Grant Zgunda decided to make some changes after last week. The Delta coach saw his team lose 48-28 on the road to Fort Wayne Carroll after the Chargers led 35-0 at halftime.
So with a young roster heavy on sophomore starters, Zgunda decided to simplify his system. He said he’s thrown out significant parts of his playbook, though he’s naturally tight-lipped on what he’s kept and what he’s discarded.
The hope is that the simpler system will come naturally to the younger players and translate to results on the field.
Delta (1-1) will play host to Greenfield-Central (1-1) at 7:30 p.m. tonight in its Hoosier Heritage Conference opener. The Cougars opened their season with a 40-7 win over New Castle before losing last week against Lebanon.
“Playing Carroll for us last week was an eye-opener, it was something that we needed to kind of kick us in the pants and get us going,” Zgunda said. “We’ve really, really had a good week of practice. As a coaching staff, we kind of pushed them a little more. And it was a rough week of practice for them, physically. They were longer practices and hopefully that pays off.”
That week of practice included a Tuesday session devoted heavily to blocking, part of Zgunda’s new emphasis on simple fundamentals.
“It was very intense, coaches were on us, wanted to do it right,” senior wingback Bryce Dishman said. “Obviously last week we didn’t block very well at all. Hopefully we can do better this week, since Tuesday was all blocking.”
Zgunda said he had hoped to run his full system even with the younger players. He’d had a chance to work with them a lot over the summer and was confident the system had been absorbed. It just didn’t quite translate to game action, leading to his recent change.
“We all have it down, but we’re not perfect at it like this offense is meant to be run,” sophomore wingback Mason Bechdolt said. “If you’re going to run this offense you have to be 100-percent perfect. You get one flaw, and then it’s done. So simplifying it down is going to help, but I think we could have run our normal offense.”
The Eagles’ offense utilizes a fullback and two wingbacks, and running back is one such position where the Eagles are relying on youth. Bechdolt and fellow sophomore Joe Spegal have been seeing significant carries, along with Dishman.
Spegal, the fullback, has seen the most carries, going for 187 yards in the Eagles’ first two games on 29 carries. Bechdolt and Dishman have each carried the ball 13 times, with Dishman going for 89 yards and Bechdolt rushing for 70 yards.
“We’re young in the backfield, and just really trying to get our experience to where it needs to be,” Dishman said.