CLHS Coaches Corner: Matt Monzingo
It has been a year since the ‘Running’ of the (Bulls) Panthers at Canyon Lake field. The result was over 80 plays run by the visitors from Navarro.
The Time Of Possession (TOP) was not a stat that was kept for the game, but conventional wisdom would tell you that Navarro controlled the clock to the extent that the Panthers were walking off the field with Big Bend on their back and enjoying every stride.
“Last year’s 0-2 start got us in a bind,” Head Coach Matt Monzingo started.
To say the least, after sitting with a 2-3 record starting district play and then adding two more losses to the resume had Coaches, players, and fans scratching their collective heads over the state of the program.
The Navarro offense was not the first time Canyon Lake had played a team with those formations.
The Slot-T was the offense for Liberty Hill one of CL’s old district foe when football started in the Hill Country.
“The Slot-T is a running team with a lot of different formations,” Coach Monzingo said. “The running backs are two to three yards from the football and they run the play based on deception. Finding the ball is the first priority.”
Based on the results of last year’s game the Hawks are still looking for the ball. Navarro rushed for 533 in the game.
These were the results and number of plays in last year’s contest.
12 play drive Result? Missed Field Goal 18 play drive Result? 31 yard Field Goal 5 play drive Result? Touchdown 11 play drive Result? Touchdown 10 play drive Result? Punt 5 play drive Result? Touchdown 12 play drive Result? Touchdown 16 play drive Result? Touchdown
This game will reside with the defense more than games played up to this point. Why?
The Panthers can control the clock and in turn putting more pressure for the offense to perform.
“The last two weeks we have focused on our grades first,” Monzingo taught. “Then we focused on the unique offense, because this is all the time you will get.”
In other words, not many teams run this offense and it would equate to when a ‘Wishbone’ offense was around.
Your team would face nine other teams, but only one team would run the Wishbone putting pressure on the defense to stop the once a year game.
In the last game against Luling you might have noticed the team going for a fourth down near the midfield line.
“We did not want to give the ball up,” Coach Monzingo said. “We felt our offense was efficient enough to go for it on fourth down.”
The Hawk offense has been a well oiled machine so far this season. Take away the first half against Blanco and the identity for this team has been to score points.
Starting after the Blanco game, Canyon Lake would need to score only 36 more points to match the whole 2009 season. Better yet, CLHS has scored 108 more points than the 2008 inaugural season in that time span.
The defense is performing at about the same level as those first campaigns, but this season a mistake here or there can be hidden with the offense taking it to the house.
The depth issue is certainly in favor of Canyon Lake.
“We have had quite a few injuries,” Coach Monzingo said nonchalantly. “Nothing major. Sickness always scares you, because you can’t ask your opponent to play a few days later.”
Canyon Lake has answered the bell in both instances as players have stepped up to the plate and performed to the nth degree.
“We need to make something special happen when we have the ball,” Coach Monzingo finished. “And the defense needs to understand where the ball is.”
Pretty simple game when you put it that way.