Maine football teams don’t run like they used to

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Maine football teams don’t run like they used to

Postby BDN » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:33 am

Maine football teams don’t run like they used to

... The ball has been flying around Reggie Clark Memorial Field for the last few seasons, first with 2016 Fitzpatrick Trophy semifinalist Garrett McSweeney at quarterback and now with junior Marcus Christopher targeting a veteran receiving corps.

“I think it’s definitely a lot more fun than lining up and handing the ball off every time,” said Christopher, whose father Jon is a former quarterback at neighboring Madison Area Memorial High School and today serves as the athletic administrator at Skowhegan. “I like to be able to throw it a lot.”

Libby sees the enjoyment in styles of play both old school and new wave.

“It’s a hard question,” he said. “Part of me had fun when I played because it was three yards and a cloud of dust, the fun part was grinding it out,” he said. “But I think this generation lends itself to a more open offensive scheme where more kids are touching the ball. It definitely doesn’t hurt.

http://bangordailynews.com/2017/10/11/s ... es-evolve/
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Re: Maine football teams don’t run like they used to

Postby BrowardHandicapper » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:33 am

Maine is not alone with that one.
Since the Spread is no longer just a "4 wide/Shotgun" formation and hasevolved, it forces defenses to have to cover the entire field. If a defense does not respect the modern spread formation as a run/pass threat, they may be in for a surprise. The spread at one point seemed to be fading until more run based sets came to the game. Defenses started running 4-3 with quarters on the edges, and it was countering and shutting down spreads well.
Now we see almost what has evolved into a smashmouth/spread attack with some teams. The Pistol-I, H-Back and other components have forced evolution of defenses that to me are still playing a little catch up. Now defenses are forced to run zone on one side of the field and man on another. Running the ball is still a critical part of the game,
but teams that have evolved with Pro-Style/West Coast/Spread continue to frustrate and confuse Defenses that can't stop it. The New England Patriots have been a great example of this over the course of near 20 years now?

Obviously, the HS level is a different ball park offensively..... but at the same time the New England Patriots are playing NFL coached defenses every week.
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Re: Maine football teams don’t run like they used to

Postby TAallday » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:29 pm

The spread is fun to watch and interesting, but I wish coaches would be a little more creative offensively. Here is an example...

My team, Thornton Academy, has been running the spread and read-option game out of the shotgun for a while now. They tend to have a lot of skill guys. Here are the two glaring problems I have noticed in their offensive though...

1) They rarely run power sets (I-Form, Full House) unless they find themselves in short yardage or goal line situations. I feel like mixing in power sets on longer yardage situations and early down situations might be a good way to not only make later downs more manageable, but also to keep opponents on their toes a bit more. TA basically comes out every game and runs that zone read right off the start. It works sometimes, but it is pretty predictable. One play against Oxford Hills that worked very well was a play action pass out of full-house. Why not sprinkle more of that in?
2) They tend to get enamored by one or two playmakers throughout the season. TA has had some EXTREMELY talented teams over the past ten years or so. This year, the offense is pretty much centered on the QB (Mitchell) making pass plays to Bracamonte and Labreck as well as handing the ball to Bracamonte and Dow on various zone read plays. Let's be honest...TA has a lot more talent than just three or four playmakers. Gikas, Logan, Jones, Bailey-Cottle, Heiman, Palmer, Montano, and Houde all could use touches. Now, I am not saying they spread the ball evenly to those guys, but in certain match ups, BE and Scarborough this year particularly, diversifying targets and play calls could be VERY USEFUL.

I hope this example makes sense...thoughts?
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Re: Maine football teams don’t run like they used to

Postby Speed » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:49 pm

To Broward's point....BE runs a perfectly balanced spread offense....they are just as likely to run as pass...probably more so....they have an incredibly balanced offense...and the skilled guys to execute it....Sirois, Sprague, Thorne, Pike, Menard....and the brain ( Cooper ) to make it all come together in an unpredictable manner....I just don't know how any Maine HS team can defend it...too much geography to defend...east, west, north, south....with too many skilled executors and options to execute....defense has no clue where the point of attack will come so they can't mass and concentrate their troops ....they are forced to defend in vanilla fashion....
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Re: Maine football teams don’t run like they used to

Postby BrowardHandicapper » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:45 am

TAallday you make some good points...I prefer to to go power sets when there is a huge advantage on the OL. From what I have seen a lot at the HS level a strong OL will generally wear down a DL quicker from power sets versus spread variations. You can have a smashmouth spread with 3 WRS and power run. Ohio State does this probably the best IMO.

The Zone Read is basically a Dive play without the Option Back. The ZR will tend to trick defenses into aggression which leads to wandering from gaps. Defensive players need to know if they have QB, Dive , or a Pitch.
What frustrates Defenses is when they waste multiple series chasing a ghost. Offenses like to use their best front 7 player and sell the run. Generally the top LB will key this and he generally may be waiting on nothing and hoping he wonders or gets frustrated. That is the cat and mouse aspect of the Zone Read.
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Re: Maine football teams don’t run like they used to

Postby NionNion » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:44 am

It almost seems like teams have to include more of a passing offense to win games. Last year's Brewer team was tremendous, but 3 yards and dust could only take them so far. I and everyone else love to watch smashmouth football, but one dimensional teams struggle so much since football is continuing to evolve.
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Re: Maine football teams don’t run like they used to

Postby TAallday » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:59 am

Mostly, I think Speed pointed out the most important piece in the spread game...coaching!

Being able to see the whole picture and not get ensnared with one or two guys is difficult, especially when you can steamroll most teams in your way.

Why did BE beat TA? Well, one big reason is what Speed said...they were overwhelming in all facets of their offense. No TA player or coach knew where the ball was going. I do agree that they have one of the most well balanced offenses I have seen in Maine.

I’d love to see this BE team put up against the best in Maine and Mass.
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Re: Maine football teams don’t run like they used to

Postby BrowardHandicapper » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:13 pm

There are certain things that good coaching will teach to a QB. The ability for the QB to promptly read a defense at the last second breaks down to positioning of certain players, holes that LBs ar creeping up on, and even shoulder alignment particularly of a certain position on the Defense.
My guess is programs like BE and TA may be a tad ahead of the game with details like this, while their opponent is setting up defensively, they are giving themselves away and sometimes the opposing teams may not even know it.
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