Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wildcat: An old offense with a new name

CHESTERTON — They call it the Wildcat formation now. But for many Valparaiso High School football fans, it’s an old offense with a new name.

When Michael Perkins lines up behind center and takes a direct snap and then picks his hole as a couple of blockers fan out in front of him, it’s just like the single wing offense that Tom Stokes made famous with Valparaiso. Stokes, one of the last coaches to regularly employ the single wing, led the Vikings to the state title in 1975.

When he retired after the 1976 season, the single wing went with him.

Valparaiso coach Mark Hoffman was an assistant under Stokes. Perkins rushed for 231 yards in the 35-23 victory.

Can’t stop them both

It’s fairly common knowledge that Portage features two dynamic players in junior running back Jake Dixon and junior quarterback Zach Huston.

Crown Point focused much of its defensive effort on Dixon, and largely contained him in Portage’s 43-22 victory. Dixon had 54 yards on 13 carries, with 29 of those yards coming on his final three carries. His last attempt resulted in a 6-yard touchdown run with 1:02 left in the game.

Perhaps Dixon’s most impressive run of the game went for only 3 yards. After the Indians had taken possession following a safety, Dixon’s dive as time expired in the first half came up just short of the goal line. The play had started at the 4-yard line, he ran left almost to the sideline, was hemmed up well behind the line of scrimmage, reversed field and nearly made it all the way back around the right side to the pylon.

Huston ran for 148 yards and a 78-yard TD on 18 carries, and completed 3-of-9 passes for 92 yards, including a 72-yard score. On the other side, the Bulldogs didn’t put up huge offensive numbers.

“The offense is still maddeningly inconsistent, because you can see in spots good things are happening,” Crown Point coach Chip Pettit said.
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