Owls set to run with no-frills offense 1993 Carroll County high school football preview Westminster

September 02, 1993|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

Forget the fancy stuff.

It didn't work for the Westminster Owls the past two years, whethey won a total of three football games.

The Owls didn't have enough speed to trick anybody.

The speed has improved a little this season, but coach JefOeming wants to rediscover the running game behind a big and physical offensive line.

Three yards and a cloud of dust? Now that sounds good tOeming.

"I call it Westminster football," said Oeming. "That's the way wplayed when we had those two good seasons [6-4 in 1989; 7-3 in 1990]. If you control the ball on offense and play tough defense, you can beat anybody."

The problem is, the Owls don't have just anybody to beat thiseason.

They have the usual tough schedule that begins with homgames against Woodlawn, Annapolis and Meade and doesn't get any easier with tough Central Maryland Conference opponents Thomas Johnson, Linganore, Frederick and South Carroll.

"We turned the ball over too much last season," said Oeming"We put an awful lot of emphasis on the pass and didn't use our running game. Maybe we tried to do too much on offense last year and it didn't work out."

Marquee players such as quarterback Brad Gibson and runninback Gabe Zepp have graduated.

Gibson will be replaced by junior quarterback Steve Mays, whled the Owls' junior varsity to a 7-1 record last season.

Mays (5-11, 165) brings a winning attitude and good leadershito the varsity level. His job will be to get the ball to senior running backs Chris DiGasperi and Steve Kahler and senior receiver Larry Devilbiss enough to sustain long scoring drives.

Providing the blocking will be senior tackle Joe Jirsa (6-4, 255)senior guard Donnie Reynolds (6-1, 185), senior linemen Jon Lee (6-0, 235) and Jessie Pate (5-11, 210) and junior tight ends Jim Stull (6-5, 260) and Mat Mathias (6-5, 214).

That is the kind of size on the offensive line Oeming has beetalking about since the last game of the 1992 season (2-8 record).

"We're stressing fundamentals and conditioning," said Oeming"We're going to be a young team with a lot of 11th-graders playing key roles and we're trying to be more physical."

In addition to Mays, Stull and Mathias, important juniors will brunning backs Derick Brightful and Chad Hastings, wide receiver Justin Skolkoff, and defensive tackle Jed Harris, who has transferred back to Westminster from Kentucky.

"We're bigger on the offensive line than last year, have gooreceivers and we're quicker on the defensive line," said Oeming. "Our success hinges on our defense and our ability to control the ball on offense."

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