Winston brings spread offense into SA game
As Winston Academy rolls into town for Friday's 7 p.m. game against Starkville Academy, fans should get used to looking down the field.
The Patriots (3-2) bring a high-powered spread offense into town as they look to keep the Volunteers winless.
"Our offense is our strength to this point in the season," said Winston head coach Harold Wisdom. "We throw it around a bunch, about 30 attempts per game is what we're averaging right now."
Leading the Patriots air attack is junior quarterback Tyler Sullivan. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, the second-year starter has thrown for approximately 1,400 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions so far this season according to Wisdom.
As the numbers indicate, Sullivan is aided by a talented receiving corp.
Three seniors, Cameron Paschal, Tyler Golson, and Austin Flake, along with juniors Smith Ashley and Jack Dempsey, are heavy contributors to Wisdom's five-wide system.
"We rotate five guys in and out, but most of those guys are seniors and it's their second year in the offense like (Sullivan)," said Wisdom. "They have really matured this year and they are kind of different players than they were last year. We like getting the ball in their hands as quick as we can and they have really done a great job of making some people miss and scoring points."
As effective as the Winston offense has been to this point of the season, Wisdom says it was originally his defense that he expected to rely upon coming into the year.
"We had nine returning starters on the defensive side of the ball, but we have really struggled defensively this year," Wisdom said. "We've had some injuries and people have been exposing us a little bit. We've kind of had to do some things defensively that we aren't accustomed to doing."
With his defense not being the unit he expected when 2010 began, Wisdom says he's concerned with Friday's matchup against SA. Knowing the Volunteers offense relies heavily upon the option, Wisdom is by no means taking his opposition lightly.
"Even though Starkville is 0-5, they might be one of the best 0-5 teams I've ever seen on film," said Wisdom. "They're physical and once they get more time in that option system, they're going to be dangerous so we're a little worried. Anytime you play an option team you've got to make sure you've got somebody who can tackle the dive, the quarterback, and the pitch. If we don't do those three things every snap, we'll be in trouble."