Friday, September 10, 2010

Road Trip for Cougar Varsity, JV Football Teams

The Cougar JV and Varsity football teams travel to the East Bay town of Piedmont tonight and are likely to learn a few things. They’ll learn that Piedmont, while surrounded by the city of Oakland, is not Oakland.  They'll be travelling to a primarily residential community with beautiful homes and tree-lined streets regarded as one of the most desirable communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.  They will also learn if they can go on the road and play disciplined defense against a similarly sized team that likes to incorporate trick plays and a wide open offense.

Piedmont High School is noted for its nationally ranked academics, Bird Calling Contest, and the A-11 football offense.

Highlander coaches Kurt Bryant and Steve Humphries devised the unorthodox offense that uses a formation that begins an offensive play with as many as 10 players off the line of scrimmage.  Essentially it disguises who the eligible receivers are, making it necessary for defenses to cover multiple potential receivers instead of the normal 5.  The scheme propelled Piedmont to two consecutive playoffs before the high school football governing bodies decided to outlaw it last year.

Piedmont introduced the formation in 2007 and after losing their first two games they won 7 straight.  They made the playoffs again in 2008 going 8-3.  After they were forced to abandon the A-11 they fell to 6-5 last year.  

Even without the A-11, Piedmont shows a lot of different offensive formations and trick plays and will present challenges to the Cougar defense.  Look for the “Nates” and “Nicks” (Woods, Loofbourow, Lipperd, Gorman and Calabray) in the defensive secondary for SLV to come up big.

On offense, SLV will probably use 6’5” wide receiver Luke Roberts sparingly if at all to allow him to rest a shoulder hurt in the season opener.  Still, QB Zach Newberry, who threw for 233 yards Saturday, has other targets including Nick Gorman who had 146 yards last week and Jared Johnson who caught 4 passes for 50 yards.  The Cougars also hope to get running back Nick Lipperd more involved.

The JV’s kickoff at 4PM with the Varsity game getting started at 7PM.  As usual a large contingent of SLV fans is expected to make the 90 plus minute drive to the east bay hills.

The Freshmen play Saturday at 11AM vs San Benito at SLV.

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