There is an 'I' in team
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 24, 2009 1:46 PM
It's as evident on the sidelines in Pikeville as those powder blue helmets or the undeniable voice of head coach Randy Pinkowski shouting out instructions.
After flirting with a spread offense, rotating in multiple quarterbacks and ultimately switching to the I-formation, Charles B. Aycock has finally found its identity.
The Golden Falcons never seemed fully comfortable during the season and a half they tried out the spread and scored less than 15 points a game while going 7-14.
Toward the end of last season Pinkowski officially buried the spread and returned to the I-formation. The dividends have been significant with Aycock averaging nearly 39 points in its past seven contests dating back to its final two games of the 2008 season.
The Golden Falcons are 7-0 during that stretch including a 5-0 mark this season. It marks the first time since 2006 Aycock has started 5-0.
"Having an offensive identity is everything in football," said Pinkowski. "Having talented football players that allow us to make adjustments when teams try to stop our base offense is the second part of being a good football team. In our opinion, the I allows us to change our mentality in multiple ways in the course of a season or even a game."
That offensive success has been made possible by a workhorse running back, a quarterback growing in confidence with every snap and a quarterback turned big-play wide receiver.
Senior tailback Marcus Cobb has rushed for over 100 yards in seven straight games dating back to a year ago. A back capable of using his power to run over defenders or his speed to get around them, Cobb leads the area with 892 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns.
Quarterback Tyler Farmer has gone from being a first-time varsity starter trying to adjust to the speed of the game to a signal caller confident in his ability to read defenses.
Farmer's progression was slow early in the season as he completed just 10 passes in his first three varsity starts. The junior has gradually been trusted with more of the playbook and has responded by throwing for over 100 yards in each of the last two games to go along with five touchdown passes.
"Tyler has begun to understand the speed of the game on this level is much faster," said Pinkowski. "He has begun to see the entire defense and learn what plays are being taken away and which ones would be better choices. He is making better decisions in the passing game and not locking on to one receiver and trying to wait for that player to come open."
Junior Craig Murdock has recovered from a shoulder injury that sidelined him the majority of last season and transitioned seamlessly from quarterback to receiver. A legitimate deep threat, Murdock has four touchdown catches in the past two games, three of which went for 50 yards or more.
Perhaps the cornerstone of Aycock's recent success has been its defense. Directed by senior linebacker and unquestioned leader Tyheim Pitt, the Golden Falcons have given up eight points or less in each of their last four games.
"Tyheim is without a doubt our vocal leader but he can physically back it up," said Pinkowski. "The great thing about Ty is he also makes mistakes, admits them, learns from them and moves on. He is the coach on the field often recognizing plays that will work offensively and making the formation adjustments on defense."
Aycock looks to become 6-0 for the first time since 1981 when it plays host to Wilson Hunt on Friday night.
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