Saturday, September 12, 2009

Houston Nutt Credits The Single-Wing

Ole Miss' McCluster comes up big for No. 6 Rebels
Friday, September 11 3:34 p.m.

By CHRIS TALBOTT Associated Press Writer
Dexter McCluster is a trend setter.

The diminutive combination player for No. 6 Mississippi continues to showcase a rare combination of speed and elusiveness in coach Houston Nutt's offense.

Line him up at wide receiver, and McCluster runs around defenders.

Line him up at tailback in the I-formation and he fearlessly launches himself into the line where most players are near twice his size.

Line him up at quarterback in the Wild Rebel and he seems to just disappear.

Against Memphis Saturday, the 5-foot-8, 170-pound McCluster had 65 yards receiving, 50 rushing and two touchdowns in the 45-14 victory.

"The guy is really, really hard to tackle," Memphis coach Tommy West said of McCluster. "Well, I tell you what he is - and this is a great compliment to him - when we started our recruiting last year I told all our guys, 'I want a guy like McCluster. I want the guy that everybody worries about being able to tackle.'"

The attention the Largo, Fla., native is getting for his success on the field is a victory for the little guys.

"The big guys better look out because we're taking over soon," the always-smiling McCluster joked. "But no matter the size, when I'm on the field I look like the smallest guy out there to everybody else. But I feel like I'm the same size as everybody on the field.

"They ask me how I do it all the time, and I tell them, 'I've got a heart the size of a lion's and I'm not scared of nothing or nobody.'"

And he plays like it. Rebels offensive coordinator Kent Austin says McCluster is many things crammed into one tiny package.

Austin says he's got quickness, vision, start and stop ability, change of direction, vertical and lateral speed, and the best hands on the team.

"But I think the thing that separates Dexter from guys who are similar to him is just his football intelligence," said Austin, a former Rebels quarterback who led Saskatchewan to CFL titles as both an MVP quarterback and head coach. "What really makes Dexter shine is his understanding conceptually of what we want to do. He's one of the few guys I've ever coached that can literally take a concept off the whiteboard in the classroom and go out on the field and execute it almost to perfection on the first rep. He gets it."

McCluster excells in Nutt's Wild Rebel offense, but the coach says he gets too much credit for a formation that dates back to the early 1900s and is better known as the single wing. But it was Nutt who updated it at Arkansas with Darren McFadden at quarterback.

The formation has swept the college and even NFL ranks and is so effective many wonder why the Rebels don't use it all the time. So do the players.

"If we had a choice, it would probably be ran about every couple of plays," McCluster said. "That's why we're not coaches."

Even with Nutt's attempts to limit its use by peppering it in with the team's regular I-formation offense, defenses are eventually going to figure out how to stop McCluster. Defensive coordinators spent idle time this summer trying to sort it out, after all, and all that study time has to make a difference.

So Austin, Nutt and the Rebels staff also put time into making it better, different, faster and more confusing, though chances are we didn't see much of that in a very vanilla effort against Memphis that involved no passes. And after this week's bye, we're probably not going to see very much new against Southeastern Louisiana.

"That's probably a pretty good assumption," Austin said.

When the Southeastern Conference schedule hits, though, look out. The Rebels have scored a school record 40-plus points in three straight games, were second in the SEC in points per game (32.1) last season and hope to pick up the pace as they chase an SEC West title and a trip to Atlanta.

"You never know what's going to come," McCluster said. "It's funny to hear the defense when we come out there, 'Watch 22! Watch 22!' And sometimes they get so caught up in me, they forget about the other athletes around me, and that just opens up the door to other athletes to make plays."

The Columbian
P.O. Box 180
Vancouver, WA

East Columbus mixes it up, buries North Brunswick

By Rachel George

Leland East Columbus’ road to its first win was a well-worn path up the middle of North Brunswick’s field.

Four Gators rushers combined for 317 yards as East Columbus topped the Scorpions 27-13 on Friday night.

“We were 0-3 coming in here and we led two of those games in the fourth quarter,” said East Columbus coach Travis Conner. “We played three quarters real good twice this year. Tonight, we were just able to put four quarters together and come out with the win.”

Playing a single wing offense without a quarterback, East Columbus (1-3) took direct snaps to the running backs. It worked, as all four backs each finished with at least 40 yards rushing.

TJ Wilson led the way, carrying the ball 12 times for 132 yards and four touchdowns.

His most impressive run came late in the first quarter as he ran 65 yards for a score on the first play of a drive, tying the game at 7-7 only 16 seconds after the Scorpions had scored.

“It works good ’cause nobody never know where the ball at,” said Wilson of the Gators’ offense.

The Gators broke the game open with two second-

quarter scores. Starting at their own 1-yard line late in the first, East Columbus finished a 17-play drive that took 6:01 with a four-yard Wilson touchdown.

Just more than six minutes later, Wilson scored from 25 yards out to put East Columbus up 21-7 at halftime.

Chris McClure had 82 yards on 20 carries for the Gators, while Garrett Howard finished with 40 yards and Demetri Anders had 63.

“We’re gonna run the ball off tackle. That’s what we hang our hat on,” said Conner. “We don’t have a quarterback on our roster. It’s our offense. … It’s a very flexible offense where we can do a lot of things out of it.”

North Brunswick, meanwhile, continued to struggle. DJ Graham finished with 136 yards and two touchdowns, but there were few other highlights.

The Scorpions (1-3) fumbled the ball four times, losing it twice, finished with 164 rushing yards, and suffered their worst start since 2003 when they went 1-4 and then fell to 2-7.

The Scorpions won’t be home again for the rest of September, heading to Lejeune next week and start conference play the week after at Whiteville.

P.O. Box 840
Wilmington, NC 28402

Ground game helps Panthers beat Raiders

Staff Writer

NEWTON TOWNSHIP -- A steady offense can be as good as a flashy one.

Maysville had 220 rushing yards in its single wing offense and held off Morgan's fourth-quarter rally Friday in a 14-7 Muskingum Valley League victory at the Maysville Athletic C omplex.

Cory Wilson had 133 yards on 32 carries with a touchdown, and he threw for another one in the win. Jeremy Willison added 70 yards on 13 carries and caught the touchdown for the Panthers (2-1, 1-1 MVL), who had the ball for 25:20.

The Maysville defense contributed three turnovers including two interceptions off Ted Vynalek. The Raiders quarterback finished 21-of-30 for 179 yards with a score and ran for 82 yards on eight carries.

Joel Fox was his main threat, catching six passes for 82 yards for Morgan (0-3, 0-1). Blake Schultz added six receptions and 48 yards and Cameron Westfall five catches and 40 yards.

The Panthers wasted little time getting on the board in the first quarter. After forcing a three-and-out, Maysville covered 79 yards on 12 plays. Willison broke a 14-yard run on third-and-11 and a 23-yard burst on second-and-long to keep the drive alive.

Later in the drive, Wilson connected with Chase Fisher for 37 yards to the Raiders 14-yard line. The Panthers needed three more plays to find pay dirt when Wilson rumbled in from 3 yards out. Kody Fulkerson's kick made it 7-0 at the 4:57 mark of the first quarter.

The defense setup the next Panthers' touchdown. Dillon Winland intercepted Vynalek on a deflection at the Panthers 40, and Maysville covered 53 yards on eight plays. Wilson got the ball moving with gains of 21 and 14 yards and found Willison for a 9-yard score. Another Fulkerson kick pushed the lead to 14-0 with 1:17 left in the first half.

Morgan tried to get on the board before the intermission. Vynalek marched the Raiders down the field on a 22-yard run and a 42-yard pass to Fox. However, Seth Brown picked him off in the end zone to end the threat.

The Panthers tried to put the game out of reach to open the second half, but Cody Fluhart intercepted Wilson's pass to the end zone to stop on the first drive of the second half.

The teams then played field position until Morgan scored with about two minutes left in the game. Vynalek found Levi Boyd for an 8-yard scoring strike, and Caleb McGrath's kick made it 14-7.

Maysville sealed the game by recovering the onside kick.

Winland added 17 yards on the ground in the win.

Boyd ran for 58 yards on 14 carries and caught a pair of passes for eight yards in the losing effort.

Zaneville Times Recorder
34 S. Fourth Street
Zanesville, OH 43701


Foundation Academy blow away the Hurricanes

The Foundation Academy Lions (Winter Garden, FL) and their single-wing offense blew away the Eastland Christian Hurricanes (Orlando, FL) 49 to 16. The Lions scored 42 points in the first half in their home opener.

Senior Fullback Kenny Strong scored from all over the field. He gained 158 yards rushing on four carries, for two touchdowns. Strong scores again on special teams with a 60 yard punt return and then again with a 35 yard interception. Tailback Wes Murray (#13) rushed for 38 yards with and one TD. Powerful #22, Blocking Back Ryan Mansingh, not only lead the way in blocking for his backs, he also rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown.

