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      Head Coach Openings 2017   10/17/2016

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Zach Robinson

Pioneer and Adams Central Scouting Reports

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Pioneer Scouting Report

Here are some observations from their game with Knox.

 

Offense:  Pioneer’s offense has continued to be a highly successful run based wing-t offense throughout the recent history of class A football.

Primary Sets and Tendencies:  Typically they stay in their standard double wing, single back set which features a tight end on one side and a receiver on the other side of the formation.  Most plays feature wing motion and most of the time the play is run towards the motion.  In comparison to past years’ teams they feature the option and qb designed runs more often.  The wingbacks appeared to get fewer carriers during their game with Knox.

They normally stay with their primary formation but they will alter it in a couple of ways.

1.      They set one of the wing backs next to the full back to create a two back look.  The remaining wing will go into motion (most likely jet) and they will at times run power lead play for the full back with the wings lead blocking. 

2.      Shotgun, with the full back next to the quarterback, with two receivers set to the full back side and a tight end and wing back.  If the two receivers are set right you must be prepared for a sprint pass, if the two receivers are set left most likely it will be a quarterback power run with the fullback acting as a lead blocker.  Regardless of which side the receivers are set if the wing back goes in jet motion you must be prepared for the “jet option”.   (jet sweep or qb keep)  At least 85-90% of the time the play will be run to the two receiver side when the panthers line up in shotgun.

To me the shotgun set is a wild card because its very hard to defend even though it is just slightly different than their primary set. 

 

Quarterback:  #4 Jack Burley Kiser:  He is likely pound for pound the best player in class A football.  He is listed at 6’2 205 pounds but he plays like he is actually 6’4 235 pounds.  As a runner he is incredibly strong, patient, and punishing.  Its not every day you see a quarterback take over a game with the sneak, but for parts of the critical 3rd quarter he did just that.    He definitely has an extra burst of speed once he gets past the 2nd level of the defense.  Kiser will block for his fullback after handing him the ball.  He does a good job of running the option.    I didn’t see him pitch the ball in this game.  In terms of passing the ball he seemed to be most comfortable throwing to the right quad of the field while on the move in that direction. Throwing to the left quadrant of the field is something that gave him a little trouble.  He excels at working the play fake on counter action.    One thing I didn’t see in this game is a 3-7 step drop back pass opportunity for the quarterback.

Fullback: #24 Danny Gregorich:  He is an old fashion fullback who had the second most carries in this game.  He is a straight ahead north and south runner who will get the most out of a play regardless if there is anywhere to go.  He got slammed really hard on two or three plays in this game but it didn’t faze him at all.  He does a good job of blocking on the shotgun plays.

Wing Backs:  #5 Lewellen, #14 Von Tobel, and #20 Mersch were the primary wing backs during the game although there were other players who received playing at this position.  *(Mersch did play spot duty at full back in this game).  In this game they weren’t featured very much in terms of carrying the ball.  Both Lewellen and Mersch were targeted on passing plays.  In most games they will be featured on jet and toss sweep plays, along with the occasional counter.

Tight End and Receiver:  #10 Nate Johnson got the majority of the reps at tight end.  He is sneaky good athlete who has played in the backfield in the past. He is a solid blocker and a potential receiving threat in the passing game if needed.  #3 Calahan Kindley is the primary wide out and is asked to block for the running game on most plays. 

Offensive Line:  Pioneer clearly has one of the best o-lines in class A.  As a group they don’t have a great deal of size, but their speed, precision, and take off on the snap of the ball is more than most teams can deal with.  #64 Conner Walker could be the best center in class A football.  Pioneer had good results running in between the tackles and he played an important role in that.  Both sets of guards and tackles did a good job of drive and pull blocking.  Overall they did an outstanding job of coming out low out of their stances and drive blocking.  The panthers had good production running the ball on both sides of the line.  Its very tough to create negative plays on this offense and the line is certainly a big reason why.  It would be interesting to see how the pass blocking holds up if they find themselves in 3rd and long.

