Saturday, August 9, 2008

Daily Press Sports

Classification among high school teams has always been up for debate. Each state’s ethical attempt to divide teams into classes for equal competition seems to come up short year after year, and in a California town it has brought innovation to the sport of football.
Piedmont High School director of football operations Steve Humphries and head coach Kurt Bryan last spring masterminded a revolutionary offense titled the A-11.

The idea came when the two were brainstorming at Humphries’ home on how to effectively level the playing field for Piedmont High, with an enrollment of less than 1,000, when the Highlanders were facing schools with student bodies nearly twice that.
Humphries came up with the idea of putting two quarterbacks in a shotgun formation, thus making every player on the field a potential receiving threat.

“Statistically all over the country, small schools have the same problem of trying to compete with bigger schools,” Bryan said. “If we didn’t have this situation we would never have been forced to come up with this offense. I feel that if we — as a coaching staff — are not doing our job in being innovative in whatever … if we are not pushing the envelope, we should be fired.”

The base offense of the A-11 is a six-receiver, three-lineman setup. A center and two tight ends surround the football, while three receivers are split left and three are split right, and two quarterbacks stand in the backfield in a shotgun-type formation. One of the quarterbacks has to be at least 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage. This offense meets the criteria for a scrimmage kick formation, which makes any player with numbers 1-49 or 89-99 eligible to catch a pass.

The A-11’s Web site explained that by spreading the potential eligible receivers across the entire field, it forces the defense to account for every possible receiver on each play. Of course, on any given play, only six of those players can go downfield to catch a pass, and the five covered players remain ineligible to catch a downfield pass on that particular play.

Bryan said he and Humphries dissected the rule book, checked with the National Federation of State High School Associations and the California Interscholastic Federation, and spent countless minutes talking to referee organizations to make sure their new offense was legal.

“It wasn’t tough at all,” Bryan said. “We knew we were groundbreaking, but we weren’t sure about it. So we compiled a comprehensive package, which was extremely detailed, and submitted it to the national level in Indianapolis, Ind. They said it looked good, and the package then took several months of review in California. We got the approval, and talked about it as a coaching staff and decided to go with it last year.”
Bryan said he then put on a clinic for the key officials near Piedmont, and that was an important step in helping them utilize the package.

“Yes, we developed an offense on the field,” Bryan said, “but we also developed a system on how to bring it to your area. We showed what it takes to address people, and it’s been heavily reviewed.”

Bryan explained that coaches can go to and get the inside track on how to get this system approved in their state. Of course, as with anything new and groundbreaking, there are people out there who don’t like it.

“There have been a few loud minorities of people in other areas that don’t like it,” Bryan explained. “We don’t have to answer to them. They have to answer to us, when we use it. I predict that there are going to be many more schools that use this offense … far more than can be imagined. I have been shocked on how many schools have contacted us about the A-11.”

How has it worked at Piedmont High in its first year of inception?
Piedmont High hadn’t won a playoff game since 2000, and when the Highlanders decided to use the A-11 last year, Piedmont fell in its first two games. This opened criticism by many fans, but the coaches continued to review videotape of the games lost, and noticed that the game could have been turned around if it wasn’t for a couple of blown assignments.

Once those assignments were cleaned up, Piedmont marched off seven straight victories, using the A-11 about 65 percent of the time. This year, Bryan said, he plans on using this high-octane offense about 85 percent.

“We take great pride in this package because we have learned so much,” Bryan said. “This year, we have installed about 20 new plays, and we feel really excited about it.”
Bryan stated that the A-11 is fun and exciting. It involves a lot of skill players. He said because of this he flipped his traditional linemen to defense, and was able to keep fresh legs in the game at all times.

“Let’s say a small school only has about 25 to 30 players on the team,” Bryan said. “You get your skilled players on offense, which takes 11, and you can use the rest on defense so that you don’t have to get your offense to go both ways. Everyone is playing, which means more snaps per game, and the players are a lot happier.”

Bryan explained that it seems like the safety issue is bad, but he had a 128-pound quarterback who doesn’t have to bang heads with the defense all the time.

“It’s quite the opposite,” he said. “Your small quarterback is going to survive a lot more in this offense. People think that the quarterback is going to get killed, but the ball moves faster than man.”

