The Moultrie Observer
When Colquitt County defensive coordinator Travis Pearson watched some video of the McEachern offense that the Packers will have to deal with, he immediately called some colleagues to see what knew of it.
They were as surprised as Pearson to see a team line up in a two-tight end, empty backfield formation and then run the football.
Packers head coach Rush Propst calls it a run attack disguised out of the spread.
The offense is no-huddle and fast-paced.
Propst said the offense reminds him of the old single-wing.
“They throw it more than they did back then,” he said. “It’s unique.”
And difficult to adjust to, said Pearson on Wednesday as the Packers continued preparation to meet McEachern at 8 p.m. Friday in Powder Springs in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs.
“They’ve got it figured out,” Pearson said. “It’ll be interesting.”
While most teams who spread their receivers do so to enhance their passing game, the Indians do it to improve their rush offense.
“They are committed to the run,” Pearson said.
And although the Indians have used three quarterbacks, Ty Griffin is the one who does the most damage running the football.
Griffin ran for 222 yards and four touchdowns when McEachern came from behind to defeat Hillgrove 33-30 last Friday in the regular-season finale.
When Andrew Hayward is in the game, the Indians tend to throw more.
Tymashian Clemons also has played quarterback. He also lines up at receiver.
What Griffin, Clemons, Hayward and running backs Taj Griffin and Mike Sherman have in common is speed, Propst said.
“No. 7 (Taj Griffin) is the most shifty of the group,” Pearson said. “But they’ve all got good tools.”
McEachern opened the season against the two teams that played for the state championship, losing to Grayson 31-12 and to Walton 37-35.
Starting with the game against Walton, the Indians have scored 367 points, an average of just over 40 a game.
But after having held Camden County to just two touchdowns and having played well defensively for much of the season, the Packers should have some confidence.
“They were by far the best team we’ve played all year,” Pearson said of Camden County. “I don’t know if anybody’s going be able to beat them again.
“We just wanted to eliminate big plays, just like we have all season. And we were able to do that.”
Senior middle linebacker John Gray had a big game against Camden, registering eight solo and seven assisted tackles.
Defensive tackle Michael Parrish had five solos and seven assists and had two tackles for loss.
Linebacker Brandon Key had 11 total tackles, cornerback Johnny Ward had nine and safety Garrett Pearce had six tackles, including one for a loss.
Ward, Jamiyus Pittman and Ikeem Blakely each recovered a fumble.
Pearson said he did not expect to make significant changes to his defense against McEachern.
“We’re going to line up and play like we’ve been doing all year,” Pearson said. “It’s playoff time, so we’ve got some bumps and bruises, but we’ll play through them.
“I’m just looking forward to our kids playing better and better and finishing real strong.”