Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NORTH-SOUTH FOOTBALL ; South Coach Offering Offensive Variations

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NORTH-SOUTH FOOTBALL ; South Coach Offering Offensive Variations

Article excerpt

INSIDE: North-South rosters 2B

It's fairly common for offenses to lag behind defenses in all- star football games. After all, tackling is tackling, regardless of the scheme. Pass routes and blocking schemes, on the other hand, take time to mature to maximum efficiency.

South coach Harvey Arms said he believes he might have solved the riddle for when the Cardinals take on the North Bears at 7 p.m. Saturday in the North-South All-Star Football Classic at University of Charleston Stadium.

"We have actually installed three or four different packages of alignments and plays out of different sets so that we can get more people involved and get out on the field and play, Arms said.

This package-specific offense, Arms said, will enable players who are more comfortable playing in different offenses more opportunity to stand out. On more than one occasion in the past, coaches have installed their own team's offense, and while that tactic has its benefits, it also marginalizes others on the team.

Arms has John Thomas Keffer at quarterback in one package, and the coach and field general will likely be running the same wing-T variant they used at Man during Keffer's four years as a starter there. However, that wing-T is the same offense that saw Keffer throw nearly 200 times as a senior.

George Washington's Kaleb Mackey was a late addition to the North roster, and as Mackey stood out in both pro set and spread offenses with the Patriots, he will presumably be guiding a more open version of the South attack.

"By doing that, for one, it makes it easier for us over on the sideline, Arms said. "For one, it makes it easier for us to check who's been in and who hasn't. When we know what [offensive package] is on the field, we know who's played.

Both Arms and North coach Ryan Wilson of Clay-Battelle said they were eager and honored to participate in this year's game, and have enjoyed the process of watching their respective teams come together. …

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