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Murphy: Offensive gameplans a matter of preference
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What is the perfect high school offense?

Is it a ground game that can control the clock best, or a spread offense that can sling it around and score in a hurry?

Obviously, a good high school coach is going to mold the offense partially around personnel, but most have a core belief system as to what works best.

I got caught thinking about this last Friday night while watching Gainesville’s (3-1) almost unstoppable air attack pitted against Franklin County’s triple-option offense that put up 330 yards on the ground.

During my years of covering high school football I’ve seen both of these styles work to near perfection. The only common thread between them is that it has served particular schools very well.

The rest of the year, I plan on seeing Red Elephants quarterback Deshaun Watson put up stats so impressive that they look like a typo in print. Gainesville coach Bruce Miller likes to run a no-huddle, spread attack that sends receivers in all different directions and gives Watson the discretion to find the easiest target.

Running out of the spread has been kind to the Red Elephants. They have won three straight region titles and appeared in the state title game in 2009.

Flowery Branch (5-0, 5-0 Region 8-AAAA) has also been a team that has based its offense out of the passing game in recent seasons.

Quarterbacks like Jaybo and Connor Shaw, Austin Brown and now Kanler Coker have all been comfortable in the pocket, throwing and keeping the chains moving during their time at the helm.

However, not all schools subscribe to the same philosophy.

Year after year, Buford (6-0) racks up a state title in Class AA with the same I-formation. Last Friday, the Wolves rushed 42 times to the tune of almost 10.5 yards per carry.

You’d be hard pressed to find a game when Buford threw the ball more than a dozen times.

And for a number of years, I was the guy in the press box at The Brickyard while North Hall was at its peak. The Wing-T attack of Trojans coach Bob Christmas is all run, all the time.

When North Hall made the Georgia Dome for the state semifinals in 2007, it was common to see 400 yards of rushing on a Friday night.

Lots of Wing-T coaches have a game plan that makes the forward pass look like a trick play. Covering these games goes really fast. Two hours and some change, and you’re out the door, which is great for a sports writer on a tight deadline.

What offense people tend to embrace is also generational.

Old school football fans like the 4 yards and a cloud of dust approach, while all the spread and Wildcat stuff is 21st century.

I see the advantage of both offenses.

I guess as long as you’re putting points on the board, you’re doing something right. So is there really a better base for an offense?

Just something to talk about.


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