Foundation Academy now owns a record of 2-0 going into their next district game with First Academy Leesburg.

Coaching Staff:
Brad Lord Head Coach
Gary English Off Co-ord
Layne Dugger Asst. D Co-ord
Kyle Brown Def Co-ord
Jim Strong Asst. Coach
Brent Shiver Asst. Coach
Joe macrina Asst. Coach
Rob Flannery Asst. Coach


Friday, September 11, 2009

Somerset County rivalry highlights scholastic schedule

The Tribune-Democrat

It’s only Week 2 of the high school football season, but emotions should be running high tonight when Windber hosts Conemaugh Township for a WestPAC battle.

“It’s been a rivalry forever and ever,” said Conemaugh Township coach Sam Zambanini, who graduated from the Davidsville school in 1980. “It goes way beyond my years. Part of the rivalry is the close proximity of the schools, but also a big part of it is our communities are so much alike. Our kids are kind of like the Windber kids. Along with the fact that both schools have kind of a storied football history. I think all of those contribute.”

Conemaugh Township beat Windber 14-0 in Week 2 a year ago, but the Ramblers had the last laugh, beating the Indians 42-21 in the District 5 Class A championship game.

Windber coach Phil DeMarco said neither of those games matter now.

“It’s always a special week,” he said of the buildup to the rivalry. “It doesn’t matter what the records are, if it’s early in the season or late in the season. It’s Windber-Township.”

Conemaugh Township got off to a strong start this season with a 35-6 victory over Blacklick Valley in Week 1. Seth Zaman ran for 109 yards and two scores. He also five passes for 121 yards and two more touchdown passes.

“Being the tailback, when we want to run the football, he’s a big part of it, but we’re not one-dimensional,” Zambanini said.

Far from it. DeMarco said the Indians are about as diverse as a high school team can be.

“They run every formation imaginable,” he said. “I don’t think there are any more you can run.”

Conemaugh Township quarterback George Bivens was 8-of-13 passing for 182 yards in his first varsity start and threw three touchdown passes.

“I’m very happy with George,” Zambanini said. “I thought he managed the game very well. It was his fist varsity start, so I’m sure there were some jittery moments, but he settled in very well.”

In addition to Zaman, who can split out wide in the spread formation, Bivens has capable receivers in Kyle Zambanini and Keith Myers. Fullback Brett Byers also gives the Indians versatility on offense.

“We think we can do a lot of things,” Coach Zambanini said.

The Ramblers also can do a number of different things, though virtually all of it comes out of DeMarco’s single-wing offense.

Jarid Cover and Kyle Smith each rushed for mor than 100 yards in Windber’s 21-14 victory over Chestnut Ridge last week. Quarterback Erick Strapple completed four of nine passes for 92 yards and a touchdown.

“Windber’s good again, there’s no doubt,” Coach Zambanini said. “They’re a very good football game. We’ve seen the scrimmages. We saw last week’s game.”

DeMarco said Chestnut Ridge did a good job of taking away the inside running game and expects Conemaugh Township to do the same. Last year the Indians used their defensive linemen to tie up Winder’s offensive line, freeing up the linebackers to make plays.

“They’re going to be in their 5-3 and sacrifice their defensive lineman,” DeMarco said. “Our linemen can’t come up with any excuses.”

The Indians have watched film from last year, but they weren’t just concentrating on X’s and O’s.

“When we look to last year’s games, we like to look back to the District 5 championship game for a little motivation,” Coach Zambanini said. “Obviously, we weren’t happy with the outcome, and the guys around for that have a sour taste in their mouth.”

But this rivalry would be heated even if the Ramblers hadn’t ended the Indians’ season a year ago.

“You don’t need a lot of that kind of stuff for this game,” Coach Zambanini said. “Whenever Township and Windber get together, it’s going to be a physical game. We know that, and we’re sure they know that.”

In other games tonight:


North Star at Shade: This game could determine if last week’s results were a fluke or a sign of things to come. North Star, which has won two consecutive District 5 titles, was beaten 27-14 by Berlin. Shade, on the other hand, matched its win total from a year ago with a 14-0 victory over Conemaugh Valley.

The Cougars won 52-6 a year ago, but the Panthers defense looks much better than it did then. Sam Aikey had six of Shade’s 10 sacks in Week 1 and Conemaugh Valley had just 6 yards of total offense.

Conemaugh Valley at Meyersdale: The Blue Jays routed the Red Raiders 48-7 a year ago, but could have a tougher task this time around.

Conemaugh Valley managed just 6 yards of offense in a 14-0 loss to Shade in Week 1 while Meyersdale beat Ferndale 48-12 behind a strong running attack. Ben Lohr and Justin Hoover each rushed for more than 100 yards in the victory.


Penn Cambria at Bishop McCort: Two powerful ground games should be on display at Point Stadium.

Zac Newton, The Tribune-Democrat’s reigning Offensive Player of the Year, leads the Penn Cambria offense. He ran for 226 yards in the Panthers’ 40-12 victory over Westmont Hilltop last week.

Bishop McCort got a breakout performance from Josh Seidel. The senior running back racked up 219 yards on just 13 carries.

The Crimson Crushers beat Penn Cambria 47-14 last year.

Cambria Heights at Greater Johnstown: The Trojans will get a third crack at win No. 600 for the program as the Highlanders come in off 53-14 loss to Somerset.

Johnstown, which lost 20-8 to Forest Hills last week, could get its offense back on track as quarterback John Siciliano, who ran for 99 yards against the Rangers, will face a defense that gave up 251 yards to Somerset quarterback Trevor Niemiec.

Cambria Heights, which lost 49-14 to Johnstown last year, got 106 receiving yards and a touchdown out of Erik Welteroth last week.

Bedford at Richland: The Bisons and Rams come in off close wins last week. Bedford beat Bishop Carroll 14-9 while Richland edge Central Cambria 34-27.

John Rizzo had 105 rushing yards for Richland while Gino Ramires threw for 159.

Bedford, which lost 41-20 to the Rams a year ago, was led by Paul Detwiler last week. The senior ran for 145 yards and scored both touchdowns.

Forest Hills at Bishop Carroll: The Rangers, who shut out the Huskies 27-0 last year, appear to have a strong defense again.

Forest Hills beat Johnstown 20-8 in Week 1, with Erik Ondrejik recording two of the Rangers’ six sacks. Nick Dudokovich led the offense with 134 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Bishop Carroll had a balanced attack in a 14-9 loss to Bedford. Shawn Perich was 7 of 15 passing for 115 yards while the Huskies ran for 158 yards.

Bishop Guilfoyle at Somerset: Niemiec is the area’s leading rusher after ripping off 251 yards on 17 carries in last week’s 53-14 win at Cambria Heights. He’ll face a defense that gave up 289 yards on the ground in a 52-15 loss to Bishop McCort.

Niemiec also had four touchdowns for Somerset, which lost 50-29 to the Marauders a year ago.

Eugene Ehredt had 77 yards and 38 receiving yards in Bishop Guilfoyle’s loss last week.


Ligonier Valley at United: Ligonier Valley got off to a quick start, beating Purchase Line 47-0 a week ago, while United is looking to regroup after a 14-8 overtime loss to Laurel Valley.

Jackson Corcoran led the Mounties’ offense, carrying 14 times for 140 yards while Devon Cesaro’s 12 tackles helped shut out the Red Dragons.

United, which lost 41-23 to Ligonier Valley last year, got 125 rushing yards and a touchdown from Kody Oliver in its opener.

Laurel Valley at Penns Manor: Six days after getting his first career victory, coach Chuck Nanassy will go for No. 2.

The Rams, who beat United 14-8 in overtime on Saturday, will face a Penns Manor team that ran for nearly 400 yards in beating Northern Cambria 41-19 last week.

Laurel Valley, which beat Penns Manor 29-22 last year, was led by Chris Morrow in Week 1. The senior tailback had 135 yards on 20 carries.

Homer-Center at Northern Cambria: After giving up nearly 400 yards on the ground in last week’s 41-19 loss to Penns Manor, Northern Cambria gets a Homer-Center team that ran the ball 40 consecutive times last week in a 26-14 win over Saltsburg.

Jeremy Smith led the Wildcats with 139 yards and two touchdowns.

Northern Cambria, which lost 41-34 to Homer-Center a year ago, got 240 passing yards from quarterback Anthony Penksa in Week 1. The senior completed 10 of 17 passes and threw for a pair of touchdowns.


Berlin at Chestnut Ridge: A week after beating North Star on the road, the Mountaineers will face the team the Cougars beat in last year’s District 5 Class AA game.

