Friday, September 7, 2012

Smaller teams staying competitive by using option


  • Watching the Midshipmen run flawlessly through option drills this past spring as Kennett coach Scott Green and his staff visited the Naval Academy made the third-year coach a little envious.
  • Seeing Division 1 athletes run an offense synonymous with Navy football would make any option coach drool. But at the same time, Green could empathize with the crux of the issue.
  • Navy epitomizes what Kennett and many of the other teams in the Ches-Mont American Division deal with each season. Stuck in the big boys’ class with a medium-sized athlete pool to draw from, teams like Kennett and Great Valley and even Unionville, to a lesser extent, have taken the route of the option offense to try and even the playing field. 

    With five of the six smallest District 1 teams in Class AAAA -- Oxford (537 boys), Great Valley (534), Kennett (532), Unionville (528) and West Chester Rustin (522) -- residing in the American Division, it is no surprise that the tactics that many of the service academies and smaller Division 1 schools employ would be a main plan of attack for local Davids in the land of Giants -- North Penn and Pennsbury have 1,575 and 1,324 boys, respectively.
  • “If you can create double teams at the point of attack, it makes the option more successful,” Green said. “With smaller teams, sometimes you can’t just line up against bigger teams. If you can get double teams at the point of attack, you can execute the way you’re supposed to and that gives you an advantage you don’t have if you’re not running that type of offense.”
  • There are hundreds of variations to the option offense. Kennett runs more of the standard Navy option, with three backs in the backfield and the fullback, or “B-back” in option terms, as the key cog. Great Valley, like Unionville, is more of a hybrid of the wing-T and option with a lot of quarterback reads out of the shotgun.
  • The Indians, who not only face the Patriots and Blue Demons during the league slate, had to also deal with the spread/pistol option offense of Garnet Valley’s in week one. The Jaguars are the most distinguished option team in the district at this point, and much of that success is due to Green, who helped give Garnet wheels as its offensive coordinator from 2006-09.
  • Needless to say, if a defense isn’t used to seeing that style, it can be a bear to prepare for.
  • Read the full story on our Daily Local Sports Page.
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