Georgia Football Powers Run and Throw

The Charlton County Indians of Class AA, were the the only 2005 Georgia Championship football team to totally buy into the West Coast offense last season. Rich McWhorter's Tribe, winners of two straight titles, love the controlled passing game that high school football's newest offense affords.

The state's Class AAA Champions, Peach County used a multiple set offense to capture their title and Larry Campbell's Lincoln County Red Devils, the Class A title holder ran mostly out of a Pro Set. The Lowndes Vikings, the Class AAAAA champs ran the tried and true winged-T en route to a 14-1 mark last fall.

Two of the State's traditional powers offer a totally different perspective than most would suspect when it comes to the running game in high school football. The Statesboro High School Blue Devils, last season's Class AAAA champs. and 29-1 over the past two seasons, run the power wishbone and it's worked wonders for them over the past 7 years (85-11-1). Thomas County Central of Thomasville has made the state's football playoffs the past 15 years while running the Houston Veer.

Statesboro Head Coach Steve Pennington (122-79-4) likes the West Coast offense, "For all practical purposes...it's a running game through the air. You can do a lot of things with that offense...but I feel it puts a lot of responsibility on the Quarterback to perform at a peak level on every play." Heading into his third year as the head coach at Statesboro, Pennington likes his Power Wishbone offensive scheme much better, "It has served us well over the years...it reduces the turnovers and for us to win, we have to have a positive turnover ratio, since we depend on a physically demanding style of play on both sides of the ball."

Ed Pilcher (189-75-1) has led Thomas County Central to five state titles and a second place finish over the past 15 years and would not consider running anything else other than the veer offense. "I like it (veer) because you don't have to have big, physical linemen to run it...that helps...but it's not imperative. The veer offense enables you to get some great double-team blocks up front and if you get great reads from your quarterback...you can move the ball on most teams."

Consistency is the key word for any offense in Georgia High School football wars each Friday night in the fall, and every offensive scheme used has some validity. For Lincoln County, Charlton County, Peach County, Statesboro, Lowndes and Thomas County Central there will be no change of offensive philosophy in 2006, and look for all of them to be around when the playoffs begin this season.


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