

In last season's title game, Menominee beat Madison Heights Madison, 41-6.


Back To Back Champions

Division 5 Final:
Menominee 21, Jackson Lumen Christi 7
11/24/2007, 9:37 p.m. ET
The Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — Ethan Shaver ran for 209 yards and three touchdowns to lead Menominee to a 21-7 win over Jackson Lumen Christi in the Division 5 state championship game Saturday at Ford Field.

The Maroons (14-0) won their second title in a row, running their winning streak to 28 games, while Lumen Christi (12-2) was in the championship game for the sixth time in eight years.

Shaver, who rushed for 123 yards in last year's championship game, started the scoring Saturday with an 11-yard touchdown run on Menominee's first possession.

The Maroons could have had a much bigger lead at halftime, but turned the ball over twice inside the Lumen Christi 20.

The Titans had the first good scoring chance of the second half, but turned the ball over on downs at the Menominee 13.

The teams traded punts until Menominee put together a sustained drive early in the fourth quarter. Shaver kept it alive with a 17-yard scramble on 3rd-and-9, then gained 11 yards on 3rd-and-5.

On the next play, he scored on a 1-yard sweep to put the Maroons up 14-0.

The Titans, though, needed just three plays to get on the board. Connor Sullivan hit Mark Lathers for a 67-yard touchdown pass, pulling them within 14-7 with 5:41 to play.

Lumen Christi got the ball back after a punt, but lost 20 yards on their first three plays, setting up a 4th-and-30 from the Titans 5.

Tom Janson dropped the punt at midfield, but dove on it and Shaver put the game away with a 6-yard run.

The Maroons became the first team to post back-to-back 14-0 seasons in Michigan since East Grand Rapids in 2002-03.

Longtime Menominee coach Ken Hofer ran his team from Ford Field's seventh-floor press box after breaking his leg in October.

"It's a great way to see what is happening in the game, but they look more like mice than football players from up there," he said.

The trophy presentation after the game was delayed while Hofer and his wheelchair made it down to the field. As he arrived, he received a standing ovation from the crowd and from his players.

"To come out like that, and to get the cheers of these young men and the fans, that was one of the truly special moments of my life," the 73-year-old said, fighting back tears.

For Shaver, the second half made up for a rough start to the game.

"There was a lot of frustration in the first half — we kept making mistakes with penalties and turnovers," he said. "But we were able to fight through it."

Herb Brogan has won five titles since 1996, but said after Saturday's loss that he would pit this year's team against any of his championship teams.

"I can't walk away from this season with anything other than a smile," he said. "This team has been decimated by injuries and overcome so many things. They are the toughest group I've ever been associated with."

No amount of character, though, was going to stop the Maroons' single-wing attack.

"We couldn't deal with their team speed," Brogan said. "We got the big play to get back in the game, and they just wouldn't let us back on the field. They did what they needed to do."

Detroit Free Press


2007 Berkshire Bowl in Pictures

2007 Berkshire Bowl in Pictures


Redskins Pistol Whips Ashland

Redskins roll into title game
Storey runs for 201 yards and three touchdowns


DUBLIN, Ohio - Anderson is headed to the Division II state football final, and its current and former coach both loomed large over the proceedings here Friday night.

First-year head coach Jeff Giesting, after his team beat Ashland 35-20 in a state semifinal at Dublin Coffman, tried to explain what it all meant.

After 19 years as an Anderson assistant, Giesting is the first coach to take Anderson to a state football final. Did he ever expect this in Year 1?

"Oh no, you could never think that," the bespectacled Giesting said, standing on the frozen artificial turf as fans surrounded him after the game. "I think as we got going, we could see it might become possible."

With legendary former coach Vince Suriano standing on the sidelines, Giesting's team rode a 201-yard, three-TD rushing effort of senior running back Elijah Storey to victory.

Anderson advances to the state final next Friday (7 p.m.) at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The opponent will be Louisville, which beat Mayfield 41-13 in the other state semifinal Friday night at Bedford Stewart Field.

Suriano built Anderson into a consistent power during his tenure from 1987-2006, and the Redskins made eight playoff appearances - mostly as a Division I team - under him.

Suriano left Anderson after the 2006 season to become assistant head coach/offensive coordinator at the College of Mount St. Joseph.

Giesting, his longtime assistant, was tapped to replace Suriano.

"I'm so happy for Jeff and the kids," a beaming Suriano said after Friday's game. "I'm still emotionally attached to them. Isn't it great?"

Storey and quarterback Daniel Rod also were great, as Storey cranked out his fourth 200-yard rushing game in five weeks.

Rod rushed 18 times for 122 yards and a TD and also passed for 65 yards and another TD.

"It's incredible to be going to state," Storey said. "I knew we had a chance. Early in the season, you could tell we'd be a good team."

Anderson (12-2) beat an Ashland team (also 12-2) that also was seeking its first state football championship game appearance.

Anderson and Ashland tied for 12th in the final Associated Press Division II state media poll of the regular season.

Ashland quarterback Taylor Housewright, as forecast, came out throwing out of the spread offense. He was 36-of-52 for 344 yards, but threw just one touchdown and two interceptions.

Anderson built a 21-10 lead, with great momentum headed to halftime after Rod found 6-foot-7 wide receiver Nick Truesdell for a 35-yard TD 9.1 seconds before halftime.

"I'm tall, so when Daniel goes scrambling, he just throws it up for me," Truesdell said.

Truesdell also played some defense for the first time this year, lining up as a rush end. The plan was to disrupt Housewright as much as possible.

"We wanted to get some pressure on him, mix things up," Giesting said.

Anderson iced it with a 5-yard TD run by Storey with 2:06 left.

• Photos: Anderson 35, Ashland 20
• Photos: Playoff games
• Video: Playoff highlights

Anderson 7 14 0 14 -35
Ashland 7 3 3 7 -20

Ash-Kerr 5 pass from Housewright (Berkshire kick)

And-Storey 2 run (Howard kick)

Ash-Berkshire 30 FG

And-Rod 9 TD (Howard kick)

And-Truesdell 35 pass from Rod (Howard kick)

Ash-Berkshire 40 FG

And-Storey 17 run (Howard kick)

Ash-Housewright 2 run (Berkshire kick)

And-Storey 5 run (Howard kick)

Records: And 12-2, Ash 12-2.

Belichick on Spread & Single-Wing in the NFL

November 21, 2007, 4:27 pm
The Spread: Spreading to the N.F.L.?
By Pete Thamel

The daily transcripts from Bill Belichick’s news conference that the New England Patriots send out are typically some of the most interesting things that pop up in my in-box every day. Belichick is often portrayed as dry and confrontational by those who cover the N.F.L. Since I don’t, the transcripts are often some of the most insightful things I read about football. Belichick may not talk much about injuries or running up the score or whatever the P.T.I. topic da jour is, but he has an astonishing grasp of football and its history. That’s why I particularly enjoyed his take when the use of the spread offense in college football came up at his new conference today.

