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Final Game


CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
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Our final JV game of the season is tomorrow.  We're sitting at 5-1 going into it.  Our opponent is an option team from under center.  In their last game, they kept possession of the ball for the entire 1st Quarter.  Our header will not be in attendance so I have been running the team this week.  My first game as a header since 2017, and my first time calling a Spread offense.  (I had an OC when we ran Spread in 2016 at GHHS.)  I really would have liked to have installed the Double Wing this week...

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Coyote
(@coyote)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 275
 

Good Luck, Dave.

 

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Posted by: @coyote

Good Luck, Dave.

 

 

Thanks, but we found out yesterday that due to the weather forecast, Varsity and JV games will be flipped so Varsity will play today.  (No rain today, but it's projected tomorrow.  I guess Varsity can't play in the rain.  🙄)  In addition, we just lost an offensive lineman (yesterday) due to grades.  This is the type of stuff that drives me nuts because I can't get anyone in the school to keep us academically informed about the status of each player, despite my requests.  I NEVER had this issue when I was at EWHS.)  So that gives us 4 offensive linemen.  Varsity has already taken two of our Centers, so now I get to create a high school offensive lineman in one day.  Grrrrr....

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Topic starter  

Varsity won tonight, 27-12.  Varsity also played our Nose Tackle in 3 quarters which made him no longer eligible for JV.  That gives us 13 players on defense.  We have 14 on offense.  We are supposed to play tomorrow, if the weather cooperates.  We'll see...

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Pre-Game:

So we wondered all day whether we would play tonight.  The forecast changed every hour on the hour, and we went from "we are/we aren't/we are/we aren't/we are/we aren't/we are."  It was interesting being at the school for the team meal and being the only football coach there.  We have 8 coaches, but the JV header was out of town (which is why I had taken over), so that left us with 7.  The Varsity header and DC don't coach the JV, so that gives us 5.  Coach W went to see his son play high school ball tonight (his son doesn't play at our school), so that left us with 4: Our JV DC, as well as our LB Coach, our DB Coach and myself.  I was the only one in attendance for the team meal.  We ate, got dressed and went in the gym to walk-thru our offense, defense and special teams.  It went smoothly and the team loaded the bus, in preparation for a 20-minute bus ride.  

As we drove to our opponent's stadium, the skies got darker and darker.  The temperature got cooler and much windier.  When we arrived at the stadium, we were told to stay in the bus as the game was put on hold.  We sat in the bus for about 90 minutes waiting to get word as to whether we'd play.  We finally got the go-ahead and emptied the bus.  We were given 30 minutes to warm-up and the game would now start 30 minutes late.  

We were given 10-minute quarters (I assume because of threatening weather conditions), but I knew that favored our opponent and their Stall-Ball approach.  No one knew that better than I do.

I had one practice (the day before) to get a replacement starting Left Tackle to replace the starter who had just now been removed from the team for academics.  This replacement was our starting Defensive End.  He was willing, but apprehensive.  I gave him 2 responsibilities on run:  slide protect your inside gap on runs away from you and block their 4-Technique on runs to your side.  Pass protection was a 3-step vertical set.  This really screwed up our blocking for most of our run plays.  We didn't ask him to pull, to go 2nd Level or cover how to block on screens.  We had suddenly become a right-handed offense, whether we wanted to be, or not.

Then we received the news that our starting Nose Tackle (who doubles as a backup offensive lineman) was no longer available to play for us because his play allotment has been used up by the Varsity the night before.  This left us with 26 players; 8 offensive starters, 8 defensive starters, 3 2-way starters, 3 defensive subs and 4 offensive subs.  HOWEVER, our starting CB notified me that he'd left his cleats back at our school....So now we were down to 25 players.

I took 3 kids who rarely play, in addition to our starting Center and sent them out for the coin toss.  Knowing that our opponent was going to try to take all the time off the clock, we wanted the ball.  We won the toss and elected to receive.

