Jayson West got his first intimate look at the wing-T offense in 1999.
He was a varsity assistant that season at Center Grove, where a new head coach, Eric Moore, was installing it. Highly complex but highly effective when executed flawlessly, the wing-T got West’s attention. He was an instant fan.
Fourteen years later, West — in his fifth season as head coach of Class 5A No. 1 Lawrence Central — runs a similar version of the same offense.
Although West isn’t sure the unbeaten Bears (13-0) operate the wing-T as efficiently as tonight’s semistate opponent, No. 6 Center Grove (12-1), he has no complaints about the results.
After all, a spotless record — and three players who have each rushed for more than 1,000 yards — speaks volumes about the Bears’ offensive capabilities.
“I don’t know if we run it as well as Center Grove. Those kids have been running the wing-T ever since (Moore) got here,” said West, who left Center Grove after the 1999 season to pursue coaching opportunities in Florida. “They’ve been running it since kindergarten.”
Perhaps. But the Bears have run it, or at least their version of it, effectively all year. They average just a tick under 40 points per game (39.9) and feature three players — running backs Alex Rodriguez and Isaiah Townsend, and quarterback Drake Christen — who have topped 1,000 yards rushing.
Rodriguez has ran for team-high totals of 1,239 yards and 17 touchdowns. Christen has rushed for 1,174 yards and nine scores. And Townsend has sprinted for 1,124 yards and 13 touchdowns and averages a team-high 11 yards per attempt.