The high school varsity football season is here, and the players on the Salt River High School Eagles football team have been getting stronger as each day goes by.
The team played a scrimmage on August 17 against Gila Bend and Phoenix Day School for the Deaf. The games went well for the team. There were 20 offensive and defensive plays, and 27 plays where the Eagles ran the football.
The team is working with a run-based offense, said Head Coach Brandon Tauscher. “It was kind of interesting because we ran the single-wing offense, which was developed in the 1920s,” Tauscher said. The coaches explained the history of it to the players. “It features a lot of power and misdirection to confuse the opponents.”
The Eagles had two plays for 40 yards and scored two touchdowns. “We are trying to teach the guys how to block and learn different angles; [we’re] trying to do things a little bit different from what the other high school teams do, or even what everyone sees on television,” said the coach.
During one of the scrimmage games, the Eagles ran for 265 yards on 27 carries, which breaks down to almost 10 yards per carry. “If you are averaging 4 to 5 yards a carry, then that’s very good—and we doubled that,” said Tauscher.
The Eagles defense, on the other hand, is trying to play more aggressively. “The other teams really don’t know where we are coming from on our defense,” said Tauscher, “and in our last game it was exceptional.” They allowed 18 carries and only 12 yards, and on six plays the Eagles held their opponents to negative yards, “so we were able to stop them in the backfield.”
Between school and practice, the players have been attending lot of film sessions recently. They are reviewing their playbooks, then watching the plays live to see how they actually did.
Right now, Tauscher believes there is a lot of learning going on for the team, with many players new to the high school and a lot of first-time players as well.
“We want the players to continue to raise the bar for themselves and to continue to do well,” said Tauscher. “Their grades have improved dramatically since the first week of school. We were successful in the scrimmage against two teams, and the team saw what they were able to accomplish.”