The Lions, who lost 21-14 to Windber in Week 1, beat Berlin 28-0 last year. Jude Donatelli was Chestnut Ridge’s top offensive player against Windber, carrying 17 times for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Berlin got a strong performance from Ian Sayler on both sides of the ball in last week’s 27-14 win in Boswell. The junior ran for 147 yards and a touchdown while recording an area-best 16 tackles.

The Tribune-Democrat
425 Locust St
PO Box 340
Johnstown, PA


Polished offense: Explosive Eagles running single-wing to perfection

By Brian Eller

BERRYVILLE -- Ninety-one points. Through two games.

Clarke County's offense is firing on all cylinders so far this season, thanks in large part to the Eagles' recent devotion to the single-wing formation. It's a scheme rapidly gaining popularity with offenses around the country, and at Clarke County, it's being mastered by the quarterback/running back tandem of Zach and Sam Shiley.

"Our offense is really strong, and we've got a lot of big boys up front," quarterback Zach Shiley said. "If they can open up the holes it shouldn't matter what back gets the ball and we can get there quick enough and hopefully make a few guys miss and score a lot of points."

The idea of a single-wing formation has been around for several decades, originated by the legendary Glenn "Pop" Warner. It was a precursor to the modern "spread" offense used today, and gives the quarterback the option of either passing the ball, taking off on a run, or pitching it to the tailback.

For the Eagles, the idea developed last season. After Zach Shiley went down with a broken right fibula during the season, Sam Shiley, the team's starting running back, assumed the role of his brother. But there was reason for concern. Sam Shiley had never thrown a pass in a varsity game, and the nerves that come along with any high school quarterback were magnified for the first-time hurler.

"[I was nervous], definitely," Sam Shiley said. "I had never played quarterback before in my entire life, so to go in there and be thrown into a varsity game, I had never thrown a pass before, it was just awesome to get a win."

Despite the injury to Zach Shiley and the new role for his brother, the Eagles finished 2008 with a 9-3 record, falling to eventual state champion Gretna in the state playoffs. Sam Shiley finished with 1,259 yards on the ground, scoring 17 touchdowns and even leading the team with six interceptions.

This season, however, both Shileys are back at their natural positions, and the results have been nothing short of impressive through the first two games. For coach Chris Parker, he knows what advantages running the single-wing formation brings to the Shileys, but is quick to point out that they cannot do it alone.

"They're good athletes, and this type of offense is tailor-made for them," Parker said. "But to run it you need everybody on the offense clicking, and I think our guys have bought in to the scheme we're running. They had a big taste of it last year, but now this year with the package we have it's a little more cohesive, and guys sort of take to it."

Zach Shiley said despite his injury last year, he's not weary of reinjuring himself on the field during his senior campaign. After practice on Wednesday, Zach Shiley did admit he "tweaked" his right ankle during practice, but said the injury was not serious, and he plans to "go as hard as I can and not think about it."

Now that he's back to his normal position, Sam Shiley said looking back on his time at quarterback gave him the chance to improve his abilities as a tailback, whether running the ball or, at times, throwing.

"The quarterback vision definitely helps when you're running the ball," Sam Shiley said. "And in the single-wing the running back sometimes throws the ball, so definitely."

But while the Shiley brothers and the Clarke County offense has been lighting up the scoreboard this season, the Eagles' defense has been equally impressive, allowing just seven points all year. For Parker, it's that balance of a tough defense, combined with the explosiveness of his offense led by the Shileys, that gives him hope his team can go far this fall.

"Defense has done a heck of a job," Parker said. "I think they had 46 or so total yards of offense last game, so I'm pretty happy about that. ... We have a long way to go, but the guys have been very responsive to coaching, and have worked hard, not only now but in the offseason. Good things are happening."

The Northern Virginia Daily
152 N. Holliday St.
Strasburg, Va. 22657


Auburn's Single-Wing Scratching the Surface


AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn ran at least a dozen snaps out of the Wildcat with decent success last Saturday, but the Tigers think they can get more out of the single-wing formation.

Kodi Burns, the triggerman in the formation, ran the ball eight times for 23 yards and a touchdown. He also handed off to running back Onterio McCalebb on sweeps for a few big gains to the outside.

“I definitely think it has a lot more potential to be better than it was,” Burns said. “Because if you notice, the guys who were tackling either Onterio or me were in the secondary. I guess it’s a pretty good sign we can get on those guys. We just have to be able to make them miss and go all the way. With the Wildcat, I think we’re just scratching the surface.”

Auburn didn’t show off one facet of the formation. Burns, a quarterback who now plays receiver, remains a threat to throw the ball if the opportunity presents itself, adding another dimension.

“Of course he gives us a lot of flexibility, a lot of versatility,” offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn said. “He can do a lot of things.”

17 W. 12th St.
Columbus. GA 31901


S-V-W-W hosts Vienna-Goreville

By Pete Spitler, The Southern
Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:56 PM CDT

The Brock and Rock Connection will look to keep rolling along tonight at 7 p.m., as Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn tries to open the season 3-0 for the first time since 2004.

But standing in the way of that are Mike Rude and the visiting Vienna-Goreville Eagles, who are coming off a 45-0 loss to Fairfield and are slugging their way through the toughest stretch of their season.

"You've got coach Rude and the single-wing back in the conference," said S-V-W-W coach John Shadowens. "It's hard to prepare for because you can't recreate it.

"We've got all the respect in the world for Vienna-Goreville."

The Red Devils' powerful offense will be a concern for the Eagles. Fullback Tyler Rock and running back Brock Wheatley are just two weapons for S-V-W-W. Quarterback Kendall Gibson, tight end T.J. Eubanks and wide receiver Dane Eubanks could all make life difficult for Vienna-Goreville.

Wheatley ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns last week in a 33-6 win over Hamilton County. Rock added 61 yards and two scores on the ground and also hauled in a 43-yard pass from Gibson to put S-V-W-W in front 14-0 in the first quarter against the Foxes.

"We've got weapons galore," Shadowens said. "We've got weapons on the perimeter and we're probably pretty difficult to defend. I wouldn't want to defend us."

But Vienna-Goreville is going to have to and will look to Colten Krelo, Dylan Kramp and Dillon Hall as some of the athletes who could make it happen.

"We need to make some people drive the length of the field and we need an excellent start (today)," Rude said. "(S-V-W-W) has had two very tough games to start their season. I'm hoping they look ahead to Fairfield and forget about us for a little while."

Shadowens insisted his team isn't looking past the Eagles prior to the Black Diamond Conference showdown with the Mules in Week 4.

"They're definitely not looking past Vienna," Shadowens said. "The season is very, very young and we haven't done anything yet."

Defensively, Rude is hoping for a better showing against the Red Devils. Vienna-Goreville matches up better physically with S-V-W-W than Fairfield.

"We just got whipped physically," Rude said of the contest against the Mules. "They did to us whatever they wanted to do to us. I thought it was a combination of my poor coaching and the fact that we played an upper-echelon team."

The Southern Illinoisan
710 North Illinois Ave.
P.O. Box 2108
Carbondale, IL 62902


Direct Snap - Fake FG - Hitch Pass

Edwardsville has outscored opposition by score of 102-6

Unbeatens will battle at East
Edwardsville has outscored opposition by score of 102-6

After slowing down Mount Vernon and Farmington (Mo.) in their first two games, the Belleville East Lancers now will try to set up a road block for Rodney Coe and the Edwardsville Tigers.

Both teams are 2-0 and will meet in a 7 p.m. Southwestern Conference showdown today at Belleville East.

The 6-foot-4, 242-pound Coe is considered one of the top junior recruits in the state and is being recruited by numerous schools in the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences.

Edwardsville's top four rushers are all averaging more than 15 yards per carry, with the bruising Coe (257 yards, five TDs) leading the way.

"You've got to get him stopped before he gets going," Belleville East coach Tim Funk said. "He reminds me of Brandon Jacobs of the Giants that played at Southern Illinois.

"In terms of his size, his speed and ability to run, he's the full deal. He's huge."

Coe is a major component of second-year Edwardsville coach Mark Bliss' vexing single-wing offense.

"He's one of those kids that comes along every once in a while," Bliss said. "I've had a lot of Division I kids in my career and he references them favorably.

"He's just got that unique quality about him; he's very competitive and he's a big kid with good speed."

Edwardsville running backs Max Andresen (172 yards, five TDs) and Eric Vinyard (160 yards, one TD) also have enjoyed early success.

The Lancers also like to grind it out on the ground.

Flashy running backs Darnell Stevenson (five touchdowns), and Kevin Gettis (four) have combined for nine of East's 10 touchdowns.

Stevenson has 126 yards on only 12 carries (10.5-yard average), while Gettis is averaging 9.1 yards with 109 yards on 12 carries. Former Althoff standout Keith Chism has 77 yards on eight carries.

"We're a lot further along than we were last year going into Week 3, but we've got to keep getting better," Funk said.

