Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

August 10, 2013

GC Football: Corsicana's Tigers try out new up-tempo offense in intersquad scrimmage

Corsicana —     Don’t blink.

    If you do, you might just miss Corsicana’s new offense.

    And this is an offense you don’t want to miss.

    The Tigers haven’t just speeded things up, they’ve installed a turbo engine and a quick-trigger release button.

    “This is fast, really fast,” said Corsicana quarterback Devontay Bell after the team held a Blue and White intersquad scrimmage Saturday night at Tiger Stadium. “We have been fast before but nothing like this. We were fast two years ago when we went to the state semifinals, but not this fast. This is two times faster.

    “This is fast,” he said again. “This is college fast. No one we play runs an offense this fast. I’ve never seen any (high school) team run an offense this fast.’’

    This is the no line, no-waiting offense.

    The Tigers fly into every play in a no-huddle offense, lining up in the shotgun (well, it looks and feels more like a laser gun) on every snap. Bell — and the other quarterbacks — look for the play from the sideline and they’re ready to go. Bell and freshman QB Kishawn Kelley split most of the snaps, and both looked like they had been running this offense for a while.

So did the other Tigers.

    “We’re ready to go even before we line up. You’ve got to be ready in this offense,” said tailback Tra Owens, who scored on a 20-yard run on the first series of the scrimmage. This offense is so fast. You better be in shape to run this offense, and if you’re not in shape, this offense will get you in shape.”

    There’s no time to waste.

    “Before the play ends, I’m already looking to the sideline for the next play,” Bell said. “I love it.”

    That may be Corsicana’s secret formula — the way the kids feel about speeding things up.

    How else do you explain a team with a new coach and a new offense looking this sharp and crisp just six days into practice?

    “We love this tempo,” said receiver Hector Calvillo, who made three catches for 51 yards. “This tempo is twice as fast as we were last year. When we get ready for a play we have to be ready because this offense is so fast. I like this a lot more than what we did last year.”

    Owens said it was no secret.

    “It’s hard work,” he said. “We run these plays over and over and they get stuck in our head, and we run everything fast in practice. Our coaches don’t let us walk around. We move at a fast pace in everything we do. I love our new coach. He’s amazing. He’s got us hyped up, ready to go. His energy is what a team needs. It’s what a team wants.”

    The energy was there Saturday night.

    “I’m proud of the them,” said coach Steve Hoffman, the man who took over the program in April and has been playing catch-up since. Hoffman and his team are still on the run —  literally —  but he likes what he sees.

    “We’ve only had five days of practice before this scrimmage, and this is only our second day in pads,” he said. “But I liked what I saw on both sides of the ball. I thought we did a good job offensively and defensively.

    “Yes, it’s fast,” Hoffman said with a smile. “I hope it gets faster. I thought Devontay did a good job and I thought Kishawn did a good job.”

     It wasn’t a back-and-forth scrimmage. The offense ran plays against the defense. It was just a scrimmage, but it was a chance to take a peak at what lies ahead for the Tigers. Don't buy any playoff tickets just yet, but Saturday Night Live with the Tigers was definitely a prime time hit with the kids and coaches. 

    It’s still hard to believe how quickly the Corsicana kids took to the new offense — in just five days of practice.

    “The kids grasp it,” Hoffman said. “They believe in it. When kids like what they do and when kids believe in what they do it’s a lot easier to get better.”

    Donovan Hailey, a defensive end who had some big moments himself with two tackles for losses and a strip that resulted in a 25-yard TD return by defensive tackle Tiona McDonald, said he couldn’t believe how well Corsicana’s offensive line played under the up-tempo conditions.

    “The offensive line was amazing,” Hailey said. “They just kept going and they looked like they could keep on going and going.”

    Hoffman knows the tempo is brutal, but he also knows this pace could be devastating to opponents — as long as the Tigers move the ball.

    “With this offense you’ve got to be efficient,”  he said. “It works as long as you are moving the ball. You can’t have three and outs, because that puts so much pressure on your defense.”

    Bell knows how to move the ball. Corsicana’s electric quarterback who is coming back from ACL surgery looked quick and accurate Saturday, and when he found the crease in the defense, he was lightning to the hole. There were plays where he could have run to Dallas, but quick whistles killed the play when Bell hit the open space.

    “There won’t be any quick whistles when we play Denton Ryan,” said Hoffman, referring to Corsicana’s opening night game on Aug. 30 at home. They’ll take the turbo on the road next week for a test run in a scrimmage against McKinney North at Richardson’s Eagle/Mustang Stadium, where they will have a real scrimmage at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

    Then they play their final scrimmage a week later in Mansfield before opening at home against Denton Ryan the following Friday. That opener will be here before you know it.

    Don’t blink.

 

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