Bryan explained the situation: “Put yourself in the shoes of a defensive end or linebacker trying to sack the quarterback. First you have to find out whom the ball is going to be snapped to. Then is the play a run or a pass, a screen or a draw? Is the quarterback rolling to the left or right? Is he faking to the left or right? The strain is on the linebackers and the reality is that the quarterback rarely gets touched.”

Bryan has also said that he has received numerous calls from college coaches and one un-named NFL head coach. “I have been meeting with colleges a lot,” Bryan stated. “At the National Collegiate Athletic Association level, they are more restrictive on this kind of play, but there are at least 12 to 15 possibilities throughout a game that a coach could utilize it. College coaches have said this can be the difference between playing in the Rose Bowl or playing in the outhouse.

“I can’t name the NFL team that contacted me, but let’s just say it’s an NFC team and it’s going to be interesting to see how they are going to use it. We are excited to watch teams use this offense.”

Has this crazy new offense hit New Mexico yet? “I have heard that one team in New Mexico was looking at it,” Bryan said.” I know a few coaches as far east as Florida have contacted us about the offense.” The New Mexico Activities Association learned about the A-11 Wednesday during a rules clinic.

“We had an official who was from the California area give our clinic to coaches,” associate director of football for the NMAA, Mario Martinez, said. “He did a short presentation with some slides about it. It looked quite interesting, and you can tell there was a lot of creativity there. I can see how it could create some problems for our officials with the numbering system and who is eligible to catch a pass.”

Martinez did say that he hasn’t been contacted by any coaches on getting it approved in New Mexico. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I got some phone calls about it in the next couple of days,” Martinez said. “I can’t really say much without knowing more about it. If it’s legal, basically, we can’t deny it. If I got coaches wanting to use it, I would probably contact the official again to look more closely at it.”

Western New Mexico University head football coach Bernie Busken said he hadn’t heard about the A-11, but when told about the offensive setup said it sounded like a variation of some different offenses that he has seen at the college level. “It sounds pretty interesting,” he said. “Bring it in and I would love to take a closer look at it.”

Silver High head coach David Carrillo and Cobre High head coach Bryan Miller were unavailable for comment on the system.

“I think this is going to be the new offense of the future,” Bryan said. “It’s going to be the ultimate small school and urban offense.” Bryan did say that he wanted to express that he is a big picture guy, but Humphries was a creator of thinking. “Our whole staff worked together on this,” Bryan said. “Everyone had a part in it.”

Monday, June 2, 2008

A-11 Offense Could Be Wave of the Future in High School Football

By Roger Brown
New Hampshire Football Report
May 30, 2008 6:00 AM

Football purists look at the A-11 offense with disdain, and would like to see a rules revision make it extinct. Others feel the A-11 is the best thing that's happened to the sport since the facemask was introduced.

The A-11 is innovative, exciting and definitely controversial. The offense got its name because any of the 11 players can be eligible pass receivers. How is that legal? Here's how:

The A-11's base formation features a center, two tight ends, two quarterbacks and six split ends — three on each side of the center. All players wear numbers that make them eligible pass receivers (1-49 and 80-99) as long as they're positioned at the end of the line or in the backfield.

What makes the offense legal is putting at least one of the quarterbacks 7 yards or more behind the line of scrimmage. As long as no one is in position to receive a hand-to-hand snap from the center, the alignment qualifies as a scrimmage-kick formation and normal numbering rules (a minimum of five players wearing numbers 50 through 79 on the line of scrimmage) don't apply.

"It's more than a shotgun formation," explained Steve Hall, a longtime high school official who is New Hampshire's representative on the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) rules committee. "Nashua South runs a shotgun, but the Nashua South quarterback isn't 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage. He's 4 or 5 yards back.

"There is no numbering requirement in a scrimmage-kick formation because a team may have a specialized snapper who is a running back, and also because teams like to put faster players on the line to get downfield and cover kicks.

"There are those who think the A-11 is not in the spirit of the scrimmage-kick formation, but right now there's nothing on the drawing board (to make it illegal). At our (NFHS) meeting this year no one talked about it. As of right now teams are free to run it.