East is fourth in the News-Democrat Large-School rankings and 10th in the Class 8A state poll, while Edwardsville is fifth in the local poll.

"We really don't look at the polls," Funk said. "That's unimportant to us. My biggest concern is that as a team, we get better every week. At this point in the season it's a big game."

Edwardsville warmed up for its Southwestern Conference opener by pummeling overmatched Roosevelt from St. Louis (56-6) and (Chicago) Corliss (46-0).

The Tigers' offense features direct snaps to running backs at times, along with a lot of motion.

"Execution is always the key with any offense," Bliss said. "It's got some complexity to it and deception, but once they understand it and execute it, it's fun to watch."

Running the Tigers' offense is quarterback Chase Westra (5-of-12 passing for 100 yards and two TDs). The Lancers haven't thrown a lot, but Cory Schaab (8-of-14, 96 yards) has been efficient.

Edwardsville has a stiff defense led by linebacker Bryan Reller (6-3, 190) and bookend defensive tackles Brandon Bradford (5-11, 306) and Vincent Valentine (6-4, 300), a sophomore.

Funk said Wisconsin recruit and defensive line standout Warren Herring may see more time at tight end this week, while defensive back Ryan Herring may play some running back.

Belleville News-Democrat
120 South Illinois
PO Box 427
Belleville, IL 62220


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Celebration in Ontonagon

Glads come from behind to beat Baraga, start year 2-0

By Michael H. Babcock - DMG Sports Writer

ONTONAGON - The village of Ontonagon was ready to celebrate Friday night and the Ontonagon football team gave it a good reason to do so, completing a come-from-behind victory over the Baraga Vikings, 22-14.

Ontonagon started the game with a good run, but a couple mistakes put the ball in Baraga's hands and the one-two punch of Shane Maki and Kelly Shanahan made them pay.

Maki ran for 23 yards and then Shanahan ran for 19 to complete a three-play, 44-yard scoring drive that gave Baraga a quick 8-0 lead to start the game.

Neither team was able to find the end zone before the end of the half. However, Ontonagon coach Dave Linczeski and his team used the rest of the half to find an opportunity.

"At the end of the first half we thought they were a little bit gassed," Linczeski said. "We thought our guys had a little bit left and at halftime there were some things we could do to move the ball.

"We saw that we could run the weak side a little bit, and that was the main thing, the guys came in and pointed that out, they had a lot of influence in the play-calling in the second half."

It worked for the Gladiators, as they had 10 runs for 10 yards or more in the second half, including T.J. Huotari's 15-yard touchdown less than six minutes in.

Baraga countered as Shanahan found the end zone again, capitalizing with a 3-yard run after going for more than 30 on the previous play.

"We were moving the ball really well and the run was working, but it was turnovers that got us," Baraga coach Doug Hodges said.

In the fourth quarter the Vikings had a fumble, interception and a botched punt that all ended up hurting them.

A bad punt snap led to Ontonagon tying the game at 8:46 when Schmaus evaded pressure and lobbed the ball to a wide-open Cameron Menigoz. The Glads were unable to complete the point after and it was a 14-all game.

Things went from bad to worse for Baraga as both Maki and Shanahan battled through injuries, with Maki eventually being taken off on a stretcher with 6:57 remaining in the game.

Shortly after Huotari added his second touchdown of the game, Schmaus converted the 2-point attempt and Ontonagon was up 22-14.

"Turnovers killed us," said Hodges, still looking for his first win with the Purple and Gold. "We get a good drive going, get inside the 30 and fumble the ball.

"We didn't take them lightly, but we shot ourselves in the foot."

Hodges said the team will need to work on their intensity for next week's game against Bessemer.

"We were flat, we need to find a way to get intense and play some hard football, our boys haven't figured that out yet," Hodges said.

Hodges also complimented the Gladiators offense.

"The single wing is a quick-hit offense and they definitely have the speed in the backfield and we were expecting them to do it, but we just missed the tackles."

For Linczeski and the Gladiators, the win was more than just another game.

"It was a real boost for the community," Linczeski said. "They are really hurting from the rough times at the paper mill (Smurfit-Stone, which announced another shutdown this week). This gives the local fans something to be happy about."

Linczeski credited the crowd for helping his team stay energized, especially in the second half when the team scored all 22 of its points.

"I think our guys just realized they had it in them," he said. "They realized they could get the job done once we scored right away and from there on, the boys thought they had a chance."

Ontonagon will travel to L'Anse next weekend, while Baraga is at Bessemer.
The Daily Mining Gazette
P.O. Box 368
Houghton, MI 49931

New version of Wildcat offense branches out of its ground-heavy roots as NFL season opens

by M.A. Mehta /The Star-Ledger
Thursday September 10, 2009, 8:40 AM

Cam Cameron was convinced he had stepped back in time this summer.

Nine-year-old kids were mimicking football's past under the South Florida sun, running a variation of the old single-wing with a new twist to a formation with plenty of aliases.

"The Wildcat is real," said the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator. "Everybody's doing it. And we've all done it in the backyard. The key is being able to execute."

A year after the Miami Dolphins jolted the NFL with their Wildcat offense, teams are preparing for the newest wrinkle destined to wake up defensive coordinators in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.

Wildcat 2.0 will branch out of its ground-heavy roots with athletic, mobile quarterbacks -- rather than running backs like Miami's Ronnie Brown -- taking direct snaps to present a viable run-pass option.

While exotic pressure packages served as Wildcat's kryptonite last season, a legitimate passing threat like the Eagles' Michael Vick or Dolphins' second-round draft pick Pat White will temper a defense's desire to blitz to prevent getting beat through the air.

The Jets plan to use former college quarterback Brad Smith more and the Titans hope to exploit Vince Young's versatility in the evolution of this increasingly popular scheme.

"It's another opportunity for us to present pressure on the defense," said Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who lined up at flanker in preseason Wildcat looks with Vick taking the snap in shotgun formation. "I may line up at receiver, tight end, running back. You never know."

That element of surprise is what makes McNabb certain that "a lot of good things could happen" by employing the newest dimension to this scheme.

Last season, 20 of the league's 32 teams ran at least one play out of the Wildcat formation, according to STATS. Of the Dolphins' league-high 90 Wildcat plays, Brown attempted just three passes.

The new twist virtually eliminates that predictability.

"You have to spend a considerable amount of time in the offseason knowing how to defend the Wildcat," Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. "For their punch, what's your counterpunch?"


The common thread in a league anchored by freakishly large men with blinding speed and strength is simple.


Whether teams routinely empty their Wildcat packages or use them sparingly, the mere threat will likely give defensive coordinators weekly migraines.

Concrete plans to deal with the Wildcat are now part of defensive playbooks across the league. Even the Giants coincidentally devoted practice time to the trendy offense the morning after the Eagles signed Vick last month.

"It gives defenses something to focus on," Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. "It's eight plays less that they get to work on your top run or your top pass (plays). If you don't work on (the Wildcat), there's a good chance you'll get embarrassed."

On the flip side, Cameron likes the Wildcat, but devotes minimal practice time to it, subscribing to the notion that "if they can't do it right away, it's not something we want to spend a lot of time on."

"We don't have time to go through all the potential defenses," Cameron said. "If they can do it right the first or second time in practice, we'll put it in, because it's natural to them. But we're not teaching them how to do it."

Although Giants secondary and safeties coach David Merritt likened it to preparing for an option college quarterback, the versatility of players like Vick, Smith, Young -- or even the University of Florida's Tim Tebow next year -- makes defending the next generation of the Wildcat an arduous task.

"It's a little bit of defending the unknown," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, the first victim of the Dolphins' surprise attack last season. "Defenses are going to have to work against it and have some plan for how to deal with it. But there are so many different versions of how to run it."

Several coaches believe a Cover 2 defense with athletic inside linebackers adept at stopping the run and pass is the best way to slow down the Wildcat phenomenon. In a standard Cover 2 shell, two safeties split the deep part of the field in half (beyond 15 yards from the line of scrimmage).

The Cover 2 scheme could also call for a spy on the Wildcat quarterback, the same strategy employed on many mobile quarterbacks in conventional offensive sets. In theory, if the defensive backs don't get lured into run action, the Cover 2 should successfully combat the Wildcat.

Since most passes out of the alignment are roll-out plays to the signal-caller's throwing side, the biggest hole in the Cover 2 -- the deep middle of the field -- wouldn't be as much of a concern. Wildcat quarterbacks would have to make a high-risk pass across their bodies to a potentially open spot.

"Like all other offenses, eventually the defense is going to come up with a scheme," Merritt said. "There's a scheme that's going to eventually stop that offense and hopefully move it out of the league."


The shelf life for NFL's latest phenomenon is unknown.

Although players and coaches agree the Wildcat isn't going to vanish this season, its long-term viability remains in doubt.