The Game:

Despite our being short-handed, we were prepared.  I knew our opponent and what they would do.  We won the toss and elected to receive. We put the ball in play, starting at our own 30-yard line.  We started with Trap, and for the fourth time this season we scored on the first play of the game with our F taking the ball 70 yards for a touchdown.  We were up, 6-0.  I knew that our opponent had no kicking game and always went for the 2-Point Conversion.  So I decided to go for 2 ourselves, but the pass by our holder failed.  Leading 6-0, we kicked off.  We kicked onside (for the first time this year) because A) that's what I always do, and B) I wanted the ball back.  With 10 minute quarters, I didn't want my opponent taking the ball at their 20 and then eating up the next 10 minutes of clock.  So they started at their own 48.  Only 25 seconds of the game had elapsed, so far.  They proceeded to take more than 7 minutes off the clock, scoring a TD on their first pass of the game, on a 4th and 11, at our 28-yard-line.  They converted the 2-point conversion and lead, 8-6.  After their next kick-off, we took possession at our own 31.  My strategy was to run the football and control the clock; to do to them what they were trying to do to us.  Our Spread game usually has one RB.  I took our H-Back and put him in the backfield to give us a 2-Back set.  We ran for 3 yards. We ran for no gain.  On 3rd and 7, we passed.  The ball was tipped by our receiver.  It bounced in the air and was intercepted by one on their defense.  They took over at our 29, but on their first play, they fumbled the ball right back to us.  A reprieve!  We took over at our 26, still down by only 2.  From our 2-Back set, we ran for 17 yards.  At the end of the play, our H-Back was shoved and he shoved back.  Predictably, he was flagged for Unsportsmanlike, negating our gain.  More importantly, his ankle was injured and he had to leave the game.  In one play, we'd lost our starting H-Back, who is also our starting Safety, who is also our Kicker and who is also our Punter.  Hmmm.  The ball was moved back to our 30-yard line.  On our next play, our F ran the ball for 16 yards, but at the end of the play was hit and tore a tendon in his hand.  He was taken to the hospital.  In 2 plays, we had rushed for 17 yards and 16 yards and lost both Backs to injury.  With our running game depleted, we went to the air but our QB was sacked for a 13-yard loss.  Gosh, I hate to pass!  The quarter ended.

Starting the 2nd Quarter with a 2nd and 23, we completed a short pass for 5 yards.  On 3rd and 18, we threw to an open receiver on the sideline, but he dropped the pass.  We had to punt.  But with our regular Punter injured, we had to call on our backup Punter (the same kid who was now starting at Left Tackle for the first time ever).  He'd never punted in a game.  Our snap was high, went over his head and somehow he managed to outrace the others for the ball and still get the punt off.  That was a miracle. Fortunately, it would be the only time today he was called on to punt.  Our punt rolled dead at our own 49-yard line.  With 8:35 remaining in the half, our opponent took over possession.  They tried a sweep, but we contained it and they lost 5 yards.  But another run netted them a gain of 8.  A run of 6 gave them a 4th and 1.  Then we jumped offsides and gave them the 1st Down.  They ran again, and we caught them in the backfield for a 6-yard loss.  They ran again and lost another 2.  I was beginning to think we looked like our old selves on defense.  But on 3rd and 16, they again completed a long pass giving them a 1st & Goal at our 10.  Then they fumbled the ball, but maintained possession, losing 3 yards.  On 2nd Down, they ran to our 8.  On 3rd Down, they ran a sweep.  We pushed him out of bounds, stopping the clock with 2:11 remaining in the half.  On 4th and Goal, they were penalized for Illegal Procedure moving them back to our 8-yard-line.  Replaying 4th Down, they ran a slant into the end zone, but their pass fell incomplete.  With only 1:57 remaining in the 1st Half and down by only 2 points, we took over.  I had re-coded our play sheet, to make it into something recognizable for me.  But I was cutting out usable running plays, because I now had no Backs.  I had no choice but to put in our 3rd-String RB.  When I told him to get ready, he asked, "Coach, do I have time to practice holding the ball?"  Not wanting to pass the ball out of our own end zone, and needing to see if "RB3" could run the ball, I had him run Trap.  He gained 2.  Meh, not bad.  But on 2nd Down, disaster stuck again.  He was supposed to run Power to the left, but he never got the hand-off.  Our QB was hit, fumbled, then our opponent recovered the ball in the endzone for a TD.  With only 1:32 remaining in the half, we managed to give them a free 6 points.  They went for 2, and converted.  Now we were in trouble.  Serious trouble.  With little more than a minute remaining, missing 2 starting RBs, a Left Tackle, a Nose Tackle and a starting CB with no cleats, we took over at our 36.  Determined to find out if "RB3" could be a ball-carrier (because our QB certainly isn't), I needed answers now, in order to plan for the 2nd Half.  He ran for 3 yards on Trap.  On 2nd Down, we completed a short pass that netted 7.  I wanted to cinch up their defense, so that we could have a shot at the deep ball.  On the next play, we threw deep but was flagged for Offensive Interference.  This moved us back 15 yards.  On 1st and 25, we completed another short pass for 6 yards.  Their coverage was deep so I was hoping to complete something under their coverage and break it.  The next pass gained us 15 yards, down to their 47.  We called timeout and discussed the deep ball.  We went long, but the receiver was well-covered and the ball was picked off.  The half ended.

