Double-wing has to fly for Catoctin

November 20, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

The double-wing offense used by the Catoctin football team requires total execution in order to be successful.

Total execution is what Beall can expect Friday night if the Cougars have that offense hitting on all cylinders during their Maryland Class 1A West final in Frostburg.

According to Catoctin coach Doug Williams, the number of Maryland schools using the double wing can be counted on one hand - Catoctin, Brunswick, Glenelg and Archbishop Curley.

"The offense is a team-oriented offense," Williams said. "You don't need to have the stud running backs or quarterback. It's an offense that involves everyone. The only negative comes when you don't get total execution."


Williams came to Catoctin in 1991 after a head coaching stint at Severn School - without the double-wing.

"I read an article in a football magazine, liked what it said about the offense and then talked to (coach Hugh Wyatt) in Washington state," Williams said. "I presented it to my assistants and they were for the change."

The double-wing is something of a fourth-generation system from the old days of the single-wing, from which the wing-T was produced. The double-wing with slot variations followed before the development of the standard double-wing T of today.

Seldom does the opposition see such an offense, which provides an advantage unless the enemy has it well scouted and the defensive unit has uncanny abilities to adapt.

Catoctin's backs - wings Dave Burrier and Joe Rakoski and fullback Adam Venables - rushed for a combined 2,076 yards in the regular season while quarterback Jason Johnson added 204 yards.

"The wings do most of the carrying, but they have to be able to block also," Williams said. "It is a fun offense to run, but it's a tough offense if you fall behind and have to catch up."

The double wing has worked well for the Cougars (8-3) this season. In 11 games, they've been held under 20 points just three times - including once against Brunswick, which is familiar with the system.

Frequently, Catoctin has faced defenses that put anywhere from 8-to-10 players up on the line, which could be potential gas on the fire for a defense if the quarterback has the capability of popping in a quick pass.

"Johnson has the skill to throw the football and we're not afraid to throw it if we have to," Williams said.

Last week in Catoctin's 42-0 victory over Hancock, the Cougars threw only once, but Johnson has thrown for 574 yards this year.

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