Judging by its offensive scheme and last week’s results, it’s pretty evident that South Western doesn’t plan to fill the air with footballs Friday night.
The Mustangs, who host Chambersburg in a non-league encounter at 7 p.m., run a wing-T offense, which is always predominately a running offense. In a 28-9 loss to Gettysburg last week, South Western quarterbacks were 2-for-10, for 56 yards and two interceptions.
“They’re not built to drop back and throw the football,” Trojan coach Mark Luther said. “They had a couple of nice runs last week, but Gettysburg packed the box and made it difficult to run.
“What we have to do is take away the run game and put them in second-and-long and third-and-long situations and make them throw.”
Gettysburg held the Mustangs to 125 yards on 33 carries last week, 3.7 yards per rush. Meanwhile, Chambersburg gave up only 106 yards on 32 carries (3.3 avg.) in its 56-13 win over Greencastle-Antrim.
Luther said, “Our defensive front, especially Wyatt Hull and Tyrion Hodges, got off the ball exceptionally well and created havoc. I’m very proud of their effort — it was awesome to see. Bryce Diller had a good game at middle linebacker. He played physical and was getting downhill.”
For the Mustangs last week, Tyler Higdon (6-foot, 170 pounds) was the top rusher, with 62 yards on seven carries, while Austin Furhman had 21 on six tries. Starting QB Barry Chamberlain was 1-for-9 for 2 yards, with two picks.
Chambersburg scored eight touchdowns last week, including one each by the defense (Keyshawn Jones’ interception return) and special teams (kickoff return by Tyeshawn Worrell).
But the offense played well, too, and Luther was especially pleased with the line.
“It was the most aggressive I’ve seen our offensive line play in my four years,” Luther said. “At this level, the most important guys on the team are up front, and if they play well, we have a great chance to win the game.
“Saturday morning when you’re watching film, you get to see a lot of things. One thing we noticed was how well the receivers were blocking downfield.”
Luther cited another play as an indicator to show how if a player does his job, it can allow somebody else to shine.
“We called a blitz and Kyere Morton was rushing. Our cornerbacks played their man really tight and when the quarterback saw the blitz he looked at them, but had to hold the ball because they were so well covered. That allowed Kyere to get the sack.
“That’s what good teams will do, and we saw a lot of it Friday night. The young guys can see that and learn from it.”
South Western plays the same defense as the Trojans — a 3-5-3 scheme — but Luther says the Mustangs will move their players around a lot more.
“We think they’ll try to bring a lot of pressure against us and cause us to make mistakes,” Luther said. “We’ll have to be ready for that.”
One of South Western’s top defenders is Charles Gaither, a quick, 6-2, 230-pounder who does an unusual double as the nose guard and a running back. He had two tackles for a loss last week and two hurries. Fuhrman led the team in tackles last year from his linebacker spot.
NOTES: The Mustangs were 1-9 a year ago, including a 51-26 loss to the Trojans … Chambersburg had 465 yards of offense in that game, including nearly 250 by Keyshawn Jones in rushing and receiving … Higdon had a rushing TD and receiving TD for SW.