At 5-1, we certainly weren't used to being in this situation.  Nor were we used to being without essential personnel.  I did my best to calm the troops at halftime.  I spoke to our H-Back to see if he could resume.  He had his ankle re-taped and said he would give it a try.  I asked if he could run the ball.  He said he didn't think so, but he thought he could run some passing routes.  Our CB had gotten his cleats from his dad, so that solved another issue.  I talked with my QB and receivers about what we thought would work, because the running game was nil, and we knew that our New Left Tackle was limited.  But mainly, we had to get their offense off the field.  They were chewing up clock like it was candy and kept finding ways to keep moving the chains.  That had to stop if we were going to find a way to win.  But we were kicking off to start the 2nd Half.  Sigh....

Our injured H-Back was also our Kicker and with a tightly wrapped bad ankle, he couldn't kick.  So our new Left Tackle/new Punter just became our new Kicker.  Again we kicked onside in an attempt to get the ball back, but our opponent took over at their 39....I always thought we were slow in our Double Wing set (huddling, having the QB come to the sideline, full cadence), but these guys made being sloth-like an art form. Gaining 4 yards on 1st Down, a penalty took them backwards to their own 36.  On 2nd & 14, we strung out their Sweep to make it 3rd & 11. A gain of 2 made it 4th and 9.  Going for it on 4th Down, their QB dropped back to pass but could find no one.  We got a hold of him for a sack!  Our offense took over at their 34-yard-line. On 1st Down, we completed a pass but our receiver was ruled out of bounds.  On 2 & 10, we ran trap with "RB3" and he netted 6 yards!  Maybe he could tote the rock, after all.  On 3rd and 4 at their 28, we completed a slant across the middle for a 23-yard gain.  With a 1st & Goal at their 5-yard-line, we ran Trap again and "RB3" scored his first TD of the year.  This made the score 16-12 them, as we lined up for the 2-point conversion (since our Kicker couldn't kick).  We completed the pass for the 2-pointer, making the score 16-14, with 6:31 remaining in the 3rd Quarter.  At this point, I was hoping that our H-Back could hobble through the 2nd Half.  Our new RB was gaining confidence, and we were starting to find passing seams in their secondary.  I felt confident if we could get a stop, that we would score and take the lead.  Our sideline's composure was certainly more upbeat.

Again, we tried the onside kick.  And while his kicks were decent, we weren't getting the ball.  They took over at their 40.  They ran for 8.  Two of our Defensive Tackles were gassed as they were starters on the o-line. Another 3 yards and a 1st Down.  5:37 remaining in the 3rd.  4 yard gain.  4:34 remaining.  An incomplete pass and it was 3rd Down.  A 6-yard gain and another 1st Down. 3:29 left in the 3rd.  A 7-yard gain.  We can't make any defensive line substitutions because the only defensive subs we have are at LB and the secondary.  They run a Sweep to the right and we string it out.  We tackle him for no gain but they throw a flag on us for a horse collar.  This gives them another 1st Down....They run for 3, and 3 again. A gain of 2 gives them 4th & 1.  They hard count and we jump offsides.  This results in a 1st Down at our 13, as we begin the 4th Quarter...

At this point, their Backs are beginning to look like Superman, as tackler after tackler bounces off trying to drag them down.  I don't know what the record is for yards after contact, but surely a new record had to be set in this game.  4 yards, 3 yards, and then touchdown.  They lead 22-14 with 8:26 remaining in the game.  The touchdown gives them an 8 point lead, something we can overcome because I am positive we can score again.  I call a timeout to reiterate to the defense that this 2-point conversion is the play of the game.  A 10-point deficit with 8:26 remaining will certainly be too much considering we can't stop them.  They run a Sweep and score the 2-pointer....  Our defense's gas tank is officially on empty.

