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Teams Have to Adjust Strategy for 7-on-7 Football Season

Programs that traditionally focus on the run are seeking new strategy
Published: Aug. 15, 2020 at 7:37 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Since the VPA made its announcement more than a week ago that high school football would be moving from traditional 11-on-11 tackle to 7-on-7 touch this year, we’ve gone over how the game works and some of the broad pluses and minuses. But the completely new style of play could very easily affect teams’ fortunes on the field this fall.

There are no running plays allowed in 7 on 7, it is completely a test of a team’s passing game and defensive coverage. That should theoretically give teams with experienced quarterbacks and receivers an advantage, while run-heavy teams have a lot to sort out.

Middlebury has been incredibly successful featuring a run-heavy offense over the years, but the new format creates some big challenges in Tiger country.

“My first idea is I still gotta do what Middlebury does and practice our fundamentals, so you know the right read with the quarterback and the running game,” said Middlebury head coach Dennis Smith. “But then looking into how I can make our passing game better, and one of my ideas is right across the river here and going over to Middlebury College and talk to Coach Ritter and just hashing things out with him and come up with some ideas. You know, I’m looking at it as maybe making us a better team down the road as a passing team, when sometimes the run game isn’t working, we can add that part of it to it. You know we do throw the ball more than we did back in the day, but still people don’t think it’s enough.”

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