"In the NCAA this offense would not be legal because there is added language in the (formation) rule that says 'it must be obvious that a kick may be attempted.'"

Kurt Bryan doesn't coach in the NCAA, though. He's the head coach at Piedmont (Calif.) High School, which is where the A-11 was born. Bryan and Piedmont assistant coach Steve Humphries began working on the A-11 in February of 2006 and used it for the first time last season. Piedmont was held to nine points in its first two games last year — both losses — but then strung together seven consecutive victories and finished with a 7-4 record.

"We're a smaller school, in terms of enrollment, than most of the teams we play," Bryan said. "The A-11 gives the thousands of smaller schools around the country a chance to compete against larger schools or teams that play at a higher level. It makes the game safer because teams aren't forced to pound (the football) play after play.

"We researched the rule book for an entire year and we found a legitimate, fair and innovative way to run our offense. It's kind of like submitting something for patent review.

"It puts some creativity in football," Humphries added. "It's hard to tell one offense from another in the NFL. I remember asking Kurt, 'What if we had an entire offense of trick plays?'"

Humphries stressed that the A-11 is not just a passing offense.

"We're very balanced run/pass," he said. "(The running game) can be devastating with the space we create."

According to Bryan, there are at least two other misconceptions about the A-11.

"People think your quarterback is going to get killed," he said. "It's just the opposite. And it's simple to install. It'll take two games until the team feels really comfortable."

It appeared local high school football fans would have an opportunity to get an up-close look at the A-11 when Marshwood scrimmaged Westbrook during the 2008 preseason. There was talk that Westbrook would use the A-11 this season, but that was before Westbrook head coach Daryle Weiss resigned to take a coaching position at Bates College.

Bryan said he's not worried about any possible rule changes that would make the A-11 illegal.

"The only reason the (NFHS) would try and outlaw the A-11 ...; there's no reason to," he said. "It does nothing but help the game and help the kids. It benefits everybody.

There's no downside to it.

"This is where the game of football is headed."

Roger Brown is a Herald staff writer. He can be reached at To read more about the A-11 offense, visit

Thursday, April 17, 2008


By Jimmy Durkin, Staff Writer
Oakland Tribune

FOOTBALL SEASON is still months away, but Piedmont High and its creation — the A-11 Offense — is taking on a life of its own. "It's just absolutely exploded, and that's great," Piedmont head coach and A-11 co-creator Kurt Bryan said. "Chalk one up for the little guy."

The A-11 — a six-receiver, two-quarterback, scrimmage kick formation that has all 11 players potentially eligible — is the feature story of the April issue of American Football Monthly.

The magazine's cover has a game-action picture of quarterback Jeremy George receiving a snap with a warning label plastered over it that begins "Although completely accurate, the following information may seem preposterous, even downright offensive, to some defensive coaches ..."

Additionally, a series of five instructional DVDs is available, and today marks the release of the A-11 Offense Installation Manual and Playbook, with all products being sold at

"What's fun is you have your detractors, and that's fair," said Bryan, who created the offense along with assistant coach Steve Humphries. "But the overwhelming positive response has been a huge positive to the kids."

The offseason has been a busy one for Bryan. He was flown to Florida in December to film the instructional videos, and he spoke at a coaching clinic in Burlingame at which there were some familiar faces in the crowd. (Hint: Expect to see some other local teams implement parts of the A-11 into their offense next season).

Piedmont will also be hosting an A-11 coaches clinic on June 28 that will include a chalk-and-film session, one-on-one sessions with position coaches, and an on-field walk-through. "It's going to help coaches open up their minds in terms of creativity," Bryan said.

The time spent working on the offense ("It's been thousands of hours between Steve and I and the staff") have been worth it, Bryan said, but he's most curious to see what other teams and coaches do with the A-11. "We can't think of everything," he said. "It's really exciting to see what spice or what slant other coaches put on it."

Bryan has taken confidentiality vows with the teams that are looking to start running the A-11, but it's no secret that interest has been sparked.

"Many coaches are dealing with us in the Bay Area that are going to use the A-11 as a package, and there's several coaches that are dealing with us throughout the country that are converting and making it their new base offense," said Bryan, who revealed that there's considerable interest within the Oakland Athletic League.