They kickoff and we return the ball to our 36.  We start out in our 2-Back set, with "RB3" and our Hobbled H-Back. "RB3" carries for 7 yards.  A nice gain, but we can't stay on the ground.  We throw to a  w i d e o p e n  H-Back across the middle, but he drops the ball.  We throw a slant to the left but it's incomplete.  We have a 4th & 3 with the game on the line.  We try a Freeze play, but they don't jump.  Our QB drops back but can find no one open, he throws to our Z, who is not the primary, the secondary or the anydary, but he catches the ball as he falls out of bounds, giving us a 1st Down at their 41. With 7:27 remaining, I try the run again with "RB3" but it's stuffed at the line.  On 2nd & 10, we throw to our Hobbled H, he catches the ball and is tackled at their 34 for a gain of 7.  We try Inside Trap again and it's stopped just short of the 1st Down.  On 4th Down and less than one, we complete another pass over the middle for a 1st Down.  With a new set of downs at their 31, we throw to our X on the sideline.  He catches it, but it yields only 1 yard.  Their secondary is playing soft coverage our best hope is throwing underneath it.  With 5:41 remaining in the game, I know we can score and get the onside kick.  We again throw to the Z who makes the catch and is tackled at their 13-yard-line for another 1st Down.  We take a shot at the end zone, but the pass falls incomplete.  On 2nd Down, we hit our Hobbled H across the middle down to their 9.  Another incompletion stops the clock with 4:42 remaining and 3rd Down.  We throw into the end zone again and it's caught by our Hobbled H for the touchdown.  Down 24-20, the 2-point conversion is of no consequence.  We try Trap, but it fails.  

Time for the onside kick.  We practice what we call "911" all season for instances like this.  We haven't used it this year, but it's practiced weekly.  The kick is a good one, but our coverage team hits the returner before the ball gets there and we are flagged for interference.  Our opponent takes over at our 35 because of the penalty.  And they never give up the ball.  Final score, 24-20 them.  

This was a tough one because even without certain players, I felt like we'd figured out their defense.  We simply needed to get one stop and couldn't get it.  Losing our F (who'd scored 11 TDs in 5 games) was big.  But so was losing our Left Tackle, our Nose Tackle, getting a new punter and kicker during the game, and having a hobbled H-Back who missed all of the 2nd Quarter.  This offense works, it just doesn't work as well as the Double Wing.  After the game, I apologized to our team and accepted full responsibility for the loss.  I also apologized to our Varsity header, and thanked him for the opportunity tonight.

When we returned to school and got all of the equipment put away and players sent home, the Varsity header asked me if I'd gotten a phone call(?) today from a school.  I said, "No."  He said he'd gotten a call.  I asked, "Middle school or high school?"  He replied, "High school. You'll probably be getting a call soon."

--Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Seth54
(@seth54)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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@coachdp

 

Is that code for, you’ll be getting offered a header Job. If so congratulations!


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Topic starter  
Posted by: @seth54

Is that code for, you’ll be getting offered a header Job. If so congratulations!

Seth, a few weeks ago I told our header that I had applied for three head coaching positions.  Two at middle schools and one at a high school.

Evidently, that high school contacted him.  Whether that leads to an interview, I have no idea.  It's very difficult to get an interview without some sort of "in" to serve as a "letter of introduction."

When I was the header at KHHS, I had an "in."  The Team Mom on my youth team had a son that attended school there.  She told their A.D. about me and I was able to set up an interview.

When I was the OC at CHS, they had a coach on their staff who I had known from my days as a youth header.  They were looking to run the Double Wing and I was able to set up an interview.

When I was the JV HC at EWHS, their new Varsity HC had been told my his OC at his previous high school that he should call me (he was a Double Wing coach).  He reached out to me and we were able to set up an interview.  

The only high school interview I got (and job I accepted) where I didn't have an "in" was when I interviewed for and accepted the GHHS JV header position.  However, when the Varsity header left at season's end, he offered me the JV header position at his next school, so I had an "in" there.  I turned that down because I accepted the JV header position at EWHS to run the Double Wing.  

When I interviewed at my present high school, their JV header was someone who had coached against me in youth ball.  I reached out to him, to see if I could get an interview with the varsity header.  

Even the 3 middle school jobs I took, I had an "in."  At the first one, their new HC and I had coached in the same youth org and he offered me.  At the second one, their new HC and I had also coached in the same youth org and he offered me.  And at the next job, the first middle school asked me to come back, so I did.

My point in all this is that it's difficult to get a face-to-face without knowing someone on the inside.  You are just a name on a sheet of paper, otherwise.  I believe I'm very good (and comfortable) in the interview process, as I'm always prepared and I can confidently convey the approach and philosophy I have for my team, while listening to and understanding their needs.  

The high school I just applied to is winless, has only about 30 players and has no JV team.  They are in the Top 10 high schools in terms of enrollment in the county.  They have had perhaps 6 winning seasons in 50 years of football.  I'd like to interview for it.  If I have to go back in the school system (and leave my retirement) to get it, I would do so.  And they wouldn't have to pay me a stipend to take the job.  But we'll see what He has planned for me.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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Joined: 8 years ago
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I sincerely hope you get the HS Job Dave. 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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