Piedmont coach develops A11 offense


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The A-11 Offense is perceived by some to be so outrageous the National Federation of High Schools just outlawed it.

"Apparently they think it's not real football, that it's not within the spirit of the rules, that it's unsportsmanlike," says Kurt Bryan, a Piedmont Football Coach.

What it is, is creative. It's the ultimate spread offense without a traditional beefy offensive line. Instead, there are groups of three the offensive coordinator Steve Humphries calls "pods."

"So there are seven men on the line of scrimmage. Two, plus three, plus two. Within the formation, there are five ineligible players," says Humphries.

Which leaves six eligible receivers, but the defense isn't always sure which six they are. Oh yeah, one more thing, there are two quarterbacks.

"It's just new, it's innovative and it's just kind of crazy. When the coach showed me the formation, I thought it was a little insane and I was skeptical along with everyone else, but once you see it in action, it's actually pretty sweet," says Jeremy George, a Piedmont quarterback.

Sweet enough to allow a small school like Piedmont, with 765 students, to compete with the big boys. The Piedmont Highlanders won eight games and lost only three last year.

Coaches claim injuries are reduced because you don't have massive pile-ups on running plays and the kids love it.

"It's a perfect offense for a small school when you don't have either not enough linemen, or any linemen. You can compete with bigger teams or teams that are loaded with linemen. You can spread the field and take advantage of mismatches," says Bryan.

Piedmont has appealed to the California Interscholastic Federation for a waiver that would allow them to keep running the A-11. There's no decision yet, but Coach Bryan believes if more people see the A-11 firsthand, they'll embrace it.

"Ever since we took the field, we knew that some people were not going to like the offense because it is different, but the Veer is different, the West Coast is different, the Running Shoe is different. Everything is a little bit different in football," said Bryan.

The head of the CIF told ABC7 over the next few months, they want to get an advisory board together to study this offense to see if they can get a waiver for the school to allow them to implement them.

There are also a few Pac-10 coaches, who don't want to be identified, that have gone to Piedmont to study the offense. It could be the wave of the future.

Other coaches in other parts of the country have complained about this, but so far there haven't been any complaints from any California coaches.

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