The Dolphins' scheme, which ignited a slumping offense by averaging seven yards per play during an initial seven-game stretch, wasn't nearly as effective during the last quarter of the season.

After Miami amassed 119 yards and four touchdowns on six Wildcat plays in its Week 3 debut against the Patriots, it managed just 25 yards on eight plays in a 20-point loss in the Week 12 rematch (The Jets were marginally effective when Smith ran the formation last season as well.).

Expect more defensive adjustments this season despite the new dimension.

"It certainly was an innovative move," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said of adding running quarterbacks into the Wildcat mix. "People are now seeing the various different styles of athletes that are lining up at that position and (causing) you problems defensively. We'll see how that goes. You'll have to wait to see how the season goes before you find out if anybody really has an answer."

The Wildcat itself -- as much as adjusted defensive gameplans -- might determine the scheme's lifespan in the NFL.

McNabb, who was shuffled in and out of the Eagles third preseason game to make way for Vick, hinted that disrupting the rhythm of a team's conventional offense could be one potential downside to the newest wrinkle.

"Before you can come up with gimmicks or come up with something else," McNabb said, "you've got to get your base offense going."

But the temptation to use Vick, the poster boy for the upgraded version of the Wildcat, may be too powerful to ignore.

"The sky's the limit," Vick said. "I was thinking about so many different things that we can do. It's almost scary."

Staff writer Jenny Vrentas contributed to this story.

Panthers prepare for Salem

Published: Thursday, September 10, 2009 6:09 AM

YELLVILLE — There are several things Yellville-Summit football coach Calvin Mallett says his team’s going to have to do better against Salem this Friday then they did against Berryville last Friday.

“We were so awful on offense that I’m not even worried about working on Salem,” Mallett said. “We’re going to have to take care of our own stuff.”

Although the Panthers beat the Bobcats 32-14, Mallett feels his team should be doing better on offense.

“I thought we were an option team, but we couldn’t get it going against Berryville,” the coach said. “We have got to try and get the option going before Friday night.”

Mallett was pleased that quarterback Timothy Hoyt came up with 200 yards of passing opposite Berryville.

“I like to throw 200 yards a night, but I don’t want to have to do it out of necessity, because we can’t get our running game going,” Mallett said.

The coach has already had a look at Salem, when the team attended a four-team scrimmage at Panther Field two weeks ago.

“They run that Single Wing formation, and it’s very hard to read, Mallett said. “If you don’t read it right you can run into three linemen. That’s a lot of the reason we didn’t play well with them in that jamboree.”

Mallett said in preperation for the game with the Yellow Jackets he will be upping the amount of time his team spends running each day.

“Last Friday, our defense played well at times, but they got tired,” the coach said. “We doubled-up on the conditioning. We’re not just running them in the morning anymore, but also the afternoon. That ought to get them ready.”

Mallett is optimistic that the Panthers will be able to move their season to 2-0 after Friday night.

“We’ve just got to play our game,” he said. “If we do that, we’ll be just fine.”

Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. at Yellville-Summit as the Panthers host Salem.

Harrison Daily Times
PO Box 40
Harrison, AR


Snapping to nonquarterback gains yardage and converts

SEC runs wild with 'wildcat' play

MEMPHIS — Every Alabama football coach since the legendary Bear Bryant has created his own "first."

Ray Perkins was the first 'Bama coach to tear down Bryant's coaching tower. Bill Curry was the first to have a brick thrown through his office window.

Gene Stallings was the first (and only) 'Bama coach to win a national title since Bryant. Mike DuBose was the first to admit to an improper relationship with his secretary.

Dennis Francione was the first to leave on his own for a new job (Texas A&M) after two winning seasons. Mike Price was the first to be fired before even coaching his first game. Mike Shula was the first to lose to in-state rival Auburn four straight years.

Current Alabama coach Nick Saban created his own first in last weekend's season-opening 34-24 victory over Virginia Tech. By having tailback Mark Ingram take the Tide's first snap for a 3-yard gain from the shotgun formation, it appeared to be the first time in modern Alabama football history that a Tide quarterback didn't take the game's opening snap.

The Tide ran the play often, usually with Ingram on straight-ahead runs but once on an end-around to receiver Julio Jones. Alabama didn't break any big plays, but the fact Alabama has now added the package, known as the "Wildhog" when Arkansas and Houston Nutt's staff introduced it to the SEC in 2006, is concrete evidence the formation isn't just a fly-by-night gimmick.

"We've learned the last few years playing Arkansas and Ole Miss the problems it presents," said Saban, who probably needs a snappy nickname for the formation like "High Tide." "We always have to work hard to prepare to defend it, so we thought it would be a good thing (to add). I don't think we were prepared last year to use it, but we spent some time investigating it in the offseason so we could implement it with the least amount of adjustments."

More and more SEC coaches have added the direct snap to a nonquarterback, basically an updated version of the old single wing, because of the addition of motioning a man toward the back taking the snap. Ole Miss employs running back/receiver Dexter McCluster as its "Wild Rebel" engineer. South Carolina would like to use defensive back Stephon Gilmore, but hasn't done so. Tennessee used receiver Gerald Jones last year as the formation's triggerman, as did Florida with Percy Harvin.

"It's like any other offensive new trend," said South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, whose defense gave up a SEC record-tying 321 yards to Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, who was often the Hogs' QB in the Wildhog formation in 2006-07. "If it's working and the other team can't stop it, you keep using it. Obviously, there's a good defense for everything. We all just keep figuring out new things to get the right play called."

Even now as the formation begins its fourth year in the SEC, why does it still work most of the time?

First, it stretches a defense.

"It gives you the wide play, combined with the inside play, and combining that makes it dangerous," LSU coach Les Miles said.

Added Spurrier, "And the misdirection (with the back in motion for a handoff or fake handoff) makes it more difficult."

Secondly, it's basic math.

"It gives you an extra running back, so it's 10-on-11 against the defense, rather than just having nine-on-11 with a quarterback who just hands the ball off," Florida coach Urban Meyer said.

But for the offense to truly be effective, to keep defenses from crowding the line and blitzing, it's a huge bonus for whoever is taking the direct snap to be an adequate passer.

There hasn't been anyone who has run the offense as well as McFadden operated it his last two years at Arkansas, when he completed 13-of-20 passes for 192 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception.

"You try to add a few wrinkles here and there to keep people off balance," said Nutt, who likens the formation to a pitcher having a knuckleball in his repertoire. "But what truly makes it a triple threat is to have someone who can run it, hand it and throw it. That offense took off (at Arkansas), because Darren could throw so well."

McCluster, who at 5-8 is 6 inches shorter than McFadden, was 0-of-5 passing last year with two interceptions. But he has been working on his throwing because he knows it's getting tougher to break big plays when defenses aim solely at stopping his running.

"Defenses are starting to catch on to it (the Wild Rebel), because a lot of teams are running it," said McCluster, who ran for 50 yards on nine carries in Sunday's 45-14 season-opening win over Memphis. "But if you have the right people executing, with everybody getting a hat on their man (making blocks), one crease can make the difference."

Saturday's Games

Troy at Florida, 11 a.m. CDT; WLMT (30)

UCLA at Tennessee, 3 p.m. CDT; ESPN

Florida International at Alabama, 6 p.m.

Mississippi State at Auburn, 6 p.m.; FSTN

South Carolina at Georgia, 6 p.m. CDT; ESPN2

Vanderbilt at LSU, 6 p.m.; ESPNU

Knoxville News Sentinel


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Raider football: NHS needs to up the intensity for home opener

By: Jeff Wald, Sports Editor

Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 10:31 pm

NORTHFIELD — After a disappointing start to the football season on Friday in Mankato, Raider head coach Bubba Sullivan has one goal for his team this week: Play with emotion, and do it for four quarters.

The Raiders got off to a great start Friday against the Scarlets, scoring the first 17 points. Mankato West scored before the end of the first half, and it completely deflated the Raiders the rest of the night.

“On film, it wasn’t as bad as we thought it was,” Sullivan said of the 35-17 loss to open the season. “It’s just intensity. We didn’t play Northfield football. We need guys to step up and play with more emotion. We need some on-field leaders.”

Northfield returns to Memorial Field Friday night to host Shakopee in its Missota Conference opener. The Sabers are coming off a 28-21 win over St. Paul Central in their opener. Last year, the Raiders had a 28-14 lead in the second half before having to hang on to a 28-20 win.

This year, Shakopee is a bigger and better team — one that should give the Raiders a great test in their first home game.

Sullivan said the team’s offensive and defensive lines are “huge.” They have two defensive tackles between 270 and 290 pounds. They also feature an offensive line with three players over 250 pounds.

The Sabers run an old-fashioned single wing offense where any one of three players can take the snap and run with it or pass. Quarterback Scott Hauer passed for 76 yards and two scores last Friday, and running back Jake Weber went for 53 yards and a touchdown. Dylan Ulferts is also the team’s top receiver.

