Pawn to King 4: Game planning much like a chess match
Football coaches and players are always attempting to outsmart each other move for move, much like a game of chess.
To prevent successful moves on the field, teams spend the week before the game diagraming and planning how to defeat the opponent’s scheme.
Some offensive and defensive schemes have been the same since the conception of football, but as time passes, new and creative plans of attack present themselves.
Take, for instance, the “wildcat” formation, which snaps the ball directly to a team’s best athlete, or the spread formation, which revolves around speed and beating teams to the outside.
Either way, it’s the job of the opposing team to figure out the best counterattack. With thousands of different offensive and defensive plays, devising a game plan can take longer against some than others.
Here’s what local football minds said about the toughest schemes to prepare for:
“I don’t think there is one. A lot of times it’s getting kids in the right situations. But when you are thick and tough and you play a team that’s got speed, then you are a disadvantage, but when you run the ball they are at a disadvantage. So you have to coach and put kids in a place to make things happen.” — John Arledge, Palisade coach
“The (offense) I really dislike is like what Highlands Ranch did against us. It’s a triple-option thing. They can hand it off to the wide receiver, give it to the running back, or the quarterback can keep it. It’s tough reading the play. We’ve all just got to stay in our gap.” — Mitch Irwin, Grand Junction inside linebacker
“The spread offense is hard to plan for because they have a lot of receivers. But more teams are starting to run it, so it’s easier to scheme.” — Jesse Brannon, Palisade running back/linebacker
“Defensively there isn’t one, we pretty much run them over.” — Caden Woods, Palisade backup quarterback
“We are trying to put speed on the field, so when we have a power, grind-it-out team, that affects us. We have to scheme for it and do some things we don’t want to do.” — Vern McGee, Central coach
“I think scheming for an offense is harder because there are so many different offenses. For us offensively, we are just trying to fine-tune everything.” — Mical Kramer, Central offensive/defensive lineman
“Facing teams with stand-up (defensive) ends, because as a tackle, that is harder. They have the advantage because they can read the play easier.” — David Acevedo, Central offensive lineman
“Probably man-to-man or Cover 2 (defense) is the toughest. In man you just always have a guy on you. With Cover 2, it’s trying to get an outside release because they’re trying to cover the inside.” — Chandon Rose, Grand Junction wide receiver