The Watchung Hills High School football team has become adept with an old-fashioned, pound-away offense, a style not so different than the ground attacks of the mid to early 20th century.
Why pass when the pile continues to move forward?
That was definitely the case Saturday afternoon at Hub Stine Field, where Watchung Hills attempted not one single pass in a 33-6 conquest of Plainfield in a Mid-State 38 Watchung Division game. Watchung Hills improved to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in division. The Cardinals are 0-5 on both ledgers.
Watchung Hills senior quarterback Tom Giaimo directed the hypnotizing Wing T, which has two attacks that come out of it — a power series where senior center Matt Schenk snaps directly to senior Anthony Prus, Giaimo or senior Andrew Keller, or the spin, where Prus or Giaimo takes Schenk’s snap and hand the ball to somebody else.
Most of the time it was Prus doing the damage, running for 138 yards in the first half with two touchdowns. The area’s leading rusher came in with 666 yards on 70 carries. He finished with 181 yards and three touchdowns, givng him 11 scores for the year. The line of Schenk, left tackle Anthony Rizzolo, guard Anthony Carbajal and tackles Ryan Vrindten and Tommy Loeffler plowed ahead, making it a bit easier for him.
“It’s interesting since it’s miss-direction,” said Schenk. “It’s not like the new spread offenses, but that’s what makes it so good, it catches people off guard.
“It’s really fun; you have a lot of different jobs to do for every play. You really need to understand the concept of each play,” he added.
He said the Warriors got a sampling of it when they were in youth league programs.
“We really grew up with the Wing T; we tried a spread offense last year, but this is what we need, it really makes us,” he said.
Turnovers were also part of what made the Warriors — at least against Plainfield. Three turnovers — two in the first half — set up touchdowns.
Watchung went three-and-out on the first possession of the game, but Prus recovered a fumble at the Plainfield 45 on its first series. He ran for six before bolting 39 more for the first score of the game.
“We changed up the series we used and we really got the ball rolling,” Schenk said.
The next Watchung series went 15 plays and 75 yards with Prus carrying nine times, Giaimo five and Keller once. Prus, who had 60 of the yards, made it 12-0 with an 11-yard run. Andrew Gildenberg’s interception stopped Plainfield’s following drive on its third play at the Cardinal 43. Six plays later it was Keller from 19 yards out with Charlie Perruso making it 20-0 with the two-point conversion run with 1:58 left in the half.
“That’s having fun on the field right there, it’s just when you game plan and practice all week long and everything is going perfectly and you execute the way you want to, that’s having fun out there,” said Prus. “We executed everything we wanted to.”
A Giaimo 35-yard touchdown with 7:29 left in the third made it 26-0. A Perruso interception on the next play from scrimmage set up the Warriors at the Cardinal 17. Giaimo ran for 10 before Prus ran for his 10th TD, with Frank Urso’s extra point making it 33-0.
Plainfield, which plays host to No. 1 Ridge (5-0) Saturday, scored when Marvin Lewis scampered in from 32 yards out with 5:39 left.