The Raiders are healthy heading into Friday’s home opener, so getting a win is a matter of playing at a higher level.

“I felt coming in this was their year to contend in the conference,” Sullivan said of Shakopee. “We’re going to fix the things that need fixing and we need to play tough, emotional football.”

Coach Sullivan’s keys to the game

1. Play Four Quarters: We didn’t do that last week and we saw what happened. We need to play a full game.

2. Play with Emotion: We need to get back to playing Northfield football. Play with higher intensity and emotion.

3. Line of Scrimmage: We can’t let them steamroll us off the ball. We need to win the battle at the line of scrimmage.

Northfield News
115 West 5th Street
Northfield, MN 55057


South vows to beat trap

By Jake Miller
The Dispatch

Published: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 11:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 11:34 p.m.

In the second half of South Davidson’s game against Central Davidson last Friday, the Wildcats were unable to stop the complex Spartan set of counters, traps and misdirection plays. What does South Davidson have to deal with this Friday?

Counters, traps and misdirection plays.

South (1-2) travels to Kernersville to take on Bishop McGuiness (2-0), a private school that plays among 1-A public schools in the Northwest Conference. The Villains don’t play the Wing-T that Central plays, but instead run a single-wing formation that still employs many of the same aspects.

“The second half last week, (Central) came out and ran those traps really well,” South coach Mike Crowell said. “We’ll need to stop those better this week. ... It’s a little different set, like a hybrid single-wing or Notre Dame box, with usually two or three fake handoffs on every play.”

A cursory look at Bishop McGuiness’ results in 2009 shows that they ought to be taken seriously. The Villains opened with a 41-0 rout of Highland Tech, a magnet school in Gastonia, and after a bye week, followed with a 42-0 waxing of Union Academy in Monroe.

“They score a lot of points,” Crowell said. “It’ll test our defense.”

The Wildcats will make a few changes on offense heading into the contest. Quarterback Josh McClure will see time at wingback and wide receiver, where his speed and athleticism will be better utilized.

“He’s our best deep threat, he’s got great hands,” Crowell said. “We need to use that speed, and he’ll be a positive with his ability in one-on-ones.”

Zac Strother will take the snaps when McClure is sent out wide.

Crowell said the defense has been more focused this week, having a whole week to prepare this time around. South had one less day to prepare against Central after playing West Davidson the previous Monday. Moreover, Crowell feels blessed to have a healthier roster.

“We just want one more win before our conference season starts up,” Crowell said.

East Davidson at Southwestern Randolph

Bryan Lingerfelt said he expects a physical opponent this Friday, but if there’s anything his East Davidson teams have been, it’s physical.

The Eagles (1-2) travel to Southwestern Randolph (2-1) to take on a Cougar team coming off an exciting win at North Moore last Friday. East Davidson is looking to avenge last season’s 13-6 overtime loss.

Southwestern Randolph is led by quarterback Butch Dunn, who threw for 178 yards and ran for 61 while adding touchdowns through the air and on the ground against North Moore.

“They’re good up front on offense and defense,” Lingerfelt said. “Their quarterback is really good, good running back, pretty good receivers.”

Southwestern Randolph plays in the Mid-Piedmont 3A and is only two seasons removed from a 31-game losing streak. But the 2008 edition was 4-7, and the 2009 team is already halfway to that win total.

East will turn to Dylan Gallimore and Malcolm Wimmer, its horses in the running game, as well as defensive back Dustin Sipes and lineman Nick Gibson, who Lingerfelt said has been “very consistent” in practice lately.

As for putting last week’s 35-3 defeat at the hands of North Davidson behind them, Lingerfelt is a little philosophical.

“I told the guys, ‘Ain’t never as bad as it seems. Ain’t never as good as it seems. The reality is somewhere in the middle,’ ” Lingerfelt said. “North is a really good football team, and it showed us what we need to work on. ... Losing to a team like North Davidson exposed our weaknesses.”

As for a game plan, East will stick to its bread and butter: running the football and keeping the other team’s offense off the field.

“We have to out-execute them,” Lingerfelt said. “We can’t make mistakes.”

The Dispatch
P.O. Box 908
Lexington, N.C. 27293



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mississippi State wins Mullen's coaching debut

The Natchez Democrat

STARKVILLE (AP) — Turns out Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was right.

Mullen predicted little-used quarterback Chris Relf would have a significant impact on Mississippi State’s offense and, boy, did he ever. Relf passed for three touchdowns and ran for another, leading the Bulldogs to their most points since 2002 with a 45-7 win over Jackson State on Saturday in Mullen’s first game.

He wasn’t ready to turn the offense completely over to Relf, though, with a road trip to Auburn next week.

‘‘I still see us as somewhat of a two-quarterback system, especially going on the road,’’ the first-year coach said. ‘‘We don’t want to put all that on one guy’s shoulders. We’ll let them both shoulder the load and between the two of them I think they can handle it.’’

Tyson Lee earned the start, but Relf ended up taking most of the snaps and scoring most of the points. He found Chad Bumphis on catch-and-run scores twice and made a nice touch pass to Marcus Green on a 19-yard score.

He completed 7-of-10 passes for 75 yards and rushed for 82 yards while holding down the Tim Tebow role in the former Florida offensive coordinator’s spread offense.

Lee was 8 of 13 for 82 yards and could have played more in the second half, but coaches decided to rest him with shoulder spasms.

Asked what grade he would give himself after the game, Relf said: ‘‘I’d give myself a 98.’’

Athletic director Greg Byrne hired Mullen to fill the seats with his offense and wasn’t disappointed in the 37-year-old’s debut. The third-largest crowd in school history (52,232) watched the Bulldogs score more points than they have since a 51-13 win over Jacksonville State on Sept. 4, 2002.

Mullen even opened with a little razzle-dazzle on an end-around pass by Bumphis that fell incomplete. The point got across, though.

‘‘I wanted our team knowing that we’re always going to be attacking and the first play of the game showed them that,’’ Mullen said.

It wasn’t exactly pretty, though, after the teams were deflated a bit with a half-hour lightning delay at the start.

The Bulldogs had 12 penalties for 101 yards, including one that scuttled a touchdown, and Christian Ducre fumbled twice and Sean Brauchle missed two short field goals.

And Mississippi State put up few dominant drives with 24 of their points coming after Tigers’ turnovers.

Jackson State rarely left its side of the field and Mississippi State allowed just 194 yards and nine first downs, forced five turnovers and harassed former teammate Tray Rutland all game. The senior, who transferred after his redshirt freshman season, completed 8-of-19 passes for 132 yards with two interceptions. The majority of his team’s offense came on two deep passes totaling 81 yards and its single scoring drive.

Terrence Davis scored Jackson State’s only points on a 16-yard run against Mississippi State’s second-team defense early in the fourth quarter.

‘‘The stuff they were throwing at us, we were prepared,’’ middle linebacker Jamar Chaney said. ‘‘We knew what was coming.’’

Bumphis opened scoring with a 15-yard catch-and-run touchdown from Relf following Jackson State punter Brad Bennett’s fumbled snap. Then Relf scored from 5 yards out with 48 seconds left in the first half to go up 14-0.

Charles Mitchell set up Robert Elliott’s 7-yard scoring run early in the third with an interception, then helped the Bulldogs to a 28-0 lead when he caused a fumble that was converted three plays later on Relf’s 19-yard pass to Green.

Relf also hit Bumphis on a 7-yard score late in the third quarter. Corey Broomfield locked it up with a 43-yard interception return.

Jackson State coach Rick Comegy had hoped the first game between teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the Southeastern Conference would be a showcase for his Football Championship Subdivision team. But the game gave his team the kind of challenge he was looking for before returning to FCS competition the rest of the season.

‘‘We just keep pushing now and move on down the road,’’ Comegy said

Natchez Democrat
503 N. Canal Street
Natchez, Mississippi


Gaylord 1-1 at Petoskey 2-0

By Jeremy Speer • Sports Editor

RADIO: 101. 5 FM (live)

LAST WEEK: Cheboygan 32, Gaylord 22; Petoskey 24, Ogemaw Heights 15

LAST YEAR: Petoskey 55, Gaylord 35

SERIES: Petoskey leads 32-21-1

OUTLOOK: Gaylord made some strides Friday against Cheboygan, but it still wasn’t enough to provide a win. It will be a challenge this week too, as they have to visit the Big North Conference favorite.


In the words of Petoskey News-Review sports editor Andy Sneddon: “Petoskey returns seven starters on offense and six on defense. This is by far the best Petoskey team I’ve seen since covering them for eight years.”

