Jake Moore averaged 8.3 tackles per outing as Franklin Community’s outside linebacker through the first three games of the 2015 football season.
Nonetheless, he was needed elsewhere.
Inserted as the Grizzly Cubs’ quarterback during the first quarter of a 48-20 home loss to Whiteland, Moore continues to be the focal point of coach Adam Reese’s flexbone triple option attack.
Through six games this season, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior leads the team in rushing (679 yards) — with four 100-plus-yard efforts to his credit — and passing (527).
Franklin hosts Plainfield on Friday night. Facing the Quakers’ defense is another opportunity for Moore to showcase his talents presiding over a deception-based attack.
“It’s a blast. There are no real set plays. What the defense does determines what we do,” Moore said. “You never know when you’re going to have to run the ball or if someone else is running for a touchdown.
“I think I’m having a decent season, but I can always do better. There’s always room for improvement. You can never be satisfied.”
The Grizzly Cubs’ offense is a hybrid of the old wishbone and run-and-shoot philosophies.
It incorporates a total of four potential ball carriers in the quarterback, fullback and two halfbacks. The quarterback is always lined up directly behind center.
Collegiate football programs known to successfully use the flexbone at the Division I level are Georgia Tech and Navy.
Moore, who played four different positions (quarterback, fullback, receiver, linebacker) as a freshman at Franklin, saw the list trimmed to two by the start of his junior season.
Along with being a starting linebacker, he was the Cubs’ second-string quarterback.
Moore has taken hold of Franklin’s offense and literally run with it, according to fourth-year head coach Adam Reese.
“Jake’s leadership has been good, and he’s a lot more confident making decisions this season,” Reese said. “His growth in that area has been significant.
“This past weekend he had a few less yards rushing (54), but our fullback, Tyler Fromer, had nearly 100 because Jake was making the right decisions.”
Moore’s best game running the football this season came in the Week 2 loss at Shelbyville, when he finished with 28 carries for 169 yards and a touchdown. In the Grizzly Cubs’ loss against Whiteland, he contributed a total of 314 yards of offense.
In the team’s lone victory this season, a 44-42 defeat of Martinsville, Moore averaged 9.2 yards per carry.
To effectively run the flexbone triple option offense, the quarterback must be fearless. More often than not, he’s going to absorb contact whether he hands the football off or turns upfield with it himself.
“You’ve got to have that gunslinger mentality for the job,” Reese said. “We can teach our quarterbacks how to run it, but you have to be fearless. You have to not be afraid to make mistakes because you’re going to take a lot of hits, no doubt.”
For Moore, the former linebacker, that’s just fine.
Name: Jake Moore
Family: Parents, Jason and Carla; brother, Jesse, 22, and sister, Kayla, 20
Favorite TV show: “Ridiculousness”
Favorite food: Cheeseburgers
Favorite movie: “Django Unchained”
Favorite athlete: Brett Favre
Favorite teams: Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers