Dwayne Ross and his staff have spent the week preparing the Dublin Lions (1-0) to face a scheme that is anything but normal tonight on the high school gridiron.
Ross, the head coach in Dublin, is expecting Godley to come at the Lions with offensive and defensive game plans that are far more common to college schemes than those of high schools.
Godley (0-1) bases its offense out of the shotgun, but its primary package of plays include the option and veer, giving old-time football a modern-day look. Despite falling to Grandview, 34-28, in their season opener, the Wildcat offense found success with its wide-open running game.
“Offensively they look pretty good,” Ross said of Godley. “They moved the ball up and down the field against Grandview.”
A good option attack, especially out of a spread formation, is difficult for any defense to prepare for in just one week.
“The discipline part of it is the hardest thing,” Ross said. “Somebody has to pick up the dive man, the quarterback, and the pitch man every time. The one time you don’t, they will take it to the house. As rare as you see (the option) now, you kind of have to throw your stuff out the window and be very disciplined. You can’t just pin your ears back and go. It’s a very difficult offense to defend.”
Ross said he and his staff have been stressing the importance of communication and assignment-based football to defensive players all week.
The option offense will be led by a pair of quarterbacks who split time under center for the Wildcats. Returning starter Clayton Evans and sophomore newcomer Riley Good both played extensively against Grandview.
“He’s pretty good,” Ross said of Good. “He went about 78 yards for their first touchdown last week.”
Preparing for a unique offense isn’t the only thing Dublin has had to handle this week. Godley bases its defense out of an abnormal formation, as well.
Ross expects the Wildcats to line up in what is referred to as a three-three stack, meaning there will be three down linemen, with three linebackers behind them. The middle linebacker in this case will be stacked behind the nose tackle.
Behind the front six, Godley has shown a tendency to keep a safety or outside linebacker close to the line so they can have eight men in the box to stop the run when needed, according to Ross.
Ross hopes the Lions can utilize their dangerous passing attack to keep the Wildcats from stacking the line of scrimmage, resulting in more opportunities to establish the running game down the stretch.
Quarterback DeWayne Keith, named Cross Timbers Player of the Week for his performance in Dublin’s 19-7 win over Clifton in the opener, has proven targets to throw to in Aaron Teague and company at the receiver slots. He may be looking at man-to-man coverage, which could give Dublin an advantage with big targets like the 6-2 Teague to throw to. Ross also plans to use formations that set up quick Dublin receivers in one-on-one situations against Godley linebackers.
Ross finished his assessment of tonight’s battle by stressing the importance of taking care of the football. Rain is a possibility, and wet conditions typically don’t bode well for teams who like to use shot gun snaps and plenty of pass plays.
Kickoff in Godley is set for 7:30 p.m.
Brad Keith is the sports editor at the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at (254) 965-3124, ext. 241 or by e-mail at email@example.com.