While there was widespread initial skepticism, the eventual success Piedmont enjoyed showed the possibilities. The Highlanders' season ended last year with a 56-21 loss to Las Lomas in the first round of the North Coast Section 2-A playoffs, but it was a game in which the Highlanders gave the Knights fits for a while and trailed by only 14 points with seven minutes left.

With a season of the offense under its belt, Piedmont is eagerly awaiting the start of spring football on May 19. "The first four to five weeks of (last) season was like learning how to walk," Bryan said. "Now, we're going to begin where we left off at the Las Lomas game. The offense is going to be much more complex and much more difficult for teams to prepare for."

Monday, November 19, 2007


Bay Area Confidential: Piedmont's A-11 is A-OK
There's more to Highlanders than revolutionary offense and more to playoff schedule than places and time.
By Mitch Stephens

Like most revolutions, even on a high school football field, this one met much resistance.

Piedmont coaches Steve Humphries and Kurt Bryan had masterminded a revolutionary offense last spring, the A-11, where all 11 players were eligible for passes.

They dissected the rule book, checked and double checked with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and spent gobs of cell phone minutes with referee organizations to make sure their six-receiver, three-linemen sets were clean, kosher and legal.

Once that got cleared, selling and implementing it to their players during spring break was another major obstacle.

"It looked pretty crazy but we were pretty open," starting quarterback Jeremy George said. "It was new and exciting and innovative. I think my parents were a little concerned who was going to protect me. I don't think the running backs were crazy about it. The receivers were really excited though."

Everyone was excited when the Highlanders dropped their first two games and scored just nine points in the process.

Excited in the bad sense, however.

Head coach Bryan, whose been in coaching since 1987 including stops at Menlo College and St. Mary's College, said he's never received so much hate mail or criticism.

"It was pretty bad," he said. "The worst I've ever received. But most of it was anonymous. It was kind of expected since we made such drastic switches and lost games."

Said George: "I think everyone was a little worried."

But Bryan, Humphries and staff reminded their players of a saying they'd repeated many times over the previous season, a far reaching credo that expanded far beyond the ultra spread offense.

"Tough times don't last but tough people do."

Trite maybe.

Corny perhaps.

But like corn syrup it stuck. And so did the offense.

The coaches said they never lost faith because despite the lack of production early, they still saw shimmering potential.

"We saw in game film we were one or two blown assignments away from major big plays," Humphries said. "If we fixed our mistakes, the entire thing would open right up."

They were right.

Behind the coach's faith, the players' execution and the innovative offense, the Highlanders rattled off seven straight wins before a 38-15 loss last week to defending North Coast Section Class A champion St. Patrick/St. Vincent-Vallejo.

The game decided the Bay Shore Athletic League championship.

Despite the defeat, Piedmont (7-3) received a NCS 2A East Bay at-large berth and tonight travels to top-seed Los Lomas-Walnut Creek (10-0) with a chance to create another revolution of sorts.

Humphries said he devised the offense just for this reason - so his undersized squad from a small-enrollment school could compete against bigger and larger-enrollment schools.

Of the 19 2A East Bay football schools, Piedmont ranks 18th with 941 students. Last Lomas ranks first with 1,569. The enrollment disparity, according to Humphries, is part of the reason the Highlanders haven't won a playoff game since 2000, losing five first-round games since then.

The A-11 features a center, a tight end on each side and three wide receivers to the right and left, respectively, with two quarterbacks in shotgun formation. With no one under center, the offense meets the criteria for a scrimmage kick formation.

Thus any player with eligible numbers (1-49 or 89-99) is eligible to catch a pass. See A-11 for more detail.

"We had to figure out a way to compete against bigger schools," Humphries said. "Year in, year out we are getting beat up in the playoffs by bigger and more physical teams. This allows us to utilize our speed, quickness and smarts."

George definitely utilizes all the above.

The 5-foot-9, 140-pound junior combines great feet (he's been a starter on the soccer team since he was a freshman), toughness and strong arm with a 3.85 grade point average to keep the Highlanders moving.

He's completed 120 of 205 for 1,483 yards and 12 touchdowns. He's also the team's leading rusher with 332 yards on 77 attempts, which includes only 12 sacks.