This was Belichick’s response when a writer asked if the spread would ever find its way to the N.F.L.:

“I don’t know. There’s times in the N.F.L. where you see just a quarterback in the backfield. There are situations like that. But I mean, you watch the Pac-10 and a lot of times you can watch a whole game and not see two backs in the backfield. It’s empty or it’s the quarterback back there with one other back and three, four, five extended receivers. I mean, I don’t follow college football that closely, but I watch it in the spring when you watch certain teams play and you’re watching players. You watch the Pac-10, you watch whatever it is out there, the Big West or whatever that conference is. Those teams are in - I don’t know if it’s five receivers, but they have four or five guys spread out over the field the entire game. That’s their goal-line offense, too.”

The follow-up question asked if running quarterbacks like Dennis Dixon or Tim Tebow could ever become prevalent in the N.F.L.

“I don’t know. We’ve seen it in Vince Young. The guy had - I don’t know how many yards he had rushing last year but it was quite a few. But I mean, I think when you look at teams like Florida and Oregon, teams like that that do that, their running game really then becomes, it’s like the single-wing. When you run the single-wing, you have an extra blocker. You don’t have a quarterback handing the ball off like you have in a T-formation, so you have a guy carrying it and there’s no wasted guy, which is really what the quarterback is. He hands it off and that’s it, whereas in the single-wing and those kinds of offenses, you pick up an extra guy that they either have to cover or you pick up an extra blocker in the play because you’re not having a quarterback hand the ball off. Really, that’s the essence of the single-wing offense. Everybody is a blocker and you have one ball-carrier. You don’t lose the T-formation quarterback.”

Thoughts? Could the spread spread to the N.F.L.?

NY Times
Editor: Thoughts? Could the Single-Wing make it back to the NFL like it has in the college rank?

Blue Darters seal victory
Blue Darters seal victory
Apopka QB Jeremy Gallon and the offense lift the club into the region final.
Buddy Collings

Sentinel Staff Writer

November 24, 2007


It was a chilly, windy night, but for the second week in a row junior quarterback Jeremy Gallon and Apopka's offense warmed up the second quarter for Blue Darters fans.

And this time, Apopka (11-1) never cooled off, blowing away rival Edgewater 36-7 in a Class 6A regional semifinal at Roger Williams Field.

Gallon rushed for 257 yards and three touchdowns and scored a fourth time on a pass reception as Apopka advanced to its first region final since 2004.

The Blue Darters will stay home for the fifth consecutive week to face Port Orange Spruce Creek (9-3) next Friday.

"I don't know if I've ever seen a team play harder than this," Apopka Coach Rick Darlington said.

Apopka let a 19-point lead slip away in a 40-32 regular-season loss to Edgewater (9-3).

But this time there were no breakdowns in Apopka's pass defense and no chance for the Eagles to mount a comeback.

The Blue Darters put it away when Addarius James forced an interception that teammate Danny White returned 93 yards for a TD that made it 30-7.

Derrick Clark also had an interception as Edgewater completed only 9 of 22 throws for 89 yards.

"We played a whole lot tougher this time," Darlington said. "We had to take it to another level and we did."

After a 0-0 stalemate in the first quarter, Gallon turned the heat up with a 54-yard touchdown.

Edgewater answered with a juggling TD catch by Quincy McDuffie on a 45-yard TD pass into the wind from James Morgan. But Jeremy Rouse pushed the Blue Darters back in front to stay with one of the breakaway plays Apopka is accustomed to.

The senior running back appeared to be stopped near the line of scrimmage but kept his legs churning and broke free for a 24-yard TD run.

After Edgewater went three-and-out, Gallon moved from quarterback to the wing and found room as a receiver for a 35-yard TD pass from Caleb Nelson to make it 21-7.

Apopka 36, Edgewater 7
Edgewater 0 7 0 0 -- 7
Apopka 0 21 9 6 -- 36
SECOND -- A Gallon 54 run (Beary kick); E: McDuffie 45 pass from Morgan; A: Rouse 24 run (Rouse run); A: Gallon 35 pass from Nelson (kick failed).

THIRD -- A: Beary 26 FG; A: White 93 INT return (kick failed).

FOURTH -- A: Gallon 41 run (kick blocked).

Buddy Collings can be reached at


Friday, November 23, 2007

McFadden Goes Wild in The Wildhog Formation

The unranked Arkansas Razorbacks defeats the top ranked LSU Tigers in the regular season finale for both teams. Darren McFadden rushed for 3 touchdowns and threw for another helping his Heisman chances.

Three of those four TD's came out of the WildHog Formation. The WildHog formation is where McFadden lines up as a Single-Wing Tailback, taking the direct snap and then makes things happen by running it or throwing it.

Here is a recap of the game:


Overall Concepts of the A-11 Offense

Editors Note: Even Though the A-11 isn’t a single –wing offense, several SW coaches were interested in learning about it, learning what properties could be transferred to the single-wing, and comparing it a similar offense ran by Bruce Eien --
Overall Concepts of the A-11 Offense

Basic Overall Concepts of the A-11 Offense
by Kurt Bryan on Nov 21, 2007, 2:45pm

Thanks for asking to post this, much appreciated:

1. The primary concept behind the A-11 is that the ball moves faster than the man, similar to rugby in that regard. For example in football, using quick screens, option, zone read, etc.

2. For the thousands of small schools like us at Piedmont, we had to develop a way to somewhat negate sheer overwhelming size and strength from the defensive side of the ball vs. our Offense.

3. We borrowed some of the basic concepts of the Spread, added elements of the Run-n-Shoot, Navy's Triple Option, some steps and sight adjustment reads of the West Coast and other offenses similar to it, then we morphed it into a complete package.

4. In terms of HOW we present our A-11 offensive sets to the Defense before each play (Huddle or Not), we line up NEAR but not on the L.O.S. each time. Then according to what particular formation and play we have called, we set accordingly and/or then motion, etc. By presenting it this way, it forces the defense to account for (All Eleven Potentially Eligible Players), although we do use OL numbered 50 - 79 along the interior too throughout various points in the game.

5. When the defense is very spread out and must account for each eligible player that can catch a legal forward pass downfield, and also catch a lateral or take a handoff behind the L.O.S., it puts tremendous stress on the D, thereby dividing the D up into 1/3 across the field, which creates more lanes to run and throw.

6. With the standard OL who do not get many reps in the A-11 or no reps at all, we move them over to the Defensive side of the football, which makes them happy because they are playing, and gives us a lot of larger and fresher bodies on the DL.

7. We also used 14 or 15 formations this year, really adding many dimensions to our route possibilities.

Re: Basic Overall Concepts of the A-11 Offense
Post by Kurt Bryan on Nov 21, 2007, 7:09pm

About our A-11 offense at Piedmont.

Here are some answers to your questions until I can get some images up for you to view. Video clips too, etc.

* We use many formations but everything starts with BASE.

In Base, we have 3 potential WR's outside the left hash to the top of the numbers, 3 OL/TE in the middle with Two Qb's and/or a RB in shotgun or staggered with nobody under Center (a legal scrimmage-kick formation), and then 3 potential WR's outside the right hash to the top of the numbers.

It is basically 3 x 5 x 3 spread in Base.

1. An ineligible (covered) player in the A-11 can catch a lateral behind the L.O.S., take a negative pitch (reverse) and/or a handoff if his back is turned away from the L.O.S. We did not bother with handoffs to ineligibles, but we did run reverses to those ineligibles several times. Per play only 4 guys and one of our QB's can do downfield to catch a pass.

