High School Football Game of the Week Preview – North vs Reitz
After a solid rout of Bosse last week where they put up 643 yards of offense in route to a 55-6 win, the North Huskies hope to continue the momentum as they travel to Evansville's west side to face the undefeated Reitz Panthers.
Since taking over the program a couple of years ago, Huskies coach, Brett Szabo has installed what is called the "Flex Bone" offense. Similar to the Wing-T run to near perfection by Southridge, the Flex Bone is a run-heavy attack designed to create confusion for opposing defenses by masking who has the ball.
For example, the quarterback lines up in the shotgun flanked by a running back on each side. After taking the snap, he'll hand off to one of the two who may immediately hand it off to the other, or keep it themselves. Or the QB may opt to fake the hand-off and keep it himself if the defense bit on the fake. If run well, it can result in big gains, as well as eat up a ton of time which keeps opposing offenses off the field obviously limiting the amount of time they have to score.
In last week's game against the Bulldogs, the offense was able to do just that while having three different running backs rush for over 100 yards. Keep in mind, that was also against a Bosse defense that has given up an average of just over 43 points a game over the first six weeks.
It will be a much different story when the Huskies enter the Reitz Bowl to take on the undefeated Panthers who have been dominant on both sides of the ball this season. Defensively the Panthers have have given up no more than 23 points in a game, thanks to a stout secondary that has locked in tight coverage on opposing receivers thanks to names like Issac Flowers, Austin Volkman, and Elijah Dunham.
The key for the Huskies will be to test the Reitz offensive line and linebackers with the running game. If the front seven don't remain disciplined and bite on the play fakes that are such an integral part of the Huskies offense, Reitz could find themselves with their first loss on the season.
With that said, the Panthers have shown time and again throughout the season they have the ability to score quickly, as was the case in their 42-16 win over Memorial last week. Despite having the ball for nearly three and a half minutes less, and the running 16 fewer plays than the Tigers, Reitz was able to come out with the big win thanks primarily to Malik Higgins, who put on yet another clinic in their carrying the ball 26 times on his way to a 320 yard, four touchdown night.
For Reitz to come out ahead, they'll need to squash the Husky run game quickly and force them to throw, something the Flex Bone Offense only features when absolutely necessary.
It should be a great game, and you can catch every snap with Jimmie Ford and myself when pregame gets underway at 6:30 p.m., and kick off follows at 7:00 on ESPN Evansville 105.3, and online at ESPNevansville.com.