George has spread the ball all around as six receivers have at least 12 catches, led by Joey Andrada (31), Alexander Menke (26) and Kyle Bonachum (21).

"After our two losses, we really pulled together and worked even harder on the offense," George said. "It's not nearly as crazy as it seems."

The coaches agree and actually said once learned it's not any more complex than the wishbone, veer or conventional spread.

"We just call it the super spread," Humphries said.

The players aren't the only ones buying in, Bryan said.

He's received calls from at least 50 college coaches and one un-named NFL head coach.

"He's in the NFC," Humphries said. "That's all I can tell you."

Other advantages to the offense are that it's difficult to prepare for, team fitness and a constant ray of hope.

"We feel like no deficit is insurmountable," Bryan said.

Said Humphries: "Plus it just promotes innovation and excitement. When executed just right it's a thing of beauty."

The Highlanders will need a lot of beauty tonight to beat the juggernaut Knights, who average 370 yards and 41 points per game. Las Lomas features one of the East Bay's premier runners, Danny Ward (1,262 yards, 17 touchdowns) and dynamics receivers in Diante Jackson.

With all the attention paid to the A-11, Piedmont's strength is probably on defense, which gives up just 14 points a game and is led by 5-10, 180-pound linebacker Keith Reid (62 tackles) and 6-foot, 180-pound back Rory Bonnin (three interceptions).

No matter what happens tonight, Bryan said 2007 season has been an overwhelming success.

He credits other varsity staffers Pete Schneider (quarterbacks), Mario Thornton (receivers), Anthony Freeman (running backs/tight ends) and Kevin Anderson II (defensive coordinator) as equal parts.

"I'm proud of the team and staff to sticking to their guns and not wavering during really difficult times," he said. "The players really persevered and succeeded and that's something they can take with them always."

Sunday, November 18, 2007


November 18th, 2007

At Las Lomas high school in Walnut Creek, CA on Friday night, the visiting Piedmont Highlanders football team went into their first-round NCS playoff game with nothing to lose against the big and powerful host Knights.

Las Lomas, the #1 seed and (10 – 0) entering the game, were heavily favored against the # 8 seed Highlanders (7 – 3) entering the contest. However, it was a very tough battle (28 – 14 Las Lomas after three-quarters) until the fourth quarter began. Eventually Las Lomas broke the game open with 28 points in the final quarter to earn a 56 – 21 hard fought victory over Piedmont.

Piedmont entered the playoffs on the strength of its stingy defense and innovative A-11 Offense (all eleven players potentially eligible & two QB’s in shotgun formation).

“We had several nice chances in the first half to put even more points on the board against the number one ranked team,” said Piedmont head football coach, Kurt Bryan “but we missed some scoring opportunities deep inside their territory, and against a great team like Las Lomas you don’t get those back. Even though we were only down 21 – 14 at the half, respectfully to them we should have had at least four touchdowns on the board by then. They beat us fair and square, and I am very proud of the way we played.”

Las Lomas came out firing and built up an early 14 – 0 lead, but the Highlanders rallied and primary quarterback, Jeremy George found wide receiver Joey Holland on a 57-yard touchdown pass, to make it 14 – 7. Las Lomas scored again to make it 21 – 7, but Piedmont marched into Las Lomas territory again, and George hit playmaker Devin Brown on a 19-yard pass on 4th down to make it 21 – 14 at the end of the first half.

Explained Bryan, “When we were down 35 – 21 with seven minutes to go in the game we had to take some chances against Las Lomas, but unfortunately we did not convert those opportunities to pull within seven points. And so, they put the game away after getting the ball back.”

Piedmont ends the season at an overall record of 7 – 4.

“It has been a magical year,” said Bryan, “nobody expected much of anything from us, and the kids have played great. Installing the A-11 was the best thing we could have done for the program and the players transitioned very well. They made football history one week at a time utilizing the new system, and for them to earn a spot in the playoffs was a reward much deserved for the whole team.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


November 13th, 2007

Re: Piedmont football team makes NCS playoffs and football history!

On Sunday, November 11th at Las Lomas high school in northern California, the selection committee chose the Piedmont Highlanders football team as the # 8 seed in the NCS 2A East Bay playoffs.

Not only did the good news excite the Piedmont football team and reward them for an outstanding season, but it also validated Piedmont’s new A-11 Offense (all eleven players potentially eligible), thereby signaling a shift in the high school football landscape.

Piedmont (7-3) will play at Las Lomas (10-0) who is the # 1 seed in the tournament.

Piedmont’s Head football coach Kurt Bryan said, “For our players to accomplish so much up to this point in time in the first season of using the A-11 is truly remarkable. Our team has worked so hard and has earned this spot in the playoffs by never giving up and never looking back. Even though we are a very small school, we have earned the right to play the largest school in 2A, Las Lomas, and they are awesome. Our players and assistant coaches deserve a ton of credit and it’s a testament to their commitment to succeed.”

The Highlanders earned the playoff berth with their overall record and strength of schedule - their 3 losses coming against teams with a combined record of 25 – 5.

“It’s going to be a great game,” said Bryan, “we are going to put the football in the air all night long, and it’s going to be a fun game to watch on both sides.”

Sunday, November 11, 2007


November 6, 2007

Exactly...What is this New A-11 Offense in Football?

The A-11 Offense (All Eleven Players Potentially Eligible) is a new, scrimmage-kick formation based, offensive system in football created by Piedmont Head Coach, Kurt Bryan, Director of Football Operations, Steve Humphries, and the entire Piedmont Football Coaching Staff.

"Respectfully, throughout football history at the high school level, other teams have run a few plays from a scrimmage kick formation. But this is a brand new system in football, and for the thousands of small schools like us nationwide that are forced to compete against much larger schools on a regular basis, it's the only way we can be competitive. The larger enrollment schools have a very unfair size advantage over the smaller schools, and so we had to try something new." Explains Piedmont head coach, Kurt Bryan.

Piedmont High School, in Piedmont, CA, is in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) NCS - 2A East Bay Classification, with a coed, public enrollment of just over 800 students. However, Piedmont routinely competes against schools nearly twice their size. In fact, in their NCS - 2A Classification (the enrollment bracket is from a minimum of 700 students all the way up to a maximum of 1,600 students). Potentially, more than a 2 - to - 1 enrollment size disadvantage for the smaller schools.
And so, the A-11 Offense was born to try and somewhat negate the sheer overwhelming size advantage much larger schools maintain over the small ones.

"In high school athletics, constructing a fair, positive and competitive environment for the student-athletes has always been the top priority, and that should never change." Notes Bryan, "The CIF, the National Federation of High Schools, and all of the Referees that have worked our games throughout California should all be praised and commended for not discriminating against us because we took a chance and tried something new. Their open-minded and diverse approach about understanding the need for us to be competitive by trying this new system has been totally professional. And, the feedback from players, fans, opposing coaches and the officials has been fantastic. For that, we are most grateful. Football is a game that is always evolving and this is just another step forward for high school football."

The A-11 features up to all eleven players wearing an eligible receiver jersey number, either 1-49 or 80-99, with two quarterbacks in the shotgun formation, and with nobody under center - thereby meeting the criteria for a scrimmage kick formation. In their base sets, Piedmont has a center, and a tight end on each side, and three wide receivers to the right, and left respectively. By spreading the potentially eligible receivers across the entire field, it forces the defense to account for every possible receiver on each play. Of course, on any given play, only 5 of those players can go downfield to catch a pass, and the rest remain ineligible to catch a downfield pass on that particular play.

The A-11 was in development for more than a year before being unveiled in the Highlanders season opener vs. Campolindo. After working out some kinks during their first two games, Piedmont has reeled off 7 straight wins, now stands 7-2-0 overall, undefeated in BSAL league play at (5-0), and plays reigning league champion, St. Patrick's (9-0) on November 9th, at 7:00PM for the league title, in Vallejo, CA.

"After our first two games, some people thought we were crazy," said Bryan, "but the players and coaches kept believing in the A-11 and learning about it; and our school's administration has been very supportive too. Now, we have earned the right to play for the league championship against one of the top 5 teams in our state bowl division rankings, and it doesn't get any better than that."

The Piedmont coaching staff is also excited about the excellent safety aspect of the new offense, says A-11 co-creator Steve Humphries. “An unforeseen benefit for us has been a major increase in the safety and protection of our players. We have not had major injuries to our offensive players in a game or practice due to the spread out nature of the A-11, and this is a major selling point. It really helps the players of the much smaller schools stay healthier during the season, which in turn allows schools like us to remain competitive throughout the entire year.”

"We are getting calls and emails from all over the country about the A-11 and how it works; from high schools and college, and one NFL coach too." Explains Bryan. "That is a great compliment to the entire Piedmont football family, from top to bottom: players, coaches, our administration and fans alike."


November 10th, 2007

Re: Piedmont battles defending champ St. Patrick’s in BSAL title game

Friday night in Vallejo, CA the visiting Piedmont Highlanders football team (7 - 3) overall, were overwhelming underdogs going into the game against powerhouse St. Patrick’s (10 – 0) overall, with the BSAL championship on the line.

And for three-quarters of the game, it was a very close game, until Piedmont eventually succumbed to the dominant rushing attack of the host Bruins, and fell 38 – 15.

Piedmont was riding a seven-game winning streak on the strength of its underrated defense and revolutionary A-11 Offense (all eleven players potentially eligible and two quarterbacks in shotgun), and Piedmont held a slim 9 – 7 lead over the Bruins, until St. Patrick’s took the lead right before the first half ended on a field goal to make the score 10 – 9.

“That was the best team we saw all year,” said Piedmont head coach, Kurt Bryan, “it’s clear why St. Patrick’s has won nineteen straight games and is so highly ranked in the state, they’re excellent. More importantly, our guys played their hearts out tonight and traded hard hits with them all night. After we took the lead, we had a few more opportunities to open up a larger margin but we did not convert. In a championship game, second chances are hard to come by. I am so proud of our guys, nobody expected us to be playing for the league title this year and we came close to winning it.”

Piedmont’s tough defense and new A-11 Offense kept the game close, and running back Rory Bonnin scored on a 2-yard run to bring the score to 7 - 6, Bruins. Piedmont place kicker Jordan Remer later drilled a 34-yard field goal, giving the Highlanders the lead at 9 - 7.

The pounding rushing attack was the difference in the second half, as the Bruins scored two rushing touchdowns, but with under two minutes to play in the 3rd quarter, Piedmont’s primary quarterback, Jeremy George added another touchdown on a 1-yard keeper, and the score was 26 – 15 for the host Bruins. St. Patrick’s added two more touchdowns runs making the final score 38 – 15.

“We’ve won seven of our last eight games since installing the A-11 Offense, and respectfully our team deserves to get into the NCS - 2A playoffs. I hope we get chosen by the playoff committee at the playoff seeding meeting this Sunday, the players deserve to keep playing.” Said Bryan.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


November 3rd, 2007

Piedmont’s 7th straight win sets up league title showdown vs. St. Patrick’s

In Crockett, CA vs. John Swett high school Friday night in a BSAL game, the visiting Piedmont Highlanders football team took care of business in a hard fought victory 21 – 14 over the host Indians.

The Highlanders defense and new A-11 Offense won its seventh game in a row, and Piedmont is 7 – 2 overall and (5 – 0) in BSAL play. They travel to take on reigning BSAL champion St. Patrick’s (9 – 0), Friday, November 9th at 7:00PM in Vallejo, CA.

“We knew going into the game it was going to be a “blue collar” type of effort, and if we were going to get the win, we would have to be tough, take a lot of chances on offense, and keep our composure. Anytime a team is on the road and without several top players for that game, it is harder to be successful against good teams.” Explained Piedmont head coach, Kurt Bryan. “For this team to win its seventh game in a row is huge…huge!”

Piedmont earned the victory without three key starting players ever stepping onto the field, including primary A-11 quarterback Jeremy George, who was kept out of the game due to a minor injury; George will return next week. However, the Highlander’s other quarterback in their unique two-quarterback system, Ryan Lipkin managed the offense very well in relief. Lipkin completed 15 of 26 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns, with only one interception and made excellent decisions throughout the game.

Piedmont’s first score came near the end of the first half, as Lipkin found wide receiver Joey Andrada on the right sideline for a short gain, that Andrada quickly turned into a 79-yard bolt to even the contest 7 – 7 at the half.

The Highlanders defense continued its well-earned reputation as a hard-nosed group, by yielding only 7 points, as the Indians other touchdown came on a 95-yard kickoff return.

Lipkin’s second touchdown pass went to wide receiver Alexander Menke on a 25-yard strike on 4th down to take the lead. And, running back Chris McHenry also scored on a nice 1-yard plunge into the end zone.

“It’s going to be a great game vs. St. Patrick’s for the league title,” said Bryan, “they are an excellent football team and respectfully…so are we. Both teams deserve the shot at it.”

Friday, November 2, 2007


Highlanders win sixth straight game
Junior quarterback George has a field day in 47-7 rout of Moreau Catholic
By Pete Elman
Article Launched: 11/02/2007 03:06:32 AM PDT

PIEDMONT -- It took Piedmont High School a half to get untracked. But when its explosive offense did kick in, the results was five unanswered touchdowns in a 47-7 rout of Moreau Catholic in front of an enthusiastic crowd Oct. 26. After opening the 2007 campaign with consecutive non-league losses to Campolindo and Truckee, Piedmont (6-2, 4-0 BSAL) reeled off its sixth straight win.

Poised junior quarterback Jeremy George led Piedmont. He completed 10 of 16 passes -- to seven receivers -- for 148 yards and two touchdowns and ran the ball nine times for 95 yards and another score. The Highlanders' defense, after giving up an early score to Moreau (2-6, 1-4), shut down the Mariners, holding the visitors to only 102 yards total offense.
"Our defense is fast and smart," said Piedmont coach Kurt Bryan.

Although Moreau suited up only 19 players, the game started out inauspiciously for the Highlanders, who made several key mistakes in the first half. Kicker Jordan Remer broke the ice with a 25-yard field goal to give Piedmont an early 3-0 lead, and after holding the Mariners to the second of nine three-and-outs, a 34-yard jaunt by halfback Keith Reid set up a three-yard touchdown run by Elliot Wainess to make it 10-0.

But the Mariners, led by quarterback Devin Saxon, came right back and scored on a 6-yard run by Leonne Punzalan. This would prove to be their only points of the night. On the next possession George converted a 50-yard pass play to Devin

Brown, only to have it called back on a holding penalty. The Highlanders forced another Moreau punt, and when the snap sailed over punter Brandon Chamberlain's head, Matt Fineman tackled him in the end zone for a safety to give Piedmont a 12-7 lead halfway through the second period.

A fumble by Reid after a nice 21-yard run thwarted another drive, and another holding infraction negated what would have been an 80-yard touchdown pass from George to Kyle Bonacum. Instead of going into the locker room with a large lead, the home team led by only five points. "The first half we played well, but we shot ourselves in the foot repeatedly," said Bryan, "so we changed it up a bit in the second half."

What Bryan did was actually minor tinkering, but it had a major impact on the game. With his swarming, stingy defense (five sacks) making sure the Mariners couldn't get anything going, his multi-faceted offense stopped making mistakes and started clicking. Alternating their unique two-quarterback A-11 set with a more traditional "Highlander" formation, Piedmont reeled off five touchdowns.

"We have to be flexible to be successful," Bryan said. The 140-lb. George broke two tackles on a 23-yard keeper to start the onslaught, and then found Joey Andrada behind the secondary for a 23-yard touchdown pass, breaking the game open at 26-7. Reid, who also played a fine game on defense, scored on a 5-yard run to open the final quarter. On the next possession, George spotted tight end Bryce Chu in the end zone for a 14-yard scoring strike. The final score came when quarterback Ryan Lipkin hit Devin Brown on a 9-yard touchdown pass.

George was quick to give credit to his teammates. "I have faith in all of our receivers," he said. "We have a lot of athletes out there." Highlander kicker Jordan Remer had an excellent game. In addition to his field goal, he was 6-for-6 on extra points and kept the Mariners from getting good field position with his booming kickoffs.

Tonight the Scots travel to Crockett to play John Swett. Then a showdown with undefeated St. Patrick-St. Vincent on Nov. 9 will probably determine the league champion.

Notes: Alamo author Jack Reed, who has written several books on youth football, was at the game researching a new book on "contrarian offenses". Piedmont's A-11 was what interested him. "I saw the Campo game, and now these guys really have it working well," Reed said.