The main goal of the Apalachee High School offense is to run the football.
That’s what teams which run the Wing-T offense do. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that pass plays are not used and cannot be successful. Look at the Wildcats in recent games for evidence of that.
The combination of quarterback Clint Ashe and receiver Jermaine Smith have made for quite the passing duo. And all of it has come out of the Wing-T formation.
“We have had some success the past few years throwing the ball with Clint and Jermaine,” said Apalachee offensive coordinator Joel Miller. “They work really well together and the timing between the two is really good.”
The reasons for the passing success has several layers.
“The success can be attributed to a lot things including multiple reps throughout the summer, fall and during game week,” Miller said. “We don’t have a complex passing game, so they get a chance to work on the main routes each week.”
In addition to working with Miller, the duo gets plenty of teaching from quarterbacks coach Jeff Maddox and receivers coach Conor Foster.
“Jermaine is playing more defense this year, so he does get tired, which can hurt our accuracy on the deep throws,” Miller said. “Hopefully the two will begin completing some of the deeper balls which will only help us offensively.”
Following Friday’s game with Clarke Central, Smith said both he and Ashe work hard to make the passing part of the offense work.
“It’s something we take pride in,” Smith said. “Of course, that means you have to work really hard at it.”
And don’t rule out a simple aspect of why the passing and receiving combination has been so effective for the Wildcats.
“The most important reason for their success is their God given talent,” Miller said. “They are both great players who really understand what we are trying to do on offense and their talent and knowledge of the routes, plays and defenses make them a great passing combination.”
AHS coaches will hope for more success on the Ashe to Smith combination this Friday against powerful Flowery Branch.
“All quarterbacks like to throw it,” Ashe said. “It makes you look good when you have a receiver like Jermaine to throw the football to.”
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal.