As I’m assuming most of our readers know by now, the A-11 Offense that was invented at Piedmont High was essentially banned during the offseason. The NFHS, which determines the rules by which high school sports play under, enacted a rule change that eliminated the scrimmage kick exception that Piedmont utilized in the A-11 and required at least five players to wear numbers that make them ineligible to catch a pass (50-79).
So, what does that mean for the future of the A-11 Offense at Piedmont High?
If you’re expecting to see Piedmont line up in a “three yards and a cloud of dust” offense, you’re greatly mistaken. In fact, Piedmont’s offense won’t be nearly as different as you might expect. The rule change has only forced head coach Kurt Bryan and offensive coordinator Steve Humphries to become more creative. And say what you will about the A-11 (I know the blog is full of supporters and detractors), but Bryan and Humphries are about as innovative as it comes.
The Highlanders will have the five required lineman wearing ineligible numbers, but you’ll still see those players lined up wide in an A-11-type set. They won’t be eligible to catch a forward pass, but there’s no rule against them receiving a pitch behind the line of scrimmage. Expect to see reverses, bubble screens and the like going to guys wearing those ineligible numbers. So if you get a kick out of seeing a guy wearing No. 68 scoring a touchdown, be sure to check out Piedmont.
Since Piedmont will no longer be using the scrimmage kick formation, it will be allowed to operate from under center (the original version of A-11 used the scrimmage kick exception, forcing the quarterback to be at least 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage). That will allow for greater flexibility within the offense.
Basically, expect to see a similar offense to the past couple of years. Just because there will be guys wearing those ineligible numbers typically seen on big offensive lineman, that doesn’t mean those won’t be types of players Piedmont refers to as “gamebreakers.” While the defense can line up knowing those players can’t go down the field, it will still have to account for them. Meaning in this offense, all 11 players will potentially be able to make an impact on the play.