10/14/11 — Quarterback converted to tailback wants to help team win

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Quarterback converted to tailback wants to help team win

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 14, 2011 1:49 PM

Just like his straightforward, aggressive running style, Austin Snowden didn't hesitate when asked to move from quarterback to tailback.

His team-first attitude only had him thinking about one thing.

"Whatever I can do to help the team win," smiled the Charles B. Aycock junior.

Snowden has been one of the few bright spots for the Golden Falcons this season. Aycock is 2-6 overall and turnovers have been a reoccurring problem. Opponents scored nine touchdowns off of those miscues during the first five games.

Despite rushing for 819 yards and seven touchdowns, Snowden wasn't the least bit reluctant about a change in position or offensive scheme. Aycock head coach Randy Pinkowski recently decided to switch back from a spread-option offense to the I-formation.

Snowden was asked to relinquish his duties as quarterback and move to tailback.

"Anything to help the team," said Snowden. "I never thought I would be a tailback, but I like it. I just go through the holes as hard as I can."

The transition in scheme offensively made sense for Pinkowski.

The Golden Falcons have been outscored 264-127 through eight games. The I-formation enables Aycock to feature Snowden's rushing abilities while allowing linemen to block in a more traditional running offense. Snowden has accounted for 1,199 of the Golden Falcons' 1,991 yards of total offense. He's also had a hand in nine of Aycock's 18 touchdowns.

Changing to the I-formation also allows the Golden Falcons to utilize it during the final two weeks of the regular season while continuing to develop within the system during the offseason. The Golden Falcons won 10 games and reached the second round of the state 3-A playoffs while using the I-formation in 2009.

Aycock returned just one starter on each side of the ball this season and a large portion of its roster ran the I-formation on the JV squad a year ago.

"I-formation tailbacks are a gift from God," said Pinkowski. "He just kind of gives them to you. Austin's done a real good job and the offensive line is improving every week. It's kind of one of those things where you start working things out for next year.

"I just think here at C.B. Aycock we don't have the number of skill players it takes to run a true spread offense. If it's old-fashioned, it's old-fashioned, but it gets the job done."

Snowden is not the typical I-formation tailback physically. That hasn't stopped the 5-foot-10, 150-pounder from being the Golden Falcons' workhorse this season since he's already carried the football 144 times. Snowden averages 18 carries and 102 yards per game. He credits his flexibility as a big part of his ability to withstand the punishment that comes with being the focal point of an offense.

"Flexibility is a big part," said Snowden. "I stretch a lot so I don't get cramps. I'm not the biggest kid, but dynamite comes in small packages."

Snowden has demonstrated big-play ability this season, reeling off touchdown runs of 62, 75 and 89 yards. He's also tossed a 60-yard touchdown pass to Neil Clark.

Aycock entertains rival Eastern Wayne on Friday night. Despite the distractions of homecoming, a position change and a new offense, Snowden is sure to have one thing on his mind -- help the team win.