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Murphy: Spread offenses allow QBs to shine
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I never thought the day would come when the passing offense in high school football would become so popular in our area.

Ten years ago, the spread offense would have been looked at like a gimmick, not a way of winning football games.
Now, it seems like coaches are resorting to the pass attack to loosen up defenses and establish the running game. It's kind of vice versa from the high school game that used to dominate Northeast Georgia.

But you really can't find any fault with the way the offensive systems have changed so drastically in recent years. Just look at the athletes who are in charge of running the plays.

West Hall's Shunquez Stephens and Gainesville's Blake Sims both have already eclipsed the 1,000-yard passing mark with four games left in the regular season. They have displayed time and time again that the spread quarterback is just as dangerous with the ball in his hand as he is running with it.

It's only a matter of time before Flowery Branch's quarterback Connor Shaw tops the 1,000-yard passing mark this season. As he evolves into being a leader at quarterback, the Falcons are continuing to play better. It's no wonder that he'll flourish in a passing offense, since he follows in older brother Jaybo's footsteps, who's now playing QB at Georgia Tech.

I can now say that Jefferson's junior quarterback Darius Minor is in the same league with the Hall County quarterbacks who have given validity to the spread offense here at home. After watching the Dragons last week, it was obvious that Minor has an arm just as strong as the QBs mentioned above, and has great targets to throw to. He's also a threat to pull the ball down and run behind his big offensive line.

Playing against Riverside Military, the Dragons' quarterback had the best performance I've seen this season out of a signal caller. He completed 61 percent of his passes for 336 yards and four touchdown passes. He also tucked it in and ran for an 18-yard score in the fourth quarter.

That's the beauty of the spread offense. It keeps the ball in your playmakers hands and gives them the flexibility to make things happen.

I think we're now just seeing the tip of the iceberg with schools implementing the spread offense. Once the success of this offense over an extended period of time starts to materialize, it will become something every coach wants to jump on board with.

The spread offense is also a hit with fans. What fan on Friday nights doesn't want to see its team move the ball up and down the field in a short period of time? Running a spread offense also makes it easy to dig out of a deep hole in a short period of time. Trailing by two touchdowns late in the game isn't the end of the world anymore.

Some traditionalists may still grumble that people don't run the ball enough these days. But I thinks it's safe to say that the spread offense is here to stay.

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