2. On this site, the coach's post above mine linked a BYU spread set for us to view, BUT there is a major difference, just like with the PoleCat offense. Those systems have 5 Ineligible numbered (50 - 79) players on the field. They even reference having to make a GO call to release the OT downfield on a screen.

3. In our A-11 offense, the entire offensive team at the High School Level can be wearing number 1 - 49 or 80 -99, on any down because we meet the definition of aligning in a scrimmage-kick formation by having at least one potential recipient of the long snap 7 or more yards behind the L.O.S. with nobody under Center.

4. At the collegiate level, the A-11 can only be run on 3rd and very long, any 4th down, and any kicking situation where it is obvious a kick might occur.

5. When we face a 4-1 front vs. our 3 man OL, we bring an "Anchor" down on the backside to alleviate pressure, also when we roll out. To our surprise, after throwing 315 passes this season, we gave up less than 20 sacks on the year. Very happy with the result in our first year running it.

6. The first play we install and teach is Option both ways.

Re: Basic Overall Concepts of the A-11 Offense
Post by Kurt Bryan on Nov 21, 2007, 7:54pm

I want to share an excellent moving the pocket scheme we use in the A-11 Offense at Piedmont.

Review this image, then follow my lead on our basic rollout system:

18 Rollout Pass Pro in the A-11 (Rolling to the Right)

1. Figure we are in our Base set, with X, R, E, & Z on the L.O.S., and A & B off the L.O.S. On this play (X, Z, A, and B) are eligible for a downfield pass.

2. We have brought the R down tight in our last second shift to help protect the backside.

3. Say we Staggered or Crept the # 2 QB or RB towards the Y - our RG, and then we snapped the football when the # 2 is outside edge of the DE.

4. The E on the playside also "HUNTS" at the snap, looking to Crunch or Crack any leaks or double team the DE playside.

5. We reach/zone pass set towards the playside with all parties other than the crashing E player who delivers bone-crushing crack blocks behind the L.O.S. to free up the QB Rolling Out.

* We have had great success with this pass pro when rolling out

Re: Basic Overall Concepts of the A-11 Offense
Post by Kurt Bryan on Today at 2:18pm

Here at Piedmont, we appreciate your requests to have us to post video clips online for you to view. We are in the process of getting that done. Problem is, we're having a tussle getting the DVD info uploaded onto our site and linked, etc. It is the Interim, here is a popular Prep Football Highlight Show in the Bay Area, and the video below is just one of the stories they did on our kids and program this season.

* You cannot see Wide Copy "Eye in the Sky" it is only ground level, as soon as we get good training tape clips posted from an over the top vantage point we will let you know.

Other Video:


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giles' why-fling-when-you-can-zing style

End fits Giles' why-fling-when-you-can-zing style
The Spartans will host George Wythe for the Group A Division 2 Region C title on Friday.
By Ray Cox

PEARISBURG -- Back in the dark days before Xbox and YouTube, a particularly noteworthy individual or event was referred to as "the living end."

Nobody was sure exactly what that meant, although it seems clear on the face of it that the living end was certainly better than a dead end.

Which in a roundabout way brings us to the topic of Giles High School football position players, particularly one of the ends. When it comes to senior Evan Lidgard, it can be said with assurance that the Spartans have a live one who makes a living keeping things hot for opposing quarterbacks and running backs.

In another day and time, you might also have been able to say that athletes of Lidgard's above-average ability who play end on the offensive side can make things lively in opposing secondaries. You can't really say that about today's Spartans, though.

"We don't throw to Evan very much," Giles coach Steve Ragsdale pointed out.

Nothing against Lidgard, you understand. Fact is, Giles doesn't throw to anybody much. The philosophy around here is why fling it at your foes when you can zing them with a [Single-Wing] powerful running game?

Giles has done plenty of effective running while powering its way to a nine-game winning streak and Friday's 1:30 p.m. Group A Division 2 Region C final against guest George Wythe.

Lidgard's role in all that has been substantial on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Offensively, he's a crunching blocker, but that goes without saying. Around these parts, if you can't block up a storm, then you don't play. Lidgard has another offensive role in tandem with fellow senior Garrison Ellis and that is to alternate while carrying plays from the bench to the huddle.

Far as we know, neither one of them has blown the latter assignment yet.

Defensively, Lidgard has done a job at end. A year ago, he was alternating at linebacker. Faced with the prospect of playing more and more teams who have gone with the pass-oriented spread offense craze, the Giles coaches opted to move Lidgard to end to take advantage of his athleticism and instincts. The only knock on him in his new position is that he's so aggressive that occasionally he'll be out of position.

"I know why that is," Ragsdale said. "He wants to make plays."

Those tendencies have led him to make a lot more plays than he's missed. None was bigger than a sack he made in last week's 24-6 dismantling of Floyd County in the playoff opener. Down 9-0 at the time, Floyd County came out of intermission firing and took their first possession of the second half deep into Spartans territory.

Facing second and 5 at the Giles 12, Buffaloes quarterback Luke Harris looked to pass but never managed to put the football aloft. Lidgard, bearing in from the flank, ran him down and dumped him for a loss of 13 yards.

"That pretty much stopped the drive right there and that was big for us," Ragsdale said.

Harris threw two more completions that series, but the Buffaloes couldn't make up for the lost yardage and surrendered the football on downs.

Despite just five catches this year, Lidgard has been an important offensive player in other respects than being a play shuttle guy. Let him describe his duties: "The job of the left end is to make sure we bust the long ones and get the halfback blocked," he said.

Giles has been busting a lot of long ones, so he and his fellow ends have clearly been effective in running down field interference.

Lidgard is a three-sport athlete. In addition to playing midfield and goal keeper on the resurgent Spartans soccer team, he is also one of Giles' top basketball players.

The problem with basketball has been that every year, he's a late arrival for preseason workouts because of the routinely extended football campaign. As a late season call up from the junior varsity as a sophomore and again last year as a full-time varsity starter, Lidgard has been involved in 14 games each year as Giles was advancing to the state football championship. Giles won it all two years ago and was runner-up last season.

Lidgard allowed that it's tough going in hoops for a while as he struggles to catch up with the rest of the players while trying to work his way into basketball shape. Don't get the idea he's complaining about the delay, though.

"I'd rather be playing football anyway," he said.

The postseason experience the pastcouple of years has helped him this season

"Nerves don't get into it now," he said. "You're ready to go when you see all the crowd and everything that goes along with the playoffs."

Prior experience ought to help this week against 10-1 George Wythe, which crushed Grayson County 50-8 last week in the playoff opener. Playing in the fourth game of the season, Giles prevailed 28-7 on the Maroons' field.

"What we learned then is that they have great speed and we have to keep them contained," Lidgard said.

Sounds like a good job for a (living) defensive end.

SWS Salutes: The Baldwin Bulldogs

The Single-Wing Sentinel Salutes

The Bulldogs have parlayed the single-wing offense into a 9-2 record and made it to Class 4A quarterfinals. This is after comin off a 4 - 5 2006 season.
Great job! And Congratulations to Coach Mike Berg and his Bulldogs!

