2019 Season - 3rd Grade - Game 2
Pre-season - So far, so good. Ended up with 19 kids, and nobody has quit yet. End of pre-season Week 2 the kid I spent all spring/summer recruiting to play QB showed up. (Mommy took extra convincing) I put him through a two week competition against the other new kid that had already started taking the QB reps, and he won it outright. I had them take equal snaps thru 2 Round Robins. I have a solid group of kids that went 19-1 the last two seasons under my buddy who coached them but stayed back this season with his kid.
Offensively: We are running an offense that is a mashup of several things. It's DTDW, and Gun Wing based. But I have a dedicated Halfback and Wing Back. The Halfback will motion to a tailback position on 80% of our plays, but always starts at the WB opposite our strength. The WB is always to the strength, and the FB is offset to strength. We run a strong left from UTC, and strong right from Gun.
So only 2 formations, but with multiple tags. The reason for HB/WB instead of two WB's that the kid at HB is a prototypical RB stud (Big, Strong, Fast, Smart). See the 19-1 record the last 2 seasons. The WBs are a 3-man rotation of Speed only kids and solid blocker/WR types.
A fairly solid OL across the board. I pull the Gs only. BSG on most plays, both on sweep. My LG is a stud, he's a great fullback, but I forced myself to keep him on the OL for stability and pulling this season. My RT is a tower of a man-child who is a road grader. A solid blocker/reciever at RTE. And solid kids at C, RG, and LT. LTE is my weak spot, but I can scheme for that. We've gone to one arm's length splits so far. It has opened up holes much better than foot to foot did. We play in an A-gap restricted league this age group, so Blast both sides will be our go to play against even fronts most likely.
We also run Beast. I LOOOOOOOVE Beast.
Defense: I won't call it the Killer Bee, bcuz it's not. But it's 80% KB. Corners, OLBS, DTs, and DEs, all the same as base KB. I run 2 ILBs playing much like Jack's do in his 6-3 Red. And a 7 yard deep Safety, he's not the primary alley defender like a Reaper though. I have 3 good ILBs that rotate thru, and the Safety doesn't miss even if everyone else does. I have little red headed Demon Twins that play OLB. They are amazing 80% of the time and freak out opposing coach's. The other 20%..... Basically we're designed to defend sweep first, bcuz it's still 3rd grade. The ILBs and DEs are good enough to keep the interior run game handled pretty well. We don't face any legit system offenses in our league. Although at this point half my opponents have adapted some form of Beast after watching me and my former assistants run it throughout our program over the past several years.
Looking forward to this season. Game 1 is Saturday against a playoff contender, so it'll be a great matchup to kickoff the season.
Bridge Creek, OK
Game 1 on Saturday
Played a potential playoff team. Pretty solid group.
We started the game off with the ball. Drove down the field eating up all but 23 seconds of the 1st quarter before scoring from about 20 yards out at a WB sweep. First play of the game was a 15 yard wedge. Shut them down on Defense. Next play on O, the HB scores on a nice sweep left from about 45 yards out. We hold them on D again. 3rd O possession we starting driving down the field again get to about their 30 yard line, we get a great run, that gets called back by a hold, then my HB fumbles next play. Had the ball in his left hand and was stiff arming with his right, the kid just reached across and poked it out. (The kid has been a 1-back in the UBSW for 2 years so he's only ran to the right...I got to work on him keeping the ball high and tight in both hands.) After a few plays we give up a big run on sweep to allow them to score. OLB didn't go in deepest back, CB took terrible angle, playside ILB was nowhere to be found. We get the ball for 2 plays and then its half.
Half time score 14-6.