 

  Defense:  Pioneer’s base defense is a 4-3.  The defense as a unit is very fast, disciplined, well connected, and features a defensive line that KHS could not handle on running plays.  Defending the run on the inside and the perimeter is strength of the defense. Knox was able to make a little hay passing the ball, but it wasn’t nearly enough to put them in a position to win the game.

Defensive Line:  This is the best overall defensive line I’ve evaluated so far in class A football this year.  Simply put they gave Knox no space to operate in the ground game.  There were numerous plays where it just looked like a wall of black jerseys closing any gap that might’ve appeared.  #52 James and #54 Juby were the primary defensive tackles in this game and they stuffed Knox many times.  Starting defensive ends #64 Walker and #75 Mersch also did a great job of defending the run and for the most part kept Knox’s mobile qb contained in the pocket. The panthers in past years have been thin upfront, but this year Pioneer has quality depth at the defensive tackle position in #63 Schroder and #68 Beckley.

The only issue they had was that the quarterback had time to throw the ball for the first 2.5-3 quarters of the game.  Typically PHS brought the blitz to help the line pressure the passer.

 

Linebackers:  As a group they did a terrific job filling gaps and making good form tackles.  They made an impact on the passing game by helping out in coverage, knocking down passes, and applying pressure to the qb.  #24 Danny Gregorich is their best linebacker and one of the best backers in class A.  He can play both middle and outside linebacker in their defense and is someone an opposing quarterback must find before snapping the ball.  He is truly a disruptive force on this defense and blew up several plays in this game as he is an outstanding blitzer.

 

Defensive Backs:  Pioneer has a terrific pair of safeties in #10 Johnson and #4 Kiser.  Johnson is a very good free safety who has good range in the passing game whether he is covering a receiver or helping out a corner. I charted him with both an interception and a pass breakup. Kiser is very much a safety/linebacker combo player for the defense.  Its tough enough to block the d-line and the backers, but then you have to deal with Kiser who is great in run support.  He is incredibly hard to account for in the run game.  He can also be called upon to cover a receiver in man to man coverage.  In my opinion Pioneer and Hagerstown have the best safety duos in class A that I’ve seen this year.

At cornerback they are very young and undersized (both in height and weight).  I actually thought the coverage was pretty good for the most part even when KHS completed a pass.  When Knox went on their scoring drive they essentially threw a fade/jump ball type of route in order to take advantage of their receiver’s height and size.  The corners are still in the learning process at this point in time, and I noticed Jack was coaching them up on the field a few times during the game.

 

Special Teams:  #16 Matthew Nusbaum is the field goal kicker and kickoff specialist.  He has reliable range at 35-38 yards.  On kickoffs Kiser will line up just to his right and so he generally kicks the ball to the right side with the distance of kickoffs being average at best.  The coverage on both punts and kickoffs were generally good.  Kiser is the punter and one of his punts was blocked when he employed the rugby style.  When he took fewer steps he actually got off a great punt in terms of distance and height.  The return game didn’t really have a great chance to show their stuff.  Kiser, #20 Mersch, and #5 Lewellen are involved in the return game.

 

Overall:  Going into the season Pioneer was one of the favorites to win the state championship and I didn’t see anything that would change that opinion.  The biggest thing I see with team is their defense.  Its going to be very difficult to score on this team.  Running the ball will not be an option for most teams in class A because of how stout the defensive front is.  I don’t see them beating themselves with costly penalties or turnovers as they execute both offensively and defensively at a very high level.  When going against Pioneer you’re going to have to pass and have a qb that is mobile to hang with the panthers. 

 

 

 

Adams Central Scouting Report

Here are some observations from their game with South Adams

 

Offense:  The offense has remained largely the same from last year.  The flying jets like to dominate time of possession with their run based offense.  From start to finish they crushed the South Adams defensive front with the physical play of both their line and backs.

Primary Sets and Tendencies:  They have remained true to the double wing, single back, 1x1 receiver look that was so successful for them last year.

They will run the offense out of the I formation with one wing, a tight end, and a receiver.  All sets were run under center.  In past years I’ve seen ACHS run plays from the shotgun but they were so dominate in this game they stuck to their primary sets.

