Championship Time!

Obviously I fell a bit behind on posting updates. Time for some serious catchup on what's happened the past few weeks, plus some thoughts on our championship game this afternoon.

On October 17 we played a Liberty team that challenged our offense. While we won the game 26-0, their inside gap penetration really threw our running game for a loop. It became clear to us that we need to work on our down-blocking and sealing behind pulling guards, something that would turn out to be a challenge for the rest of the season. Our defense was stellar, allowing only 18 yards of total offense and three first downs.

October 24 was our low point the season. We played the other undefeated team in our division and they were more prepared than we. This is a well coached team and they did what a team needs to do to stop the Wing-T - attack our inside gaps where the guards pull and disrupt the backfield before the play can develop. We made some good adjustments in the game but had troubles with center-QB exchange that prevented us from getting our legs again. The final score was 22-8 Southridge, they out-gained us 158-145 yards.

Our last regular season game was a count-for-nothing game that allowed us to refine our offense and get back to basics. We worked extensively on sealing behind the pulling guards and having our running backs hit the holes hard and take what yards they could get. We got off to a great start but allowed Westview to get back in the game towards the end of the first half. On a positive note, some investment in our PAT kicking started to pay off this week as we made 3 of our 4 kicks. These are worth 2 points each so that was like scoring an extra touchdown. The final score was 30-18 Sherwood, and we found that we were still missing some fundamentals in blocking assignments. I put together some instructional video to share with the kids as we entered our first playoff game vs. Beaverton last weekend.

The kids were up for our playoff game on November 7. Rain was likely and we had our kids well prepared for Beaverton's strong passing attack. The weather went in our favor with cold temperatures at the start and heavy rains by half time, thwarting Beaverton's ability to put together any sort of passing game. They reverted to their I formation for most of the game which played to our inside linebacker strengths. We won the playoff game 28-0 and were happily able to give some of our backups a great deal of playing time in the second half.

So here we are, Saturday November 14 2009 on championship day. Sherwood has 5 teams still playing (3 at 5/6 grade, 1 JV, and Varsity) and today will end the season regardless. This is our third straight championship game, and hopefully this will end in our first championship win. Our goal going into each year is to play the maximum 10 games and we've been successful at that every year. We think the kids are prepared and now it is up to them. It will be a battle against our Southridge rivals and we have some special adjustments we've made that we hope will make a difference. Even if we execute very well it will be a hard-fought game and could go either way. I'll report back soon with the results, and share more details on the adjustments we made and the success (or not!) that they brought.