Lamar McHan was Darren McFadden before McFadden

Last modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2007 1:44 PM CST

Lamar McHan was Darren McFadden before McFadden

By LEROY MORGANTI - For the Delta Democrat Times

Last week's publicity surrounding Mississippi State's encounter with Arkansas All-American running back Darren McFadden kindled memories of another Razorback football legend - the late Lamar McHan, a product of Lake Village and one-time assistant coach with the Greenville High School Hornets.

When I arrived in Greenville on Aug. 15, 1966, to assume the duties as sports editor of the Delta Democrat-Times, Lamar had just joined the GHS coaching staff after a noteworthy 10-year career as a quarterback in the NFL (Chicago Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Colts and one year with the San Francisco 49ers).

One of my first duties was to meet with Hornet Head Coach William Earl Morgan to do a pre-season story on the perennial Big 8 Conference power.

Morgan expressed concern that the Hornets were heading into the season without an experienced quarterback, but said he was confident the job could be handled by former defensive back Larry Cox, described by Morgan as the most athletic player on the team.

The job of making a quarterback out of Cox had been assigned to McHan.

After watching McHan work with Cox, I asked Morgan if he had a backup plan. In passing drills, Cox's passes wobbled like ducks shot on the wing, and he consistently missed open receivers.

But McHan's coaching and Cox's athleticism and determination rapidly converted the youngster into perhaps the conference's best passer as the dying ducks became tight spirals that usually nailed the receivers between their uniform numbers.

Despite his great career at Arkansas (he finished ninth in Heisman voting) and his NFL career (he was the second pick overall by the Chicago Cardinals in the 1954 draft), McHan was an extremely modest and soft-spoken individual who typically gave all the credit for the successful conversion to Cox.

One day, while groping for column material, I picked up the Razorback yearbook and began reviewing individual records. To my surprise, Lamar still held virtually every passing record in school history, despite the fact he had played tailback in the run-oriented single wing offense.

During his career at Arkansas, Lamar ran the ball 332 times and passed it 421, accounting for 31 touchdowns. In the NFL, he was utilized primarily as a passer, throwing for almost 10,000 yards in 113 games.

He described the difference in his typical modest fashion.

“Playing quarterback in the NFL required you to think,” I recall his saying. “Playing tailback in college, all you had to do was fake to one side, run to the other, and prepare for shock. I was better at absorbing shock than thinking.”

When the column about Lamar's college football exploits was published in the DDT, I received a call from him, thanking me profusely and telling me how flattered he was.

I was taken aback; this guy had been written up in national newspapers and sports magazines by prominent writers for almost two decades, yet he took the time to make a young small-town sportswriter feel like Grantland Rice.

Lamar also coached the Greenville High baseball team, and my memory is that they advanced deeply into the state playoffs. I congratulated him on being a pretty good baseball coach for a football player. He was too modest to tell me (as I learned later) that he led Arkansas in hitting in 1953 with a .394 average while starting in the Razorback outfield.

Lamar was in Greenville only a short time before the New Orleans Saints snatched him up as a scout and coach.

He died of a heart attack on Nov. 23, 1998, in Metairie, La.

And I bet that his former teammates, coaches, players and associates joined Larry Cox and me in shedding a tear in memory of this first-class individual who just happened to be a great football player and coach.

Leroy Morganti is a former sports editor at the Delta Democrat Times that went on to become vice president at Delta State University. He is retired. He can be reached at


Delta Democrat Times ● 988 North Broadway ● PO Box 1618 ● Greenville , MS 38701

Pats, Warriors battle for title

Pats, Warriors battle for title
Region II finalists feature high-powered attacks

By Robert Niedzwiecki
The Winchester Star

STEPHENS CITY — One of Brian Barlow’s first impressions after watching Park View quarterback C.J. Leizear on film was his accuracy.

The senior has certainly had enough practice.

Leizear, the Dulles District Offensive Player of the Year, leads a spread offense with five first-team all-district players into Friday’s 7 p.m. Region II Division 4 final against Sherando at Arrowhead Stadium. The winner between the Patriots (10-1) and the Warriors (11-0) moves on to next week’s Group AA state semifinals.

Sherando, ranked No. 11 in The Washington Post top 20, advanced to this game by rallying from a 14-0 deficit to defeat James Wood 21-14 and Park View, ranked No. 15, rebounded from a loss in the regular-season finale to Broad Run by defeating the Spartans 16-12.

Leizear has thrown the ball almost 350 times — almost 160 times more than Sherando quarterback Ross Metheny. He’s completed 59 percent for 2,944 yards, 29 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

Warriors coach Bill Hall said the Patriots have been more balanced late in the year, particularly against Broad Run. But he described Park View’s attack as being an "80 percent" passing attack in the beginning of the season, so Sherando knows it’s going to have to disrupt it.

"We have to get pressure and get in the quarterback’s face, or he’s going to complete every pass," Sherando senior offensive guard/defensive tackle Joey Christine said. "We think they’re going to pass a lot."

"He sits in the pocket and picks defenses apart," said Barlow, a Warriors senior defensive end/tight end.

Park View coach Andy Hill said the thing that stands out the most about his three-year starter is his resiliency.

"The team rallies around him," said Hill, who pointed to a 35-22 victory against Jefferson (W.Va.) in which the Patriots twice rallied from deficits. "Quarterback is a difficult position to play because of the pressure, but he had to put up 35 points and he never blinked. He’s gutsy."

Barlow said his receiving options are just as dangerous.

"They’re going to break off big plays here and there," he said. "We’ve got to contain their athletes."

Like Leizear, sophomore wide receiver Tommy Sedeski (956 yards, nine touchdowns) and senior tight end Danny Foley (740 yards, 10 touchdowns) were also first-team all-district. Wide receiver Ryan Pick added 699 yards and five touchdowns, and standout tight end Kenny Smith (6-foot-6, 265 pounds) returned to the team last week after being out since the first week of the season because of cartilage damage to a knee.

Barlow said the Patriots appear to switch up to a single-wing offense when it gets near the goal line, and that they not only rely on big plays, but deceptive ones as well.

"(Assistant) coach (Tim) Lucci always tells us to stay in our zones, because that trick play is right around the corner," Barlow said.

Despite Park View’s potential for explosiveness, Hall said the Patriots’ offense can be easier to prepare for schematically than an offense like James Wood’s.

"A team like this allows you to play your base defense more," Hall said. "Teams like James Wood can all the sudden be unbalanced. They’re putting a lot of people at the point of attack, and we’re having to rotate coverage and bring people down into the box more. It allows us to do a lot of things we like to do in our defense as far as being aggressive. Blitzes, front changes, things like that. Our guys accept this as a challenge."

Hill said his team can certainly do more than pass. The Patriots have run for more than 1,500 yards as a team, and he said the ground game will be a key component Friday. Eric Johnston leads the way with 752 yards.

"We want to avoid negative plays on first down, so we might look to run it more in those situations," Hill said. "But that’s no secret.

"We can’t be stubborn on offense. We’ve seen some teams this year have some success against them early, but then they’re still running the same plays into the second or third quarter. We’re going to have to be prepared for anything."

On offense, Sherando will face a multiple Park View defense (primarily 4-4) that features four first-team all-district players, including defensive player of the year Thomas Mulabah.

"He’s a big guy and he’s got a lot of talent with him," Metheny said. "They have a good defense, so we can’t just focus on him, but we have to find him."

