Football season is in full swing which can make it hard to keep up with posts here. I’ll try to at least do a weekly update on how our prior game went and my thinking going into our next game.
Last Saturday we opened our season against a team from Clackamas that surprised me in several ways. I’m always nervous going into the first game – very little scouting information so very little to coach the kids on to get prepared. I had faced the same coach 3 years ago and had some film from his team from last season and saw very similar sets – a spread shotgun offense with and without a tight-end, with a small amount of single-tight I formation. Their defense looked to run a mix of odd and even fronts. They had a stud tailback that was keeping me up at night.
What we saw on Saturday was very different. They ran primarily a double-tight ace-back formation with a small amount of I in the second half. They mixed mostly an inside running game with some toss-sweeps and passing. Fortunately our defense adapted well, holding them to negative yards in the first half and garnering 3 interceptions. I was extremely pleased with our pass coverage out of the 3-5-3 defense, especially the early recognition by our linebackers.
While the Clackamas defense was very tough on the front line, we had some solid execution on offense and some great fakes and misdirection which allowed us to get up quickly in the first half. It also doesn’t hurt to be very deep in talented running backs. We dominated on special teams, blocking two punts (one for a safety) and pinning them very deep on a few of our kickoffs.
We had the luxury in the second half of playing a lot of kids on defense in different positions (including two our 200 lb + kids at linebacker). In summary, this wasn’t a great test of the team but a nice way to start the season.
Some improvements I’d like to see in the coming game this weekend:
Stronger offensive line execution in our power running game. This consists of mostly down-blocking with double-teams at the point of attack.
Better distribution of the ball on offense. Our carries were weighted heavily towards the FB last game and we need to consistently incorporate our entire backfield into the rotation.
On the special teams front, we are going to kick PATs regardless of outcome. We gave up a bit too quickly last week. In our league kicked PATs are worth 2 points.