One of the great facets of high school football is the vast array of offenses different teams run.
Effingham County runs an offense fans will rarely, if ever, see on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, the Wishbone.
When Jack Webb moved over from Statesboro in 2005, he brought the Bone with him.
“I’m a big believer in controlling the clock,” he said. “We play by the old saying, ‘if they don’t have it, they don’t score.’”
The wishbone isn’t flashy, but like a sledgehammer it’s effective.
“Our offense is designed for pounding and pounding,” Webb said. “It’s like taking a sledge hammer to a wall. You start chipping at it and eventually you knock it down.”
Plenty of opposing defenses felt like they had been hit with a sledgehammer last season.
The Rebels offense scored 277 points and racked up 3,197 yards of total offense in 2006, an average of 27.7 points and 319.7 yards a game.
Coordinating the offense is Wayne Munch, who also coaches the quarterbacks.
“We have four backs in the backfield that have the opportunity to carry the football,” he said. “So, if we execute properly and do our fakes good then there's a question on who gets the football. Our offense is power-oriented but still gives us four guys back there that can carry the football.”
For the Wishbone to be successful, Munch said all 11 players must execute and the backs not carrying the ball must block.
Starting positions have not been solidified and Webb said it may take a few weeks. Senior quarterback Chris Hamilton, senior right tackle Nick Brant and junior fullback Craig Moore are the only starters from 2006 returning.
The biggest loss for the Rebels is the graduation of the Wright twins, Antwan and Anthony. The duo accounted for 2,060 yards last season, more than 64 percent of Effingham’s total offense.
“We certainly are going to miss their talent. They could do some things regardless of what offense we run,” Munch said. “We'll still have a hard time replacing their talent, but I think we’ll be OK.”
Some players expected to see some playing time at the running back positions include Michael Johnson, Brandon Best, Steven Tarpala, CJ Cumming, Earl Heyward and Josh Brant. Johnson, according to Munch, could see some plays at fullback and Brant is the team’s second-string quarterback.
In addition to having a powerful running game, Munch said the Rebels would put the ball in the air more this year.
“Chris is a threat for us and some people are going to have to honor our passing game as well as our rushing game,” he said. “We are going to try to get it up there more often than last year.”
Munch said that Hamilton’s athleticism would often give him the option to either run or pass the ball and always leave opponents guessing.
In the often overlooked, but crucial, position of offensive line, the Rebels must replace Will Douberly and Jay Coombe. Munch, however, is excited about seniors Michael King, Russ Woods and Brant.