Sherando won’t be looking to surpass its season-high 38 passing attempts last week, but much like the first game against the Colonels (46 runs, 10 passes), the team said it was good for the Warriors to know they can have so much success when they’re forced out of their preferred balanced attack. Metheny (121-of-193 for 1,797 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions on the season) went 6-of-6 for 79 yards on the game-winning drive against the Colonels.

Running back Markeith Brisco (151 carries for 1,274 yards and 20 total touchdowns) provides the balance.

"We’ve got to be resilient and make some stands," Hill said. "Our linebacking play is going to have to be big. They have to get to the quarterback when he passes and keep Brisco from consistently getting four yards downfield, because at that point he can break some long ones."

Ultimately, Hall said the reason for either team winning won’t be complicated.

"It’s going to come down to who controls the line of scrimmage," Hall said.

Sherando appears to be more than ready to do that after last week’s performance. Throughout the first half and into the third quarter, the Warriors didn’t look like the same team that possessed the area’s best scoring offense (38.4 points per game), scoring defense (7.3 ppg), total offense (377.2 yards per game) and total defense (155.9 ypg).

James Wood rushed for 213 yards on 31 carries (6.9 average) through the first 28 minutes of the game after allowing the Colonels just 107 yards in the opening meeting. Sherando dropped six passes before it scored its first touchdown.

"I expect this to wake us up," Hall said after Friday’s game. "(James Wood’s) a heck of a football team, so it’s not like we weren’t playing a great football team. They executed at a very high level, and I was just disappointed we didn’t. I think we’ll learn a lot from this game. We understand we need to play four full quarters for us to reach our own potential."

The players confirmed on Tuesday after practice that they had received that message.

"We’ve got to do a better job of playing to win and instead of playing not to lose," Metheny said.

"(James Wood) really showed us we have to play from right away or we can get down deep in a hurry," Barlow said. "Especially against a team like Park View. They run five or six crazy backyard football trick plays, so if you’re not focused and not playing hard, they can get up on you real quick."

The Winchester Star
2 N. Kent St.
Winchester, Va. 22601


Thanksgiving football capsules

Two Single-Wing Teams in Thanksgiving Day Playoffs

Crosby (4-5) vs. Kennedy (2-7), 10 a.m.

Where: Municipal Stadium's Ray Snyder Sr. Field


Crosby — The Bulldgos must get the passing game established early. An effective running game, led by FB James McMasters Jr., will certainly open things up for QB David Gondek. Defensive front must figure a way to contain the speed of Kennedy's Ronald Naraine and P.J. Stribling.

Kennedy — Besides triggering the Eagles' single-wing offense going, QB Jarrie Hathaway aksi has a soft passing touch to dependable receivers, especially Brad Ingram. The secondary must find a way to keep Crosby speeders Steve Dunbar and Ray Borrelli contained.

Game facts: McMasters has 1,005 yards rushing while Gondek has passed for 1,162 yards and nine TDs, despite missing three games due to an injury ... Kennedy TB Ronald Naraine has eight TDs, including five of more than 70 yards.

Crosby players to watch: David Gondek (No. 14, QB, Jr.); James McMasters Jr. (No. 24, RB, Sr.); Steve Dunbar (No. 4, WR-DB, Jr.); Ray Borrelli (No. 1, WR-DB, Sr.); Hein Ha (No. 57, OL-DL, Sr.).

Kennedy players to watch: Ronald Naraine (No. 1, RB-DB, Jr.); Jarrie Hathaway (No. 16, QB-DB, Jr.); Ashami Curry (No. 54, OL-DL, Sr.); Steve Anton (No. 78, C-DL, Sr.); Ken Fermin (No. 73, OL-DL, Sr.).


Kennedy 28, Crosby 21: Kennedy sealed its first four-win season since 1999 when Alex Ortiz recovered an onside kick in the closing minutes at Jimmy Lee Stadium. Lee Brockett, P.J. Stribling and Ronald Naraine all had terrific rushing games for the Eagles (4-6). Bobby Wilcher also caught a TD pass from Brockett. For the Bulldogs (2-8), Allan Karpen threw two touchdown passes to Ray Borrelli and one to Steve Dunbar.

Housatonic (5-4) at Gilbert (2-7), 10 a.m.

Where: Van Why Field, Winsted


Housatonic — Having an above.-500 record for the first time in recent memory is huge for the Mountaineers' program and first-year head coach Deron Bayer. Getting a lead on the road would do wonders for morale. The Mountaineers' [Single-Wing]running offense could be the difference this time.

Gilbert — The Yellowjackets have won two straight Berkshire Bowls, which is important in this 23-year rivalry. Confidence could prevail, especially at home.

Game facts: Housatonic RB Will Kennedy has scored a team-leading 11 TDs, including three in a win over Stafford last weekend ... Tim Terwilliger has scored a team-leading 3 TDs for the Yellowjackets.

Housatonic/Wamogo players to watch — Charlie Horowitz (No. 10, WR-DB, Sr.); Will Kennedy (No. 21, RB-DB, Jr.); Thomas Kennedy (No. 24, HB-DB, Jr.); Jesse Becker (No. 64, G-DE, Sr.); Jameson Martin (No. 35, HBS, Sr.).

Gilbert./ Northwestern players to watch — Matt Ryan (No. 16, RB-DB, Sr.); Tim Terwilliger (No. 5, RB-DB, Sr.); Cody Stone (No. 25, RB-DB, So.); Ryan Baril (No. 62, G-DT, Sr.); Raul Diaz (No. 14, RB-DB, Sr.).


Gilbert/Northwestern 14, Housatonic/Wamogo 12: Frank Kawa caught a two-point conversion pass from Dan Lippincott in overtime in Falls Village. Aljeny Silven scored a touchdown on a 10-yard pass from Lippincott in overtime, giving the Yellowjackets a 12-6 edge.

Housatonic's Clayton Keller scored his second TD in OT, cutting the deficit to 14-12. The conversion run failed, ending the game. Housatonic ended the season at 2-8.

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Akron, Limon set for frigid 1A title showdown

Akron, Limon set for frigid 1A title showdown

Watch Video

Written by: Jesse Horne ,
Sports Reporter created: 11/21/2007 9:55:30 PM
Last updated: 11/21/2007 10:15:16 PM

They know each other very well. There are no secrets. No hidden agendas.

When Akron and Limon square off, there's always something on the line. Saturday's showdown, the 39th between the two teams, will once again be for something special – the CHSAA 1A state championship.

The two programs represent the last six 1A state champs. Twice before, the teams battled each other for the gold ball. Both times – in 2003 and 2005 – Limon came away as victors.

"Any time can go out and play an Akron team – I don't care if it's in the regular season, a playoff game or state championship game – you better go out there and play," Limon coach Mike O'Dwyer said. "You always love to play quality opponents and Akron is definitely that."

This season, Akron has proven to be not just a quality opponent, but perhaps the most dominating team in all of 1A. The defending state champs have trounced opponents by a combined 489-38, with the toughest test coming Aug. 31 – a 14-10 win over Yuma in the season-opener.

Considering how easily the Rams have seemed to win, coach Brian Christensen said it's easy for some to think his team – which has won 25 straight – is coming into Saturday with a false sense of confidence.

