With a 55-13 win in week one that saw nine different Pisgah players score points, it’s safe to say that mission was accomplished.
“That has to be some kind of record,” joked Dixon after a Patriots’ practice last week. “Having nine different guys score points and seven different score touchdowns, I didn’t even realize it until this week but man is that unusual.”
The scoring barrage — in the Aug. 24 win over Mount Vernon — was started by Ryan Felice in the first quarter with a two-yard run. Rondy Brownlee added a pair of short touchdowns of his own, quarterback Aaron Winchester ran a touchdown in, and Oz Dixon joined him with a school record 93-yard run before halftime. Winchester then found Mitchell Phillips and Tommy Pease for touchdowns through the air and Patrick Messinger added a defensive score in the second half. Throw in extra points from Austin Harper (5-of-6) and Chase Clark (2-of-2) and nine different Patriots scored points against Mount Vernon.
The offensive outburst, according to Dixon, goes hand-in-hand with the spread offense that first-year offensive coordinator Caleb Perry brought with him from Shiloh Christian in Arkansas — a place that National Championship winning coordinator Gus Malzahn also coached.
Dixon described the Pats’ 2012 attack as a no-huddle spread with a lot of tempo and the use of a sideboard on the sideline to call plays, just like the 2010 Auburn Tigers utilized.
The offense, he said, also brings versatility to Pisgah.
In their scrimmage game in August, Winchester completed 26-of-38 passes in an aerial assault of the defense. Against Mount Vernon the Patriots went to the ground, rolling up 373 yards rushing as Winchester only needed to throw five passes — completing three overall and two for touchdowns.
But the biggest key is the excitement the offense has instilled in the team.
“The kids love that we are spreading the ball around so much. It makes practice more fun, the games more fun, and we’re excited about what we can do with it going forward because if we can keep getting the ball to the right people in space we’re in for a good season.”
“That excitement is contagious. I think we can have a great season, and I don’t even want to put a ceiling on what we can accomplish.”