Hillers mastering coach’sspread offensive system
Jim Girard is in his third season as head coach at Hopkinton, which means his spread offensive system has become second nature for the seniors who first learned it as sophomores.
Through three games, their understanding of the wide-open style has shown.
The Hillers are 3-0 and averaging more than 32.3 points per game. They opened their Tri-Valley League schedule last week with a 41-25 win over Medway.
For Girard, his players knowing the offense has allowed them to focus on the playbook’s finer points.
“We don’t have to spend as much time teaching the kids the terminology of the language,’’ Girard said. “It’s really more about repetitions and getting them to execute. It’s not as much time teaching the Xs and Os. Now we can really focus on fundamentals. That’s really the key we’ve got to get better at.’’
The Hillers lost 15 starters from last year's 10-1 team. Whereas that offense revolved around Mike Decina , a dual-threat quarterback, this year’s Hopkinton spread looks slightly different. Senior quarterback Hank Rudden is more of a pocket passer, while junior running back Nolan Cornu is counted on to chew up rushing yardage.
Three returning senior offensive linemen — center Jake Lehman , left tackle Tom Aitken, and right guard Connor Sullivan — bring stability up front, and receivers Shaun Palmer (6-foot-4) and Ryan Bohlin (6-3) give Rudden a pair of big targets in the passing game.
“We still have a balanced attack but it’s not just the quarterback every play either running or throwing,’’ Girard said. “I would say we’re probably even a little bit more dynamic on offense this year than we were last year, as far as different kids touching the ball.’’
Tigers are really roaring
Maynard registered its first win of the season in resounding fashion last week, scoring eight touchdowns in a 63-34 win over Montachusett Regional Tech.
Junior running back Sean Peterson ran for 235 yards and four touchdowns in what was the highest-scoring game in Central Mass. since 2005.
Phil Perry can be reached at paperry27@ gmail.com.