It can be difficult dusting off the memory banks as you watch quarterbacks lining up in the shotgun with five receivers lined up out wide, throwing the ball upwards of 40, 50 times a game. But there was a time (seemingly) not too long ago when prominent running games were the rule and not the exception in high school football.
At a state championship game 20 years ago at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas, one team took it to the extreme, executing a run-to-pass ratio of 100/0. That team was Lewisville High School, the 1996 Class 5A Division I champions.
Matt Wixon of The Dallas Morning News took time this week to remember the team that defeated Judson, 58-34, in the state title game without attempting a single pass.
That win capped a 15-0 season for a Lewisville team that, as Wixon put it, “didn’t have a huge offensive line, a star running back or high-flying receivers catching passes from a flashy strong-armed quarterback.”
It is fascinating to think about a time – before current high school football players were even born – when the Wishbone offenses would run relentlessly at opponents waiting to be stopped.
For Lewisville that year, there was no stopping. So why take to the air? As legendary University of Texas head coach Darrell Royal once famously said (although the quote has also been attributed to longtime Ohio State coach Woody Hayes), “Three things can happen when you pass the ball, and two of them are bad.”
Lewisville’s quarterback certainly didn’t mind running himself or handing off.
“We averaged over 10 yards a carry,” quarterback Michael Odle told the Dallas Morning News. “The run game was so successful, we never did have to pass.”
In the title game, fullback Luke Taylor ran for 154 yards, Odle rushed for 140 and halfback Kenan Gray compiled 100. Halfback Danielle Brazzell added 95 yards rushing, and Lewisville racked up 541 yards – all on the ground.
For more, read the rest of Wixon’s story here.