The Northmen, however, have battled early injury problems. Returning quarterback Hunter Keiswetter will miss his third-straight game, as Mike Pattullo will again relieve. Also, top running back James Proctor sat out the Ogemaw Heights game with an injury, and Kelsey Heinrich filled in nicely. Back and rolling is running back Mike Suter, who leads the team with 165 yards rushing. The top players for the Northmen on defense are ends Vince DeAgostino and Nick Moore and middle linebacker Hayden Swenor.


The Single Wing moved the football last week, as evidenced by running touchdowns by Joey Zaborowski, Kelton Hervela and Geoff Roney and a nice throw from Jake Cuca to Trent Donker. Four turnovers, however, were the ultimate culprits in the loss. Gaylord cannot throw three interceptions with this offense. Defensively, Cuca had a nice game against the Chiefs, as he picked off a pair of passes.


These teams are very similar in their offensive philosophy — Petoskey runs the double wing and Gaylord uses the single wing. The Northmen, however, are the team with the momentum.


Gaylord Herald Times · 2058 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord, MI 49735


Wildcat offense here to stay for Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Call it the “Wild Tide” or the “Wild Elephant.”

Nick Saban doesn’t care what Alabama’s rendition of the Wildcat offense is called.

It is clear, however, that isn’t going anywhere.

Two days after making its unexpected and not overly successful debut in a 34-24 win over Virginia Tech, the Alabama football coach fielded several questions dealing with the latest offensive trend to strike the college football world.

Revealing the different names used within the program was not part on his agenda, however.

“We call it the Wildcat,” Saban said. “Wildcat is categorized as somebody that’s not the quarterback who plays in the quarterback position. I’m not going to sit here and tell you what we call our plays and formation. That’s not for public knowledge. It doesn’t make a difference what you call it. You can call it Houston.”

Regardless of its name, the strategy was popularized at Arkansas in 2007 when current Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn was the Razorback offensive coordinator. Darren McFadden turned from running back to quarterback in the “Wild Hog” offense that led to confusion and breakdowns among opposing defenses.

The whole point of implementing the modern take on the single wing at Alabama, Saban said, was to create another gap for defenders to cover. It leant itself to Alabama’s game plan because the plays it uses didn’t stray far from those used in their more traditional pro-style offense. There is just a different player at quarterback.

In a typical man-to-man offense, nobody is assigned to cover the quarterback. Bringing a receiver in motion creates an option to hand off, or at the very least, freeze a few defenders anticipating one.

“Everybody is developing their ways to try and defend this, but I also think people are expanding what they do in this, more and more, that if you’re not defending the middle of the field properly, they are going to have some things they can do to take advantage of that,” Saban said. “Ole Miss has always been able to do that. They could do it at Arkansas.”

Although not used in Saturday’s win, the option to pass also exists. Mark Ingram, who took most of the snaps as the Wildcat quarterback, threw a few passes in high school though he never played quarterback.

“If I have to throw it,” Ingram said. “I will.”

Although practiced throughout August’s preseason practice, the decision was made to open the game in the formation was made two days before game day, Ingram said.

For the most part, the Wildcat wasn’t very effective against the Hokies. There were issues with low shotgun snaps, timing and blocking, but it added an extra dimension to the offense that time spent by opposing defenses preparing for it.

Tide linebacker Cory Reamer said he is in full favor of the offense pulling the trick out of the bag. With so many teams around the country adapting the principles of the Wildcat, it helps having an offense that can run those formations in practice.

Like all trends within the game, the Wildcat will eventually fade from playbooks.

“It’s probably one of those things defenses will catch up with,” Saban said.

That day has yet to arrive, and until it does, Alabama will continue to tinker with the Wildcat.

17 W. 12th St.
Columbus. GA 31901


Housy grid coach Bayer learned from the best

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Say this about Deron Bayer, head coach of the Housatonic Regional/Wamogo co-op football team: In his days as a player, he had the benefit of instruction from two of the best: Jude Kelley at East Catholic High School and Paul Pasqualoni at Western Connec
ticut State University in Danbury.

“I was blessed to play for those two men,’’ Bayer said, rightly, last week. Kelley now coaches the St. Paul/Goodwin Tech/Lewis Mills Tri-op team. Pasqualoni went from head coach at Western to assistant coach at Syracuse. When his boss, Dick MacPherson, became head coach of the New England Patriots in the NFL, Paul, a Cheshire native, took his place as head coach of the Orange. He served from 1991 to 2004, very successfully most of the time, and then went to the NFL. He is now defensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins.

When I caught up with Bayer by phone on Friday, he was about to board a bus with his team to travel to Great Barrington, Mass., for a scrimmage against Monument Mountain High School. But he had a few minutes to chat about this interesting and valuable high school co-op sports program, which he believes, as do I, is a very good thing all around.

“Well,’’ said the coach who grew up in Marlboro, “It allowed us to keep playing. We have seven or eight Wamogo kids on our team. They would have no chance to play high school football without the co-op system.’’ The whole squad membership totals about 35 players.

Housy-Wamogo gets a helping hand, cooperation, in other ways. Practice could be a major headache, but Housatonic teacher David Bayersdorfer takes responsibility for getting the Wamogo players to the practices in Falls Village. Bayersdorfer takes the school van and picks up the Wamogo guys at Goshen Center School each day, and transports them back when practice is over. Those rare times when Bayersdorfer is not available, Vinny Viscarelli does the job.

I could not make the scrimmage at Monument Mountain High Friday, but Bayer said, “On Sept. 26 we’ll be playing Wolcott Tech in your town (Torrington).’’ Uh-oh, can’t make that either; going out of town.

However, I have promised myself I’ll get to at least one Housy-Wam game – can’t wait to see the old single wing which Bayer uses again – and to games of all other area teams.

Bayer’s team was 5-6 last season and came very close to beating powerful North Branford. “They were 8-0 when we went down there and we took them to overtime,’’ said the coach.

While I couldn’t make Great Barrington Friday, I did get to Winsted in the late afternoon to watch Coach Scott Salius and his assistants putting the Gilbert/Northwestern team through offensive drills. Gilbert has a beautiful field, but the team uses a small half-field surrounded by woods near the school for practice. I watched a while, not inserting myself or disrupting the proceedings, and was impressed. I can’t wait for the season to begin. High school football is a terrific thing, which is why the co-op system is a terrific thing.

I owe a thank you to Peter Hoey, associate executive director of the CIAC in Cheshire, for sending me pages of detailed info on the coop system.

The Register Citizen
190 Water St.,
Torrington, CT 06790


Beardstown Tigers Win with the Wing

Cyclones fall short on the road to Beardstown

Eagle Correspondent

The West Prairie faithful noticed a great deal of improvement from their Week 1 contest with Illini West during their latest contest Sept. 4 on the road in Beardstown. Although the score was tight for most of the game, Beardstown held off the Cyclones and came away with a 34-26 win for their first of the season.

The West Prairie Cyclones didn’t go quietly, however, as they rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit before coming up short late in the fourth quarter.

“Our team is a tough team,” said West Prairie Cyclone head coach Brandon Mize. “We fought back and we had an opportunity to go into overtime.”

The Cyclones got off to a rough start as Beardstown’s Brady Spears returned the opening kickoff 83 yards for the first score of the game. He later scored on another return of 91 yards.

“This game… we just beat ourselves,” Mize said.

After a getting off to a slow start in the first quarter, the Cyclones rallied back and came into halftime with momentum following a late touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jansen Baker to tailback Colton Hester with just 47.8 seconds left in the half to make it 28-14.

“We gave them a couple of touchdowns,” said Mize. “But we battled back and really fed off that second quarter. We produced… we really did.”

Baker fared well through the air against the ferocious Tiger defense, as he has yet to throw an interception in 2009 heading into the third week of the season. Baker was 15 of 34 for 247 yards with three passing touchdowns, along with a rushing touchdown. His main target was Hester, who had 11 catches for 179 yards with three receiving touchdowns.

“He is a soldier,” Mize said of Baker. “He is a warrior; he fights through pain, through the adversity. At times we need him and he steps up to the challenge.”

Beardstown’s single wing offense persevered with good running by Weston Blake who carried the ball nine times for 115 yards. Along with Blake, quarterback Cole Carlock and running back Wes Carlock carried their team on the offensive end.

Defensively, it was a battle on both sides as each had a ‘bend don’t break attitude’. West Prairie linebacker Brittin Moore had 10 tackles, four of which were for a loss, as he tried to will his team to victory.

“Our defense really produced,” Mize said. “I think all of those guys except one plays both ways. They stepped it up and they fought. They won’t give up and that’s pretty much the definition of our team.”

The game came down to the fourth quarter with 2:18 left and Beardstown went for it on fourth down. West Prairie’s defense stepped up to the challenge and gave their offense a chance to tie the game. Baker produced both on the ground and through the air, leading his team from Beardstown’s 42-yard line to their 29.

Unfortunately for West Prairie, the Tigers made the stop on fourth and five by preventing a completed pass from reaching the first down marker.