"I think any time, as a coach, you think 'Gosh, are we getting tested enough?' and 'Are we going through enough adversity?'" he said. "I think we are. I think the kids have and, at different times, I think we've faced some of that. The kids just keep working hard and that's what I attribute our success to."

A good chunk of the success has come from the Rams' use of the single-wing offense, which has racked up 3,523 yards and 55 rushing touchdowns. The single wing is accentuated with Akron's desire to display "deception in the backfield," according to O'Dwyer.

"We've got to be fundamentally sound in what we're doing have a gap-responsible defense," he said. "We can't get to excited and must stay and take care of your own stuff."

Success is something the visiting Badgers know all about. Limon's loss to Lyons in last season's state semifinal snapped a 50-game win streak – the longest in Colorado high school history.

That loss, which denied the team a fourth-straight state title, seemed to give the Badgers their mission for 2007.

"We all know how it felt last year losing," Limon running back Zach Scherrer said. "None of us want to feel that again. So, that gave us all the more reason to work hard this season."

Scherrer has helped spearhead the Badgers to their 11-1 record. He led the team with 1,113 rushing yards to go with seven touchdowns. Scherrer also racked up 10 catches for 166 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver.

There is one intangible which may figure into Saturday's game – the weather. 9News is forecasting temperatures in the mid-30s for the 1 p.m. kickoff. This, after a week of below-normal highs and the state's first real snowfall of the season.

"This week will avoid you the luxury of – and I don't know how much of a luxury it is – getting out and practicing in those elements," Christensen said. "That's going to help, especially with the receivers catching the ball."

On Saturday, both teams will be looking to catch a gold ball in Akron.

500 Speer Blvd.
Denver, CO 80203


2 Different Single-Wing Teams, 2 Different Styles

November 22, 2007
JM, Wayne have similar offense with different styles

By Tommy R. Atkinson
Staff writer

This is the time of year when coaches tend to wear out the rewind button on their VCRs.

“You look at the opponent every day,’’ said Wayne coach Tom Harmon. “You’re trying to gain an advantage any way you can get it. When you’re looking at an opponent as good as James Monroe, you have to look a little bit harder.”

Second-seeded Wayne (12-0), the defending Class AA state champion, will get an up-close view when its plays host to No. 3 James Monroe (11-1) in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Mavericks coach David Witt is also taxing his remote control this week.

“The first thing that stands out to me is they don’t have any weaknesses,’’ Witt said of the Pioneers. “It’s an interesting game. You’ve got two programs that have been right up there in the chase for practically a decade.’’

James Monroe and Wayne both run the single-wing offense, but with varying styles. The Mavericks stay true to the 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust mentality, happy to control the ball and the clock for long stretches. The Pioneers on the other hand have mixed in the pass for a potent double threat.

“If you’re not making first downs and making the most of your scoring opportunities, you’re risking not getting the ball back the rest of the quarter,’’ Harmon said. “We’re going to have to get their offense off the field and keep ours on it a while.’’

“The average Little League team probably throws the ball more than us,’’ Witt said. “For us it’s really the same thing every week. We want to execute, we want to have good technique blocking [and] we want to avoid the turnover.’’

The Pioneers pretty much breezed through the regular season save for a pair of seven- and four-point victories. Wayne is scoring 33.4 points per game and has reached 40 points four times and 34 points or more on four occasions. Conversely, the Pioneers are only allowing 9.8 points per game and only surrendered more than 20 points once.

During the playoffs, Wayne downed Grafton 34-10 in the opening round and beat Tyler Consolidated 35-15 in last week’s quarterfinals to extend its win streak to 18 games.

Wayne junior tailback Jason Thompson paces the rushing attack with 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns while senior back Justin Gilkerson adds 934 yards and 10 scores. Junior quarterback Joey Ferguson has passed for 1,122 yards and 18 TDs.

“Offensively, they’ve got a good running game, good skill people [and] a good line,’’ Witt said. “On top of that, they can throw the ball, too. Defensively, you could really say the same things. There are really not any weaknesses. I think it’s pretty critical that we play mistake-free football.’’

The Mavericks reeled off eight straight wins before falling to No. 1 Bluefield 14-7 the next-to-last week of the regular season.

James Monroe, located in Lindside, Monroe County, averages 38.5 points and has tallied 50 or more points three times, 40 or more points four times and 35 points twice. The Mavericks allow only 11.3 points per game. James Monroe beat No. 14 Tolsia 48-6 in the first round and No. 6 Magnolia 13-7 in the quarterfinals.

Taylor Robertson is the sparkplug for James Monroe’s offense. The junior back has gained 1,681 yards and scored 27 TDs while passing for 350 yards and five scores. Junior back Nick Kisiel and senior back Ernie Tincher have combined for 1,715 yards and 20 TDs.

“They’re very disciplined at what they do,’’ Harmon said. “They don’t change a whole lot. They all know where to be and when to be there. Offensively, they’re very, very structured. They force you to be disciplined yourself.’’

Wayne received a boost last week when Gilkerson and senior tailback Rodney Endicott returned to the lineup against Tyler after suffering injuries the week before. Gilkerson gained 93 yards on 15 carries while Endicott scored the opening touchdown.

James Monroe has been to the semifinals three previous times with undefeated records in the past nine years, but has never played for the state title. Wayne finally broke through last year after two championship-game loses (2000, 2004).

To contact staff writer Tommy R. Atkinson, use e-mail or call 348-4811.

AA: James Monroe-Wayne by the numbers

No. 3 James Monroe (11-1) at No. 2 Wayne (12-0)

RUSHING — James Monroe: Taylor Robertson 197 carries, 1,681 yards, 27 touchdowns; Nick Kisiel 135-916-9, Ernie Tincher 84-754-11; Wayne: Jason Thompson 193-1,027-12, Justin Gilkerson 140-934-10, Rodney Endicott 43-307-2
PASSING — James Monroe: Robertson 13-43, 2 interceptions, 350 yards, 5 TDs; Wayne: Joey Ferguson 59-128-10-1,122, 18 TDs
RECEIVING — James Monroe: Tincher 6-238-3; Wayne: Jeremy Maynard 16-375-8, Brandon Fletcher 12-132-3. Gilkerson 11-161-3

FSN's cameras pan to the preps

Joanne C. Gerstner: TV/radio
FSN's cameras pan to the preps

For many high school football players, this weekend is it -- the final game of their career. Most won't play in college, and even fewer will have a chance at the NFL.

And that makes this weekend's high school championship games a priority for FSN Detroit. The network is airing seven games live Friday and Saturday. Saturday night's Division 3 final -- Orchard Lake St. Mary's vs. East Grand Rapids -- will slide to FSN Plus because of the Red Wings' game.

FSN, which has been home to the high school finals since 1998, thinks of covering the eight games as a labor of love. More than 50 staffers will work in shifts to produce what they hope are NFL-quality broadcasts from Ford Field.

"It's probably one of the most unique things we do all year, it's quite the undertaking," FSN executive producer John Tuohey said. "What makes it so fun for all of us is that it is the purest of sports. The raw emotions, from the fans and the players and coaches, are always right there. This means so much to them.

"In some ways, all we need to do is turn the camera on that and it tells the story in amazing ways."

