Indians incorporating passing offense into Wing-T system

Wide receiver Trevor Higginbotham catches a touchdown during the Indians first game against Ballinger.

Wide receiver Trevor Higginbotham catches a touchdown during the Indians first game against Ballinger.

Wide receiver Trevor Higginbotham catches a touchdown during the Indians first game against Ballinger.

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The Comanche Indians have been known for their lethal running game that gashes defenses all over the Big Country since head coach Stephen Hermesmeyer arrived in 2012.

Hermesmeyer implemented the Wing-T offense, which features a tight end and two running backs in the back field. According to Hermesmeyer, the Wing-T is smashmouth, physical football and it requires athletes to be physical on both sides of the ball.

“I learned the Wing-T when I was an assistant at Ballinger under head coach Mickey Owens,” Hermesmeyer said. “As soon as I started to learn the offense and see what positive results came out of it, I was hooked. In this offense, the offensive linemen do not have to be big, as long as they are quick and physical. For example, we have three offensive linemen under 200 pounds on this 2017 football team, and our offense is averaging close to 40 points a game.”

Although it is a run-first offense, the Comanche Indians came off a heartbreaking loss to Cisco two weeks ago where they put the ball in the air fifteen times. Hermesmeyer says that to win playoff games, Comanche must utilize the passing game to keep teams off balance and on their heels.

“As for the people that follow the Comanche Indians and come to the games, they know I love to keep the ball on the ground,” Hermesmeyer said. “However, I have come to realize that we must stay balanced on offense to keep teams from putting all of their defensive linemen and linebackers in the box to stop the run. We have to spread them out and line up in different formations to find openings for both our running and passing game.”

The Indian offense is headed by senior quarterback Bronte Hermesmeyer, who started learning the offense when he was eight-years-old. He has completed 20/38 passes for 322 yards and five touchdowns in the first four games. He has found multiple targets such as tight end Gavin Farrar, wide receivers Jayton McGinnis and Price Odom, and running backs Colton Roberts, Kade Mercer and Jeremy Bostick.

“Having your son operate the offense is definitely an advantage because he has known the system forever,” Coach Hermesmeyer said. “I have even got to the point where if he sees something at the line of scrimmage, I give him the power to check us out of plays and put us into a good situation. He has done a great job with that this year, and sometimes he’ll even make me look like a genius.”

The Indians leading receiver is senior Trevor Higginbotham. Higginbotham has proved a quick, fast wide receiver who runs great routes and catches the ball phenomonally. He has hauled in eight passes for 213 yards and has scored three touchdowns.

When asked about Higginbotham, Coach Hermesmeyer said that he has improved every single year.

“Trevor is a kid that has kind of come out of nowhere,” Coach Hermesmeyer said. “After his freshman year, he really made a big jump. He didn’t get to play a lot on the JV his freshman season, but he worked hard during the following offseason to become faster, stronger, and quicker. His sophomore year he was the leading receiver on the JV, and the last two years he has been our leading receiver on the varsity team.”

The Indians will square off against a hard-nosed Eastland Mavericks team this Friday, and to win, Coach Hermesmeyer said they will have to rely on a productive air game to keep the physical Eastland team from stacking the box to try and stop the run. The game will kick off at 7:30 this Friday night, Sept. 29.

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Indians incorporating passing offense into Wing-T system