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30Q-2-KICKOFF (No. 21): Future of the A-11 Offense?

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.

Jimmy Durkin

I cover mostly San Jose State football for the San Jose Mercury News/Bay Area News Group, but also fill in from time to time with the 49ers, Warriors, A's and Giants.

  • http://ibabuzz.com PERKIN

    Teh A-11 only worked because defenses believed that each player split go go out for a vertical pass. If they use Camoulflage with 17, 7 & 71 split wide you know that 71 can only catch a bubble screen I can’tsee it being nearly as effective. The advantage of a 3 linemen set was having the qb back at 7 yards. I see a lot of hands in the face this year if they try to go under center or closer gun.

    Its crazy how this guy Bryan already has books out on the new A-11 with rule changes before he even ran it in a game.

  • ManDown

    The A-11 is gone forever! Piedmont can try and make it work but I believe that it is over for that crazy offense. It wont be effective this year and I can really see them throwing it out the door after this year. Knowing that offense and how it was ran, it would be hard for them to bring it back and beat teams with the new “camoulflage” scheme.

  • NorCalSportsFan

    I’m all for being innovative, but has the offense consistently won league and section titles? I don’t think so. They have alot of second place finishes, but they could get that running and executing any offense well and playing decent defense. Based on the last few years, it looks like the school hasn’t defeated any real power. I guess it would be fun to watch and execute, but don’t see it as the west coast offense that would be widely implemented. Frankly, I would just focus on executing the fundamentals well. That one well known school in the East Bay seems to do pretty good just executing the vanilla Veer.

  • accalfan

    peidmont should play with an offense that will help those kids in the future, like the spread.

  • Titandb

    We had games vs. Piedmont twice this summer in 7 on 7, once at their place and our turf.

    That team has 6 or 7 big fast receivers, enough for backups at every spot.

    If I was calling plays for them, I would be running the A-11 too. They got pass catchers all over the place.

    We ain’t got no problem with it at all, it was a challenge for us. But it would have been a lot harder to deal with in full pads, cause we did not have to worry about the running game.

    Skyline is on its way back in 2009!

  • HornetSting

    The Piedmont boys will be lucky to win 4 games this year, 5 at most. And they might only win 1 or 2. That team is going to crash hard without that little Qb dashing all over the place.

    Piedmont is done.