August 27, 2013

Chicks running game full of options

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star


A stacked backfield will be a staple of the Fightin' Chicks offense this year, but there's more to it than just handing the ball off and slamming it up the center.

That's because Chickasha has four players offensive coordinator J.T. Cobble calls some of the "best athletes" that can each throw a different dimension into the running game. 

"We've moved more toward the run this year," senior running back Tresjon Davis said. "We have a lot more depth in the back field thatn we have had in the past."

Since the spring, Cobble said their offense has been molded to accommodate an option running game. The process hasn't been easy, but as the first Friday night of the season draws near, confidence in the system has grown.

"We just made sure we were committed to it," Cobble, who's father Tom is Chickasha's head coach, said. "Everyone has to know what they're doing."

With four backs, not including starting quarterback Cade Morris, there are plenty of options to choose from. At the top of the totem pole is senior Davis, entering his third year under both Cobbles. Davis offers speed and power, along a good set of hands; what a fan of football would see as the archetype starting running back. Alongside him is fellow senior Josh Lathan, who offers more power and is built much more like a full-back ready to drive the ball through the middle before bursting away with speed.

As seniors, they know this season offers a final chance to make a big difference.

"We just know what it's going to take to win," Davis said. "We've played under coach Cobble before and know what he expects."

Levi Kel, the junior, offers another experienced option in the backfield and will also operate more in the fullback position; however, each player is considered, more or less, a running back and will operate as one, hopefully defense-confusing, unit.

"We've gone to more of a zone read," Cobble said. "When we use a two or three back set, that's when we can get our best athletes on the field. Especially with Cade [Morris] back there and he has multiple options, there are just a lot of different threats on the field."

Last, but certainly not least, is Dalvin Madison, a sophomore who has already seen plenty of varsity action. Last season, he combined with Davis for 207 yards on the ground. While he will get a few more carries this year, he's still young and learning plenty from his football elders.

While it's a tough way to start a season regardless, the running game in particular will be thrown into the spotlight when Chickasha meets Anadarko. The Warriors boast one of the best ground attacks in the state, with highly rated R.J. Sink leading the way. As far as matching up against such a potent offense, Davis said the running back corps plans to handle it by not worrying too much.

"We can't lose the sense of who we are," Davis said. "We've got our game, and we can't do too much differently just because they're Anadarko."