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10 steps to scoring

10 steps to scoring

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Published by Michael Schearer

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Published by: Michael Schearer on Nov 16, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Iwant to thank the AFCA for allowing me

this opportunity to speak about Georgetown College Football. Several weeks ago, I was one of the fortunate coaches to be preparing for a playoff game when a member of the AFCA staff called and asked me to speak. I had to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming. For so many years I sat in the front row at this convention, as well as every clinic I could go to, taking notes and thinking someday and then I would wake up to reality. This is a great honor and goes to show you that dreaming and visualizing can be worthwhile.

As an assistant for 14 years, I was influ- enced by some great people, three of whom I thoroughly enjoyed coaching with. Kevin Donley, my mentor, the man who began this scoring tradition at Georgetown College, was a great inspiration to me because of his persistence to make Georgetown College a national power. Ernie Horning, our defensive coordinator at the time, was a master motivator and a great teacher of life long lessons. Stewart \u201cRed\u201d Faught, a legend of small college football and the guru of the run-and-shoot offense, set a new trend for Georgetown College football. It is these experiences that have enabled me to return to Georgetown as the head coach and contin- ue the Tiger tradition.

What a tremendous experience we were part of this past season. Ranked No. 1 in the country for 13 straight weeks, undefeated up to the final week when we met our match, a fine football team from Northwestern Oklahoma State University, who we played for the national champi- onship. Prior to that, we flew for the first time in school history to California to take on the defending national champions and were successful. It was a great year!

Before I go any further, let me say this. In 1991, I was a part of the NAIA champi- onship game between Georgetown and Pacific Lutheran, and it was a very memo- rable experience for everyone involved. However, the strides that have been made by the NAIA, with the help of Team Hardin County, is unbelievable. I really commend everyone involved with the championship series. It is totally a first class operation and one that our coaches and players are excited about participating in again.

I feel very humbled in speaking today because I know many of you are much more qualified than I. The more I prepared, the more I realized all I can do is tell you

how we at Georgetown College have been
approaching things the past three seasons.

We have been called the most prolific offense in NAIA history. Now, I am not sure what that means. It is one of those fancy terms my sports information director uses, who by the way does a great job, but I do know that we averaged 583 yards per game, which is over 8,100 yards for the season. That is the highest single-season total in NAIA history. We scored 710 points this season, the second time in our school\u2019s history to score over 700 points in a season, the only school to ever achieve that. The stat that I like the most is 97 touchdowns by 15 different players. Now, I am not a statistics person and pay very lit- tle attention to them however, those are not bad numbers. When we score 30 points, everyone is asking, What\u2019s wrong? We have spoiled our fans and that\u2019s a good problem to have!

I'd like to begin by pointing out some of the things we try to emphasize at Georgetown to help us develop an attitude about scoring. Just four seasons ago, the Tigers went through four years of averag- ing just 20 points per game. The last three seasons we have averaged 40 points, and this past season 50 points, all because of attitude!

Ten Steps to Score
1. Must have coaches who believe in
your system.

Everyone must be committed and offen- sive coaches and defensive coaches must believe without a doubt that it will work. I am fortunate to have a great staff, three of whom are with me today: Craig Mullins, my offensive coordinator, Dave Campbell, my defensive coordinator, and Bruce Owens, my recruiting coordinator, who obviously does a great job because he supplies us with all the very talented athletes who make us all look good.

These guys believe in what we do!
2. Brainwash our players with our

I remember the first spring practice and sitting with the offense in a room talking about the success of this offense. How it will score 40 points per game! They all looked at me like I was crazy until I showed them how it had worked before in college, in high school, and in 1991 when we won the national championship. We convinced these players that it will happen, not that it can happen!

P r o c e e d in g s
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Bill Cronin
Head Coach
Geor getown College
Geor getown, Ky.
It\u2019s More Fun to Score

Our philosophy is very simple but catchy and sincere. It was taken from the finest offensive football coach I have ever been around, Red Faught. I am sure most of you know him; he coached 36 years at Franklin College in Indiana. The philosophy is this \u2014 Stay loose, go reckless, and score! And we truly believe that. Let the defensive guys tear down the lockers and we stay loose.