FSN's Matt Shepard and John Keating will be the play-by-play announcers, each covering four games. Former Lion Rob Rubick and former Michigan stars John Wangler and Stan Edwards will do color commentary.

They will have all the tools available during a Lions' broadcast -- telestrators and 10 to 12 camera angles. The Division 3 and 5 games also will be streamed live over

The on-air teams have been busy with homework, something that's made a bit easier thanks to the Internet. Research on Menominee's single-wing offense in Division 5 or the hot quarterback in Division 7 simply is a click away.

"When people tune in, they may not know a lot about the high school that's playing, but it's the holiday weekend and they're general football fans," Tuohey said. "It's our job to be as conversant as possible about that team, school and even town to make that game the best we possibly can. It's a lot of fun for all of us."

The Detroit News
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615 W. Lafayette Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226


No holiday for James Monroe

Published: November 21, 2007 04:55 pm

No holiday for James Monroe

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

LINDSIDE — The single wing is as much as part of James Monroe football as the purple jerseys and the Mavericks’ mascot horse.

Yet, don’t forget about the defense. Or, go ahead and forget. That’s fine with James Monroe junior defensive end Lee Triplett.

“I’m kind of glad because they don’t really expect us coming,” Triplett said. “When we come, they remember it. And defense wins championships.”

That defense will be put the test on Saturday, as the Mavericks (11-1) travel to Wayne (12-0) for a Class AA state semifinal game. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

James Monroe’s been close to a state championship game in the past, but have always fallen short. The Mavericks hope to change that this week.

“You always think it’s your turn,” James Monroe sophomore cornerback John Ballengee said, “but you’ve got to prove it’s your turn.”

Triplett added: “It would be the first time. This the seniors’ last year and their last opportunity and I’d be really happy if I could help them get there.”

That duo, along with senior cornerback Josh White, have done their part to aid in the Mavericks’ season, which includes only one loss, a 14-7 decision at Bluefield.

“They’re probably not the all-state caliber of player, but they’ve come up with a lot of big plays for us on defense,” said James Monroe head coach David Witt, of Triplett and White. “They’re a couple of guys, when you look at them, they may not be the best athletes on the field, but they seem to get the job done.

“They’ve made big plays for us in the past so they’ve definitely been a big part of our success on defense.”

That same goes for Ballengee, a first-year starter, who is second on the team with four interceptions and six pass breakups.

“He’s done a real good job, he’s got four interceptions, he plays our equivalent of our wide-side corner,” Witt said. “He’s hung out by himself against the opponent’s best wideout most of the time so that’s means you’re out there on an island so if you mess up it stands out real quick.”

That hasn’t happened often. One of the newer starters on a defense that has allowed just 11.3 points per game, the Mavericks have surrendered just 13 points in the playoffs. That includes in a 48-6 rout of Tolsia and a 13-7 squeaker last week over Magnolia.

“It’s good that there is a lot of experience on our defense, but there is a lot of pressure because you don’t want to mess up with so much experience around you,” said Ballengee, whose Mavericks have three shutouts this season. “At the beginning of the year, I was definitely nervous, but I’m comfortable now. I started to get comfortable about the first or second game.”

It’s shown. He’s one sophomore who hasn’t played like a sophomore.

“He’s a good tackler, he’s smart, and you don’t ever catch him out of position,” Witt said. “He’s been a sophomore that for us to do what we’ve done this year, we had to have a few sophomores step up and play good for us and he’s definitely done that.”

So has the junior Triplett. A first year starter at defensive end who didn’t start playing football until the seventh grade, Triplett is second on the Mavericks with 87 tackles, and leads the team with eight tackles for loss.

“I like defense end, you can be very versatile and do a lot of things and I like that,” Triplett said. “I try to be in on a lot of plays.

“I just try to run to the ball, we just try to get as many players on the ball as we can.”

The Mavericks have forced an impressive 50 takeaways this season, including 28 fumble recoveries and 22 interceptions.

“A lot of credit goes to the defensive line, they get in the backfield and they slow them up,” said the 5-foot-9, 180-pound Triplett. “Our linebackers are eating them up and a lot of people don’t give our cornerbacks enough credit.

“They’re really shutting down the passing game this year and hopefully they’ll continue that.”

The 5-8, 150-pound soft-spoken Ballengee thinks they will.

“I’ve been pleased with the year, I came in not knowing what to expect,”

said Ballengee, whose secondary-mate White has 76 tackles, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and three pass breakups. “I didn’t play as a freshman, I just got thrown in there and you learn by playing.

“I felt good about the year. We’ve had little miscues every now and then, but I think overall we’re pretty solid.”

They’ll have to be against Wayne. That defense prepped for the Pioneers by playing big in last week’s six-point win over Magnolia.

“It’s good to play in games like that,” Ballengee said. “If you don’t want to play in them, you shouldn’t be playing.”

The Pioneers, who are the defending Class AA champions, have won 18 straight games. They’ve scored 33.4 points per game, and have had little trouble in the playoffs, defeating Grafton (34-10) and Tyler Consolidated (35-15).

“They’re looking good, real good, but we’ll just try to prepare for them the best we can,” Triplett said. “We’ve just got to come out and play physical, that’s what I have always heard we are known for and that’s what we need to do.”

Ballengee added: “They’re definitely good or they wouldn’t be in the semifinals. I think they’re more of a power team, it looks like, so they’re going to try and beat you their way.

“We have to play solid defense, as always, and good special teams, that is always important. If we do that, the offense will take care of itself.”

That won’t be easy against the Pioneers, who are allowing just under 10 points a game, and that includes a pair of shutouts.

Of course, Wayne probably hasn’t seen an offense quite like the single wing.

“It’s really effective and we gain yards off of it,” Triplett said. “A lot of people don’t like it, but when you get in the playoffs consecutive times year after year, you’ve got to be doing something right.

“Our offense has really done a lot this year, we’re really glad to have them.”

Football takes no holidays, not in the NFL, and certainly not at James Monroe.

The Mavericks will practice this afternoon, but will still have the opportunity to enjoy all that Thanksgiving has to offer.

That’s nothing unusual for James Monroe football.

“It’s fine with me, a lot of teams don’t get put in a situation where they can come out and play every Thanksgiving,” Triplett said.

“I’m just glad to be out here playing football.

“I can’t wait for Friday. We’re just really looking forward to playing football, that’s pretty much what it boils down to.”

Only four Class AA teams are still playing in West Virginia. James Monroe is glad to be one of them. They just want to play again in the state championship game the following Friday in Wheeling against either Bluefield or Scott.

“It feels great, a lot of teams don’t have the opportunity to do this and I’m just glad to be in this situation,” Triplett said. “Hopefully we can move on and have a chance at a state championship.”

Ballengee added: “It’s exciting, it should be, it’s got to be exciting. It makes it special, being in the semifinals.

“There’s four teams in the state playing, there’s two games in AA and a lot of people are watching.”

—Contact Brian Woodson


The Bluefield Daily Telegraph
928 Bluefield Ave, Bluefield, West Virginia

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Single-Wing RB Athlete of the Month

Londonderry Lancer's
Alex "Theo" Theodhosi

Alex Theodhosi was choosen as New Hampshire Union Leader Athlete of the Month.
(See the Union Leader write up below)
Congratulations Alex!
Congratulations to The Lancer's for a great year!

