Photo by Derrick Mahone
Strong Rock senior Zack Moss says that the team has more confidence this season as they become confident with the offensive and defensive schemes.
Strong Rock at a glance
Last year: 2-8
Summer progress: With the return of both starting quarterbacks, the offense seems to have a better grasp of coach Matt Miller’s option scheme. Although senior Zach Moss has been named the starter, he will split time with junior Jesse Adams this season. Both will have to mentor a young running back corps that consists of two sophomores.
Work to do: The offensive line is young with only one senior — Andrew Spann, who will serve as a team captain. Developing depth along the interior line will be key as many players will have to play both ways.
Emerging player: Ryan Butterfield. The sophomore will handle the punting duties this season. Miller said he has averaged about 40 yards per punt during practice. Miller also said that junior lineman Asher Williams (6-2, 260) could develop into a college prospect.
The offense, as Strong Rock coach Matt Miller says, is a lot sharper this season.
Part of that is because starting quarterbacks Zack Moss and Jesse Adams, now has full grasp of the option offense Miller installed last season —his first at the school.
Moss began the season as the starter before an injury sidelined him for the season. In stepped Moss, who was the starter the previous season.
Miller sees a big advantage in having two starting quarterbacks on the roster. Moss, a senior, is listed as the starter, but Adams will see plenty of playing time for the Patriots, who look for their first winning season in the school’s six-year history.
“In Year Two, both seem to understand the system we are running,” Miller said. “I call them starting quarterbacks 1A and 1B. I feel real confident with either one of them in the lineup.”
Both agree that they are more comfortable in the offense this season.
“It has been like total daylight in having a year under your belt,” Adams said. “I fully understand what we are doing. I’m much more comfortable. We still have a few cobwebs to workout, but we are definitely light years from last season.”
Moss said that communication has been the key in getting the offense down. He said that he and Adams are always in consistent communication with Miller about the offense.
“On the sidelines, we are together,” Moss said. “We both bring different aspects to the offense. There are things he can do with the offense, and there are some things that I can do.”
Miller said that makes for perfect harmony for the teammates.
“They are the best of friends,” Miller said. “They compete and they also help each other. They are very smart and tough kids. There is no ego or pride because they both want what is best for this program. When you run the option, the quarterback is the key.”
Miller is hoping the stability at quarterback will translate into more wins on the field.
The Patriot finished the 2011 campaign with a 2-8 record, which included seven straight losses to end the season. The team’s victories came against Cross Keys (39-8) and King’s Ridge Christian (21-20).
Miller says he sees a different attitude in the players this year.
“They have that attitude that they are expecting to win,” Miller said.
“There is a lot more confidence on this team,” Adams said. “I think we have the right attitude.”