3. Practice scoring.

Every drill we do we emphasize scoring, demand that they get into the end zone at full speed! In team drills, we want the line- men to get excited, run to the end zone and give high-fives. Practice it. Get used to it. It allows you to have fun in practice.

4. Must play good, sound defense.

Your players must realize how important the defense is to the offenses scoring. This is something our coordinators did a great job of, they complimented each other. It is amazing how much easier it is to score when you start on the 40-50 yard line because your defense put you there. It is also a lot easier to gamble and take chances when you know your defense is going to make it tough for your opponent to score. I hate to punt and I hate to kick field goals, but my staff and players know it and are not sur- prised when we go for seven points instead of being happy with three. Because of our defense, we went for it on fourth down 42 times this season. Our opponents went for it 18 times. That is a big diff e r e n c e .

5. We use a tool box approach.

Don\u2019t bring a hammer when you need a screwdriver. We feel like we have a specif- ic tool for whatever you do to us on defense. Then it is all about picking the right tool and executing.

During the game, my offensive coordi- nator is in the press box watching the far side, I am watching the near side and my offensive line coach watches the box. Each of them will give me a call, and I will decide what we run. My other offensive coaches are watching personnel, and when they see a weakness, they communicate that to me. I never want to know what the defense is doing, but tell me what we should run. This enables us to pick the proper tool.

6. Execution is the key! Know your
conversion downs letter perfect!

You have to practice it 1,000 times because 999 is not enough. This is proba- bly what we do best and practice. I believe we have a very organized way of practicing what is important every day.

We spend a lot of time on third down

plays; it is easy to call plays on first and second down, but not every play will gain you 10 or 12 yards. You can select the proper tools to score or advance the ball, but if you don\u2019t execute your proper tools have done you no good.

7. Have a plan and practice all situa-
tions possible.

We always want our players to feel that we have a plan, no matter what the situation might demand. I believe this puts them at ease. For example; two-point conversion plays, two-minute offense, backed up to your goal line, the last four minutes of the game, the last three plays of the game, spe- cials, touchdown now, overtime, safety. T h e bottom line is: Practice and have a purpose!

8. Recognize players weekly.

However you do it, you must do it. Players love to be recognized in front of their peers and we all do and we try to do it as often as we can. The thing we try to focus on is extra effort performances, not every catch or touchdown, but big hits, div - ing catches, breaking tackles. The enthusi - asm and the effort as a result becomes contagious.

9. Expect everyone to coach and
coach up!

We believe we have the largest coach- ing staff anywhere. Expect your players to coach when they are not actually involved in the play. What this does is forces players to get mental reps. A person can only get so many physical reps, but mental reps are unlimited. When the players really get involved with this, your young player devel- ops faster and contributes sooner.

10. Utilize the three S\u2019s (Scoring
pass, Sideline pass, and Shovel pass)

What I would like to do is share part of our system with you, a part that we really have had a great deal of success with. The players love it because they know we don\u2019t go into a game without our three S\u2019s.

First let\u2019s look at our basic formations: Diagram 1. This is our run and shoot for- mation that we probably use 70-75 percent of the time. We never go into a game think-

ing we are going to run it a certain percent-
age, it just depends on the tools we need.

Diagram 2 is our goal line formation. Even though we call it the goal line doesn\u2019t mean we won\u2019t use it elsewhere on the field. We like this formation a lot because it is so different from the run-and-shoot for- mation. In the goal line formation, we like to use a deep motion and a long motion. We will sweep quite often to the quick side and run power, hard-nosed-type plays to the strong side; it depends on how you want to defend us. That dictates what tools we use.

In Diagram 3 you will see the scoring pass, the first of the three S\u2019s. The quarter- back will fake to the right half, look at the right half and then hit the left halfback or tight end. This is a great play on the goal line or inside the 10 yard line.

In Diagram 4, we have the sideline pass. Now we have no motion and the quarterback will five-step drop and read the cornerback coverage. The left half will arc release on the cornerback. If he closes on him, then go deep. If he can\u2019t close then he will run and out cut. This is a great play if you are playing against a weak defensive back and you want to take advantage of him.

P r o c e e d in g s
7 7 th AFCA Convention
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Diagr am 2: Goal Line
Diagram 1: Run-and-Shoot Formation
Diagr am 3: Scor ing Pass
Diagr am 4: Sideline Pass

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