Most plays feature wing motion.  Simply dive plays, option, and wing counters were mainstays for the offense.   Typically the motion man will be a primary carrier on the toss sweep or the pitch man on the option.  Adams Central had tremendous success running up the middle and over both sides of the offense line.  The toss sweep and option pitch worked a little better when it went to the right.

Quarterback:  #11 Parker Bates:  Bates does a great job of leading the offense.  His decision making and ball handling skills on the option are terrific.  He is a strong runner on the option keep and gashed the starfire defense several times.  He had very few chances to showcase his passing abilities, so it would be impossible to fairly evaluate the ACHS passing game. 

Full back: #5 Drew Schultz:  He is a battering ram who is one of Adams Central’s primary ball carriers.  He is every bit of the 240 pounds he is listed at.  I like to call him the Gronkowski of class A football.  Naturally he is a powerful runner who excels running inside the tackles, but he is light on his feet and does a nice job of cutting and finding daylight.  He can pound away at a defense both mentally and physically.

Wingbacks:  #28 Logan Macklin and #17 Colton Yergler:  Macklin is a speedy back that they like to run on toss sweeps and option pitches.  Every play I charted with him in the lineup he was at the left wing spot and had a good night running to the right.  Yergler gets fewer carries from his right wing spot but he does a lot for the offense.  He isn’t very big in size but he delivered some huge blocks for the run game.  He is a capable runner on the counter plays.  *#20 Hammond also played at wingback, but I noticed he played more on the defensive side of the ball from when I watched him play last year.

Offensive Line:  This group had a huge night overall.  The run blocking was outstanding tackle to tackle.  They played a significant role in the crisp execution of the offense.  The center #63 Girod and both guards #76 Berlanga (left) and #51 Frauhiger (right) destroyed South Adams’ defensive line and linebackers.  Adams Central had numerous runs right up the gut where the back had car sized holes to run through.  A quarterback sneak gained over 15 yards during the game.  The tackles #57 Quinones (left) and #50 Jackson (right) did a terrific job of blocking.  Jackson excels at hook and reach blocking which allowed the flying jets to gain substantial yardage on toss sweeps, qb keeps, and option pitches during the game.

The play of the o-line was so good, that at no point after the seven minute mark of the 1st quarter that I felt SAHS had a reasonable chance of winning this game.  The only potential question mark for this group is pass blocking.  On one pass attempt (there were very few attempts) the starfire defense had a strip sack of the passer. 

Tight End and Receivers:  #6 Ben Voirol played tight end usually on the left side of the line when the offense was in the i formation.  I charted no complete passes for AC.  At least for this game the pass catchers were asked to block in the run game.

 

Defense:  For the most part they were in a base 4-3, but there were times that a 5 man front was used to.  The defense essentially took away South Adams offensive strength which is running the ball out the i formation.  The front 7 created a number of negative plays and long down and distance situations on 3rd down.  Their first half performance was outstanding as they pitched a shutout in the opening half.  After watching this game it’s hard to fathom how Lapel and Jay County scored over 30 points on this defense. 

 

Defensive Line:  This group stymied the rush attack 90% of the game by occupying both blockers and gaps.  Adams Central has a bit more depth at defensive tackle and end than most teams I’ve seen so far this year.  #55 Strete and #59 Schumm are the primary defensive tackles although I charted at least 4 different players at tackle.  Time and time again they established a new line of scrimmage from their ability to get movement on the opposing offensive line. 

#60 Lehman and #41 Collier were the defensive ends and they didn’t allow South Adams to have much success running on the perimeter.  They did a good job of rushing the passer and setting the edge on running plays.

#5 Schultz will play as the 5th defensive lineman in a standup position.  Sometimes he will play a traditional defensive end spot as well.  He can play linebacker if needed.  He seemed to enjoy crashing down on either the tight end or offensive tackle and like his counterparts on the d-line was able to overpower the starfire o-line.

As a group the d-line controlled the line of scrimmage and forced the starfires to abandon their game plan fairly early in the game.  

