Amarillo Globe-News On-Line

When Stratford Has The Ball
(Texas Class A State Championship Game Preview)

Saturday, December 18, 2004
Roger Clarkson, Amarillo Globe-News

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Stratford's offense might have changed coordinators, but its attack still looks the same as it did the last time Stratford played in the state championship game.

When former defensive coordinator Eddie Metcalf took over as head coach this season after Brad Thiessen became the head coach at Levelland, Metcalf also assumed Thiessen's play-calling responsibilities.

Stratford continues to run the option from the split-back formation mixed with the single-back shotgun. The Elks combine option running with passing for a balanced attack.

"We just couldn't find a solution to their option game with that quarterback (Josh King),'' Windthorst coach Bill Green said. "We did a pretty good job of stopping the inside runs, but we couldn't get a handle on the option. Of course, much of what we wanted to do on defense was predicated on Kevin Hoff, and we lost him to injury in the first quarter. He just about won the semifinal game by himself last year at defensive end."

Hoff went out of last week's 34-31 Stratford victory with a leg injury in the first half. The Elks gained 427 yards, led by King with 164 rushing yards and 181 passing yards.

Running back Tony Ruiz leads Stratford with 1,746 yards and 16 touchdowns. King has added 974 rushing yards with 19 touchdowns. King has passed for 2,125 yards and 29 touchdowns with 15 interceptions. Tyler Haynes has 48 catches for 793 yards and 11 touchdowns.

"They were incredibly efficient on third down,'' Green said. ''I don't know how many they converted (11-of-15), but it seemed like every time they needed yards, they'd get it by a foot or a yard or whatever. But they'd get it every time. We really never stopped them. They were so efficient on offense. They just kept moving the chains every drive, and we couldn't stop them."

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