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PREP FOOTBALL: Five things learned from Social Circle at Monticello
Cade Murray finds running room against Monticello Friday night. - photo by Cassie Jones | The Covington News

By Matthew Grimes

Heading into their region matchup with Monticello, the Social Circle Redskins had a lot of unanswered questions on the field. With a 2-4 overall record and 1-1 Region 2-AA mark, the Redskins looked to get back to their early season winning ways, and answer some questions against the winless Hurricanes. They fell in heartbreaking fashion, but in the process, provide some answers that will help them get back on track.

1. The Redskins know how to methodically drive the ball down the field. 

Between their power running game, and short passing game, each of the Redskins’ scoring drives came after long, time consuming, third-down-efficient marches down the field. Quarterback Jackson Will plays a big role in these drives, both running, and throwing, as the oft-used quarterback rollout pass keeps defensive backs honest, and gives Will the option to scramble if DBs remain too true to the pass. Throughout the night, the Redskins did not rely on splash plays, but focused on chipping away at the defense, and the clock. 

2. Bad snaps on special teams are an issue. 

On an early field goal attempt, a bad snap derailed the timing, causing the kicker to stutter, and kick the ball well short. The play essentially was a punt, and seemed benign, but on the Skins’ first score, the same snap situation caused a missed extra point, putting them in a hole from the beginning. This is a fixable problem, but right now, we know that with the current long snapping situation, Social Circle is in trouble if a game comes down to a field goal.

3. Social Circle’s offense seems built for the goal line. 

Often play calling becomes difficult from inside the 10-yard line. The field is condensed, meaning less room for the defense to cover and less room for the offense to maneuver. This allows the defense to play close, stifling the run and derailing the pass. However, Social Circle seems to have the perfect offense for such situations. At least it did on Friday night. The Redskins’ offense relies on short passing and power running. They don’t have to change play calling at all down close to the goal line. With the exception of the fumble in the closing seconds, the Redskins’ goal line offense was masterful, converting each attempt decisively. Quarterback Jackson Will used his legs to power through on a quarterback sneak for each score.

Carson Boyd raps up on a Monticello ball carrier. - photo by Cassie Jones | The Covington News

4. Contrasted with their methodical offense, Social Circle can run a nice two-minute drill when needed.

Even as their base offense doesn’t seem suited for a two-minute drill, the Redskins actually mounted a very impressive drive after a big interception, setting up a final chance to tie the game.

Relying all night on power running and short passing, Quarterback Jackson Will took to the air with a purpose in the final minutes. On the final drive, Will was 3 for 5 passing —  one of the incompletions was a drop — and showed off his scrambling skills and escapability. He managed to lead his team 52 yards down the field, and was nearly flawless until the heartbreaking fumble at the goal line. Despite the loss, The Redskins showed their ability to spread the field and throw, a nice complement to their base offense. 

5. This team is resilient. 

Even after the Hurricanes stunned the Redskins and went up 21-6, the team never gave up, as evidenced by their last minute near heroics. One play that epitomized this teams fight was Tate Peters’ diving interception as the Canes sought to bleed out the clock. Just as the ball appeared to be falling helplessly to the ground, Peters launched forward and cradled it in, injecting his sideline with energy, and giving his team one last shot. In the end, the team fell short, but this will for sure be a moment Coach Chad Estes uses to motivate his squad in the future, and will be something they hearken back to if faced with the situation again.