McGuffey coach excited about option offense
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Running an efficient option offense is no small task, let alone trying to install it as a new system in a short amount of time with a team that went winless the previous season.
But that was the task Ed Dalton faced in his inaugural season coaching McGuffey after being hired last spring.
“Taking over late and everything last year, for us to win five games, we thought we did pretty well,” Dalton said.
Now after a full season and an entire offseason program under their belts, the Highlanders are hoping to fire on all cylinders this season.
Dalton said as the season went along, his team began executing the complex option offense at a better rate. He hopes that carries into this year with nine returning starters.
“(It clicked) especially up front,” Dalton said. “People sometimes think the read is the hard thing to teach — it's part of it — but the front is the thing. To get those guys to block their assignments and do what they're supposed to do, once the line started to do that, we really started to take off.”
That line returns four starters, including all-conference tackle Nick Matheny and guard Ryan Ward. Junior tackle AJ Johnson also will bolster the unit.
The rushing attack once again will be led by junior James Duchi, who had 1,514 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. Trinity transfer Patrick Frey will add to an already strong backfield after gaining 901 yards in 2012.
Dual-threat quarterback Nate Whipkey, a junior, also returns.
“Our backfield, if you add (Frey's) yards, we have (around) 3,000 yards of rushing coming back,” Dalton said.
“In our last two games, Duchi ran for 520 yards. He got better at it and just went crazy, so hopefully we can keep building and start where we left off and not start from scratch.”
Even with its intimidating ground game, McGuffey hopes to keep defenses off-balance with its passing game, where Adam Narigan returns as the Highlanders top receiver.
“If you can't throw it a lick, teams can get a ninth and 10th guy down there and give you fits,” Dalton said.
Defensively, McGuffey will feature a big front with Matheny, Ward and Johnson to go along with an experienced secondary, including cornerback Kendrix Reed and Frey at free safety.
“Hopefully, we can take a step forward on defense also,” Dalton said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- High school football notebook: Summer heat possible for season’s first week
- Like the Allegheny Conference, the Birdie is realigned
- Gorman: Rowan’s move hurts area hoops
- Veteran QB, D-I lineman back to lead Baldwin
- South Park has sights set on playoff payoff
- Class A breakdown: WPIAL realignment shakes up conferences
- HSFB preview by position: Familiar faces coaching in new places
- Gorman: McNeilly Road rivalry renewed
- Knoch’s Farinelli primed for big year after working with QB guru Harris
- Bulked-up offensive line looks to anchor Blue Devils
- Unified Plum football team eager to bounce back from 2013