“We just have to eliminate our mistakes,” said Mize. “If that wasn’t the case then we would be walking out of here with a win.”

West Prairie will line up again Sept. 11 at Baumann Field in Sciota for a 7 p.m. contest against Pittsfield-Griggsville-Perry.


Macomb Eagle

210 S. Randolph

Macomb, IL 61455



Monday, September 7, 2009

Northwest 42, Amelia 7

The Knights led 35-0 at halftime and never looked back, as senior Preston Brown was virtually unstoppable. The UC-recruit ran 13 times for 249 yards and had rushing touchdowns of 31, 41, 84 and 61 yards. He also hauled in a 15-yard touchdown catch.

Senior running back Ishmael Allen also got in on the act, contributing a 12-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Amelia's lone score came in the third quarter on a one-yard dive by junior quarterback Tanner Owens.

The Knights (2-0), which have outscored their opponents 105-28 this season, play at Little Miami Sept. 11. They will be the featured team in next week's Northwest Press.

Cincinnati Enquirer


Foundation Academy Roars

The Lions' attack produces two 100 yard plus backs.

Foundation Academy, Winter Garden, Fl, a single wing offensive team started the season with a 39-14 win against Master's Academy, Oviedo, FL.

Fullback, Kenny Strong ran for over 276 yards rushing, five touchdowns and passed for 45 yards. Their Tailback also ran over 100 yards on 11 carries.

The Single-Wing Sentinel congratulates the Lions on a great start to the 2009 season!

Coaching Staff:
Brad Lord Head Coach
Gary English Off Co-ord
Layne Dugger Asst. D Co-ord
Kyle Brown Def Co-ord
Jim Strong Asst. Coach
Brent Shiver Asst. Coach
Joe macrina Asst. Coach
Rob Flannery Asst. Coach


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wheaton (MD) vs Bethesda Chevy Chase

September 06, 2009

The Wheaton Knights win their season opener over Bethesda Chevy Chase 29-12. Joe Ortega, first year coach, attained his first varsity win as a Head Coach. Congratulations to Coach Ortega and his Knights on their great win!


Santa Fe High struggles in loss to Rio Grande

Geoff Grammer The New Mexican
9/5/2009 - 9/6/09

ALBUQUERQUE — The Santa Fe High Demons must have felt like Charles Dickens had a hand in writing the script for Saturday's 21-8 loss to Albuquerque Rio Grande at Milne Stadium.

On one hand, 14-year-old sophomore quarterback Jason Fitzpatrick showed glimpses of a bright future with a cannon of an arm and as much athleticism as anyone on the field.

But the ghosts of Demons football past also showed up, creating enough doubt in the minds of the young team to cause mental lapses and stall a pair of drives inside the 10-yard line without scoring.

As a result, the Demons' present state is one filled with the frustrating reality that rebuilding the program and overcoming two decades of futility will be a long process.

"The ghosts from the past creep into your mind," said Santa Fe High head coach Ray Holladay. "We've got 20 years of crap we're trying to fight through. ... They're always back there. You just got to learn to close the door on them."

Holladay set several goals for the team this season, including starting 2-1 (the Demons are now 0-2) and to make the state playoffs for the first time in 23 years.

After a 56-7 loss last week at Class AAAA powerhouse Aztec, Santa Fe High was still confident it could beat a Rio Grande team that lost 55-0 last week to Albuquerque La Cueva.

"We forgot about it," Fitzpatrick said of the Aztec loss. "We moved on. ... We thought we had a good game plan coming in here this week; it just didn't work out for us."

The frustration was evident early Saturday. Santa Fe High senior Isaac Fairchild returned the opening kickoff to the Rio Grande 38-yard line, setting up a drive to the Rio Grande 4 before turning the ball over on a failed fourth-down conversion.

"We score on that opening drive," Holladay said, "(and) I've got a feeling this is a different game."

But the Demons didn't and their offense sputtered for much of the first half, getting just two first downs — one rushing, and one on one of 16 Rio Grande penalties. A major cause of the anemic offense was five dropped passes in the half, giving Fitzpatrick a stat line of 3-for-11 for 6 yards and an interception to end the half.

"It does (get frustrating)," Fitzpatrick admitted, "but it's all reps. We have good receivers that always catch the ball. We just didn't have the confidence (we needed)."

The Demons defense was inconsistent against the misdirection running attack of Rio Grande's single-wing offense, allowing 257 rushing yards on 38 carries.

Ravens sophomore running back Dru Lundval rattled off 20 carries for 121 yards and a 2-yard touchdown run with 3 minutes, 40 seconds left in the second quarter for a 7-0 lead.

Rio Grande got the ball back and used a double-reverse flea flicker, setting up quarterback Mike Sanchez with a wide open Jaylen Spraggins on a 37-yard touchdown pass for 14-0 with 11 seconds left before halftime.

Santa Fe High took its opening drive of the third quarter inside the Rio Grande 10, thanks to a 53-yard strike from Fitzpatrick to wideout Jared Milliorn.

The drive could get no closer than the 6 before the Demons again turned the ball over on downs.

"We got down to the end zone, and we just couldn't execute when we got there," Fitzpatrick said.

Rio Grande's Xavier Aragon punched in an 8-yard touchdown with :55 left in the game to make it 21-0 before Santa Fe High finally capitalized on a trip inside the red zone.

Fitzpatrick led a six-play drive, hitting Milliorn for a 7-yard touchdown strike with nine seconds remaining.

A Mike Dean 2-point conversion run capped the scoring.

The late score gave the Demons something to build on for the future, but the postgame message coming from the locker room was one uttered all too often over the past 23 years.

"(We have to) just keep going forward," Fitzpatrick said, "and forget about the past because there is nothing we can do about it."
The Santa Fe New Mexican
P.O. Box 2048
Santa Fe, NM 87504-2048

Knights go to ground in win over Barons

Wheaton defeates B-CC 29-12 Friday, coach receives Gatorade shower in first win

by Ian Quillen Special to the Gazette

Joe Ortega shook off a Gatorade shower while his Wheaton football players frolicked to every corner of their home field after a comfortable 29-12 victory over B-CC Friday night that felt anything but.

And even though Ortega hopes wins on Randolph Road turn into a regular thing, he does not dare take his players down a peg when practice reconvenes on Monday.

"We don't stay even," said Ortega after winning the inaugural game of his varsity head coaching career. "We're like this all the time. It's excitement all the time. We try to have fun every game."

Yet it was a level-headed approach that brought the Knights back from an early deficit in their season opener; an ethos that betrayed Wheaton's past as one of the area's weaker teams.

Rayshawn Taylor ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries to help the Knights overcome 66 penalty yards and a momentum-killing third-quarter fumble.

Taylor's 8-yard touchdown run, coupled with Mac Juniorson's conversion run, put Wheaton up 8-6 early in the second quarter, and his 41-yard dash off right tackle made it 23-12 early in the third.

And a dangerous defense recovered after giving up a 63-yard touchdown drive on 10 consecutive running plays to start the game, capped by Chuck Banks' 1-yard TD plunge.

"Yeah, they ran on us, but it's not like it was the end of the game," said senior defensive end Anthony Randle, who saw Wheaton go 2-8 as a junior and winless as a sophomore. "It was the beginning of the game. Stuff happens sometimes. … We picked each other up."

B-CC quarterback Casey Fitzgerald was 5 for 8 for 114 yards, including a 40-yard slant over the middle to Terrance James that cut it to 16-12 with 2 minutes, 16 seconds left in the first half.

Fitzgerald threw for 53 yards on the game's final drive, but only after being intercepted by K.C. Kreinbihl on the only play of the previous possession, setting up Wheaton's insurance touchdown.

"I was watching and I just sank back," said Kreinbihl, who snuck inside the intended receiver on what looked like a quick slant. "The quarterback didn't see me because I sank low. I saw the pass and I just jumped on it."

With possession at the 50, Taylor carried six times in a nine-play drive. But it was Juniorson who ran 7 yards on a fourth and 3 at the 31, and Juniorson who plunged up the middle from 5 yards out to make it 27-12 with 1:09 to play.

Juniorson finished with 63 yards on eight carries. Ricardo Mcleod ran for 109 yards on nine carries for Wheaton, getting 55 of that on one carry before breaking a 20-yard touchdown run on the same drive to make it 16-6.

Banks finished with 43 yards rushing and a late 43-yard reception. He gained 60 of B-CC's 83 offensive yards after halftime, as the Barons simply wore down against one of many deep opponents they will face this season.

Wheaton outgained B-CC on the ground, 408-70.

"We had a lot of guys really exposed to their first varsity football game," said first-year Barons coach Rich Noland. "They played their butts off, and they grew up tonight. They pushed through what they thought was their limit. … I'm proud of that effort."

The Gazette
9030 Comprint Court
Gaithersburg, MD 20877