Photo: Derry News; P.O. Box 307; Derry, NH 03038


Athlete of the Month: Thunder of 'Theo'
New Hampshire Union Leader Sports

Alex Theodhosi certainly picked the perfect month to post some frightening football statistics.

When October concluded, Londonderry High's standout senior running back owned the program's single-game and single-season rushing records. His team also punched one of four postseason tickets for the Division I state tournament.

The game plan was rather simple: Give the ball to "Theo" and watch him go.

In similar fashion to his breakaway gains on the field, Theodhosi created considerable separation to claim New Hampshire Union Leader Athlete of the Month honors for October.

Theodhosi received votes from eight of nine judges. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound rusher placed first on five ballots and second on three scorecards, for 37 points.

October's No. 1 athlete rushed for 10 TDs and 677 yards on 73 carries (9.3 yards per carry). His four-game showing included limited playing time in two contests due to landslide victories for Londonderry, which posted a 3-1 overall record and 2-1 mark in Division I.

"The success comes from the work ethic we (the team) put in during practice," Theodhosi said last night after an early evening weight-lifting session. "The offensive line, as I'll say again, did a great job. It's really been fun. Now that it's over, I really wish I was still playing."

In his first two October games, one-sided wins over Nashua North (44-6) and Trinity of Manchester (56-6), Theodhosi rushed for four TDs and 181 yards on 14 carries (12.9 YPC).

However, he saved his best game for Oct. 19, "Senior Night" at Lancer Park.

Playing in the pouring rain against Concord, Theodhosi scored five TDs and rushed for 340 yards on 33 carries. He averaged 10.3 yards per carry in the Lancers' 47-13 win.

"He'd rather run over you than run around you," Londonderry head coach Tom Sawyer told the New Hampshire Union Leader in late October. "I'd have to rank him as punishing a runner as we've ever had. He's up there in the top two or three (overall), that's for sure." One week later, the senior set the school's new single-season rushing record in Londonderry's 22-13 loss at Nashua South.

Theodhosi ran for 156 yards and a score on 26 carries. That gave him 1,503 yards, which surpassed Steve Miller's 1999 mark (1,440). By season's end, Theodhosi became the first Lancer in the program's 28-year history to crack 2,000 rushing yards in a season (2,010).

"It's a nice accomplishment, to be part of the 2,000-yard club, you could say," Theodhosi said. "But I tried to make it known a little bit in school that it's not that big of a deal. Winning a championship would've been a lot bigger accomplishment."

Theodhosi's closest competition was Sam Auffant (29 points), a senior running back on the D-II Winnacunnet of Hampton football team. Jaffrey's Andrea Walkonen (23), a senior on the Boston University women's cross country team, rounded out the top three.

Auffant ran for 785 yards and 11 TDs in October. Three of his TDs were kickoff returns totaling 260 yards. Auffant's top game was a 275-yard, four-TD performance against Dover on Oct. 12.

Walkonen finished first in the 5k (3.1-mile) race at the America East Championships. The Conant High graduate's time of 17 minutes, 27 seconds helped the BU women's cross country team to a second-place finish. The first-place performance was her fourth in as many races.

The October ballot also included Cassie Crockett (Gilford High girls' soccer); Katherine DiPastina (Derryfield field hockey); Ben Harwick and Casey Maue (Hanover High boys' soccer); Jeff Mack (Plymouth State University football); Guor Majak (Iowa State University men's cross country); and Carolyn Malloy (Salem High field hockey).

New Hampshire Union Leader

Monday, November 19, 2007

Baldwin overpowers Titans

Baldwin overpowers Titans in quarterfinals

— By Ryan Atkinson

BALDWIN CITY, Kan — The size and power of the Baldwin Bulldogs was too much for the speed and precision of the Columbus Titans on Friday night.

Baldwin’s slow, deliberate, powerful single wing attack amassed 335 rushing yards and kept the ball out of Columbus’ hands. The Titans contributed four turnovers to the mix and couldn’t get their offense clicking until it was too late. The result was a 56-22 Baldwin victory that advances the Bulldogs to the Kansas Class 4A state semifinals. Columbus ends its season at 10-2.

“We just played flat and sloppy on both sides of the ball,” Columbus coach Sean Price said. “Of course, a lot of that has to do with Baldwin. When you only run nine plays in most of the first half, it’s hard to get things going.”

The Titans were playing without sophomore kick returner and reserve running back Wade Robinson. Robinson’s dad, brother and sister — who were on their way to the game — were involved in a two-car accident west of Louisburg. Robinson’s siblings were injured and flown to Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital.

“That was tough on the team,” Price said. “We got a call just as we were getting into town and the kids took it pretty rough. It was emotional in the locker room before we even stepped on the field. We’re a family and if one of us hurts, we all hurt.”

Baldwin never really let Columbus’ high-powered offense into the game. The Bulldogs rushed 63 times and had the ball for more than 33 of the game’s 48 minutes. Jared Hall ran 38 times for 217 yards and five touchdowns while Sam Beecher picked up 153 yards and two scores for the Bulldogs. Beecher also added an interception return for a score.

“They run that single wing extremely well,” Price said. “That thing makes the wing-T look like junior high stuff. Then you throw in their linemen sitting there and 290 and 280 pounds ... they just blew us off the ball.”

Titan quarterback Corbin Stanley — who entered the game with more than 2,500 passing yards — was able to get the Columbus offense rolling the second half. He completed 19-of-34 passes for 230 yards and rushed for 97 more. He connected with Justin Pillar on a 40-yard touchdown pass and also had scoring runs of 7 and 58 yards.

“We did move the ball a little, but we couldn’t do it early enough to answer their first scores,” Price said.

Baldwin set the tone on the opening drive of the game. The Bulldogs marched 78 yards on 16 plays and ate up 7:10. The key play of the drive was a 7-yard pass from Beecher to Brandon Tommer on 3rd-and-6 from the Baldwin 39. It was the only pass Baldwin threw in the game.
“They throw one pass all night and we let them get seven yards when they need six,” Price said. “If they only have to throw on you one time, you’re in trouble.”

Columbus went three-and-out on its first drive and Baldwin took over again. The Bulldogs went 43 yards in 12 plays and took a 14-0 lead on Beecher’s 1-yard plunge.

Beecher added a 32-yard run on Baldwin’s next drive before Columbus fumbled the ball away and then allowed the Bulldogs to go 32 yards in eight plays for a 28-0 lead.

Columbus got on the board with an eight-play scoring drive of its own to cut the deficit to 28-6 at halftime, but the Titans could not build any momentum.

Stanley’s 3rd-down pass on the fourth play of the second half was tipped at the line of scrimmage, picked off by Beecher and returned 34 yards for a 35-6 Bulldogs lead.
“We had a couple of interceptions that hurt us, but Corbin’s just trying to make plays,” Price said. “You can’t fault him at all for those.”

The game marked just the second time in school history that the Titans played in the state quarterfinals. Columbus reached the round of eight in 1998.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of these kids,” Price said. “Especially the seniors. Those kids worked so hard for four years. This definitely isn’t the way they saw themselves going out.”

The Joplin Globe Publishing Company
117 East Fourth Street, Joplin, MO 64801