They get the ball the 2nd half. We hold on defense only allowing 2 decent runs on sweep where we had terrible contain and a sub in at CB. Only about 12 yards each time. Otherwise we forced another punt. On O the 2nd half, we get a nice drive going, get a great run by my FB on Beast blast to set us up on the 2, but it gets called back for another holding call. Next play my HB fumbles again on Counter, this time he ran into my FB and BSG who were pulling but had gone nowhere, he gets stood up and the other teams OLB literally just rips the ball out of his hands. They run most the clock down in the 4th but go nowhere. Game over 14-6.
Probably need to give my opponent a little more credit, they had a couple really talented kids that lined up at OLB and RB, we did contain them well most of they day.
After watching film..... I had a notepad full on both offensive and defensive notes.
Offensively - Lots of issues. I should have run Wedge and Blast more. My RG is getting replaced. He frequently didn't pull the right way, or not at all, and to add to that he often sprinted off the OL chasing a LB or DB instead of blocking the DT in his gap. My C struggled to down block early letting the DT get thru the BSG pulling gap. He did better after i corrected it mid game and I didn't notice any bad snaps all game. My FB is likely getting replaced, he did ok going in the right direction, but when he initiates a block he just lets them go after a second and often times that "blocked" kid comes off and makes the tackle. We've repped this specifically with him in practice and he hasn't corrected it. QB played well, threw a great pass on a 2-pt conversion that was dropped by the open WB. Also had 2 good runs. Need to incorporate him in to the run game more. WBs had a couple good runs, but were timid blockers. HB had the two costly fumbles, had a some really good runs, and some blah runs. BEAST was good. I could seriously run it as a my base offense and be stupid successful, just can't do it...
Defensively - Reference those little Read head Demon twins from the first post. They were everywhere, just too often not where they were supposed to. Either took too shallow of an angle in the backfield or didn't go in the backfield at all if they thought they were gonna get blocked. The ILBs were slow to make a decision and often times the safety was dodging them trying to get the ball. CBs played WAAAYY too tight. Looked more like additional safeties, both are Rooks, so they struggled with their angles of attack as well. Need the CB coach to do a better job getting those kids aligned. The DL suffocated all attempts at interior run game. Only positive yards we gave up were on sweep.
Overall, a win is a win. It's just one of those that makes ya feel like ya lost. The 2x HB fumbles were killer. Defense was nowhere near it's potential, and the OL needs a total rework.
Next week we play a team we should handle pretty well. Hopefully we can get alot of the kinks worked out before a big time game in Week 3.
Bridge Creek, OK
Really saw quite a bit of improvement this game. Our opponent wasn't quite as good, but they had a couple talented kids and at this age, that's all you need.
We started off the first series on D after winning the toss. We held them on 4th down, when the ball popped out of the RB's arms and my OLB caught it and returned it 5 yards. We scored 3 plays later on Beast Sweep. Then missed the conversion on a failed pass play. Shut them down again on D. Moving the OLBs around helped. The two kids at OLB now were solid, one still took a shallow path, but we can work that with more reps.
We scored the next series on Quick Sweep to the WB out of our GunWing Formation. Had a really solid downfield block by the HB.
All in all we ended up with 2 really bad plays on D. We gave up a TD on a play where the OLB had a kill shot on the kid and just went right over him from tackling too high, the kid squirted out, reversed field and we had just put in our MPP at CB, my fault, he didn't stand a chance. Shut down the conversion. The 2nd time we gave up a long play was on a pass to the WB, he got behind my S and CB who both had been going up field too quick all game.
Those are the only 2 plays we gave up over 10 yards all day. I'm not sure they every even secured a 1st down. But those busted plays are a concern. I've got work to do on our CBs and our coverages.
Offensively things went better. My HB ran hard, scored 3 TDs include one after trucking 2 kids and stiff arming another. My pulling PSG had a sweet block in open space on one of them. The other two scores were Quick Sweep by the WB. So even though we are still running alot of inside run. Outside run is still whats getting us to the endzone.
Won this one 36-12. Not happy that we let such a poor offensive team in the endzone twice. Lots to work on both sides of the ball.
Bridge Creek, OK