More on Arundel football
With an offensive history like the one at Arundel and the one Chuck Markiewicz has throughout Anne Arundel County, it was impossible to fit everything that ran in Friday’s story about the Wildcats. So here are a few of the anecdotes, and other tidbits – including a rundown of the Maryland public school records held by or within reach of Billy Cosh and R.J. Harris.
*After Markiewicz read Tiger Ellison’s book on the run and shoot, he and Westminster Coach Brad Wilson went to see the offense in action in Western Pennsylvania, where Penn Trafford Coach John Yaccino was already using it. The one hitch? Yaccino would talk to them, but wouldn’t give them any plays.
“He said ‘I won’t give you anything, you’ll just have to listen,’” Markiewicz recalled. “So we sat with him all weekend and wrote the whole offense down on napkins. When Brad and I came back we got together with all these napkins and made our playbooks. Each year we learned a little more, little more and now it’s evolved and morphed into the monster it’s become.”
*If you’re wondering why after 20 years no one has found a good way to shut down Markiewicz’s teams, you’re in good company. He does too.
“After all these years, I thought people would start catching up but we’ve been doing it since 1990 and people still haven’t caught up,” Markiewicz said. “We’ve had teams try to substitute in between plays even this season. We just snap the ball and they get penalties for illegal participation.”
While there are remnants of Markiewicz’s original run and shoot offense though, a lot has changed over the years. The biggest shift came when former Salisbury quarterback Dave Doy joined the staff as an offensive coordinator in 1999. Doy brought the four- and five-wide schemes of the spread into the fold, which is a significant part of what the Wildcats do now.
*Speed is ingrained in everything the Wildcats do. Coaches time almost every practice drill and set goals for how fast everything should be completed, including a relatively simple one called “take off.” The entire team stands on the sideline, and coaches call out different units and players who would be on the field with each group must hop back and forward based on the unit that is called out.
Because the players are used to such rapid-fire practices, the games seem slow. It’s actually not hard to get them to go faster, offensive coordinator Dave Doy said, but when you want them to slow down – or huddle – that’s when things get weird.
“If there’s a penalty or an injury or something they’re awkward about it and standing around looking at each other,” Doy said. “They don’t understand what they’re supposed to do. We tell Billy to get them together, and you see guys go half way, like, 'Well I know what the play is so do I really need to go in there?' The huddle to them is so foreign, they like to be jogging out and have Billy call [plays] at the line. That’s what’s uncomfortable for them. That’s speaking Chinese.”
In addition to using an offense not employed by many Maryland high school teams, the Wildcats are automatically hard to prepare for. But the speed with which they play is perhaps the biggest adjustment for opponents to make.
"We practiced with no huddles for a week [leading up to last year’s semifinal], and it still took 12 minutes to adjust to their speed," Linganore Coach Rick Conner said. "It really was a shootout. We hit a couple big plays and found a way to outscore them, but we got lucky and the game also ended. They get their snaps, a big part of (beating them) is getting the game to end.”
The Arundel Record Watch
*Heading into Arundel’s 2009 playoff opener against Annapolis, Cosh is 309 of 474 for 2,805 yards, 49 touchdowns and just four interceptions. In 2008, he set the single season record for attempts (448), completions (292), touchdown passes (59), passing yards (3,913) and total offensive yards (4,074). He also captured single-game marks for passes attempted (64) and completed (39).
This season he added the most career touchdown passes (currently at 106), is tied for the career completion mark (548) and with 6,878 career passing yards could eclipse the mark of 7,371* set by Friendly’s Joe Haden.
(*Haden’s mark is not listed in the MPSSAA record book by mistake, but it is indeed the Maryland public school record.)
Harris surpassed the marks set by former Wildcats to claim the record for touchdowns catches in a season (currently at 24) and career touchdown receptions (currently at 44). With 1,313 receiving yards through 10 games this year, it’s possible he could reach that single season record of 1,616 that former Arundel standout Alec Lemon set in 2008.
The comments to this entry are closed.