Linebackers:  As a group they have good speed and flow to the ball efficiently.  The outside backers #26 Mosser and #28 Macklin were effective blitzers throughout the game.  #20 Hammond is the middle backer with good speed and was involved in a high volume of plays.  The backers certainly benefited from the play of d-line as they were normally to free to flow and scrape to make tackles.  They don’t have a great deal of size, but they play with a high rate of fearlessness, and velocity.

 

Defensive backs:  For the better part of the game they weren’t required to cover the receiver for more than a few seconds.  #11 Bates and #82 Peterson is a pretty good pair of safeties.  Bates picked off a pass and returned it inside the 5 yard line which setup yet a touchdown.  I graded #87 (no name listed) as their best cover corner during this game.  Overall the coverage was pretty good, but they weren’t sternly tested in this game.  I would be curious to see what their coverage and ball skills are like facing a better passing team.

Special Teams:  #42 Bailea Sprunger is the field goal kicker and kick off specialist.  Bailea probably has range up to 35-38 yards; the kickoffs are generally short, but the coverage on the kickoffs is pretty decent.  The punt return team is really good in terms of executing both the return for either #10 Lotter or #28 Macklin and setting up their blocks.  The punt return team did a nice job of pressuring the punter as well.  The only major drawback for special teams is the punt team.  They rarely had to punt, but when they did the punts were very short and gave SAHS good field position on one of their scoring drives in the second half.

 

Overall:  This is a great rivalry game and from the opening kickoff Adams Central controlled the game, and imposed their will on South Adams and frankly they looked like the team that was undefeated going into this game.  They will have a huge game coming up in the last week of the regular season against Woodlan.  I’m concerned by the amount of points they allowed to Lapel and Jay County earlier in the season.  Their sectional is incredibly tough.  For the flying jets to advance to the regional round they will have to defeat South Adams, Churubusco (most likely), and either Eastside or Southwood.  To say the least that is a long hard road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Your breakdowns have all been awesome @Zach Robinson !

I need to watch some Pioneer footage - the offense formation variations you describe sound interesting.

Keep up the good work!

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12 hours ago, Zach Robinson said:

Quarterback:  #4 Jack Burley Kiser:  He is likely pound for pound the best player in class A football.  He is listed at 6’2 205 pounds but he plays like he is actually 6’4 235 pounds.  As a runner he is incredibly strong, patient, and punishing.  Its not every day you see a quarterback take over a game with the sneak, but for parts of the critical 3rd quarter he did just that.

I always enjoy these comparisons.  It's similar to the people who say things like: "He plays at 110%"  A human is not able to exert more that 100% of a particular muscle.  With that being said, his physical & mental ability is superior to most of the other athletes which is easy to see on the field.   He's an extraordinary athlete who is 6'2", 205lbs.  And as you mentioned, Pioneer should be the favorite to win the 1A State Championship.

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Pretty spot on Pioneer.  Their defense has been rock solid.  Lewellen and Mersch are their #2 &. 3 rushers on the season.  Not sure why they didn't get more carries. Coach Berry prob saw it as more of a power game and that fits Kiser and Gregorich. 

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On 10/9/2017 at 10:45 PM, komets3001 said:

Good read 

 

On 10/10/2017 at 6:54 AM, InTheTrench said:

Your breakdowns have all been awesome @Zach Robinson !

I need to watch some Pioneer footage - the offense formation variations you describe sound interesting.

Keep up the good work!

 

Thanks guys I appreciate it.

 

 

On 10/10/2017 at 8:14 AM, Dabears said:

I always enjoy these comparisons.  It's similar to the people who say things like: "He plays at 110%"  A human is not able to exert more that 100% of a particular muscle.  With that being said, his physical & mental ability is superior to most of the other athletes which is easy to see on the field.   He's an extraordinary athlete who is 6'2", 205lbs.  And as you mentioned, Pioneer should be the favorite to win the 1A State Championship.

 

In this case I wasn't making a comparison, I was making an unbiased scouting observation based on what I saw in Pioneer's game with Knox.  Its easy to see Kiser's actual size but in scouting terms he outplays his measurements/scale because of his physical and mental strengths.  I've seen a number of players who are essentially the same size as Jack but very few of them can dominate a game the way he can.  Some players just have that uncanny ability of being able to play bigger than their actual size.

 

 

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