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.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


October 29, 2007

Piedmont wins 6th straight game using A-11 Offense and stout defense!

In their last regular season home game of the 2007 football season, the Piedmont Highlanders treated their raucous crowd to a memorable night and blew out the visiting Moreau Catholic Mariners 47 – 7 in BSAL play.

Piedmont’s wide-open A-11 offense featuring (all eleven players potentially eligible & two quarterbacks in shotgun) produced many big plays, and their traditional Highlander offense provided a powerhouse running game that mixed in deft play action in the rout. Foremost, the Highlander defense held Moreau to less than 120 total yards and the lone touchdown on the night.

“Our team has grown more comfortable in the new A-11 system each week and our team maturity level has constantly improved. We are responding to pressure situations with great focus and enthusiasm to achieve the task at hand.” Said Piedmont head coach Kurt Bryan.

Primary Highlander Quarterback Jeremy George was 10 for 16 passing, for 148 yards and two touchdowns, and he added another 95 yards rushing on 9 carries and a score. George hit wide receiver Joey Andrada on a 23-yard TD pass and later hit tight end Bryce Chu with a 14-yard strike and the score. Piedmont’s other Quarterback Ryan Lipkin, added another scoring pass, a 9-yard toss to wide receiver Devin Brown.

The Highlanders ground game was brutal all night long, rushing for a team total of 234 yards on 29 carries. Running Back, Keith Reid had 77 yards on 9 totes and a five-yard TD run, and Elliot Wainess carried the ball 7 times for 40 yards and one TD as well.

“We can run the ball and we can throw it well too,” explained Bryan, “we always want to be a dual threat offensive team regardless of who we play.”

Piedmont has won 6 straight games, now stands 6 – 2 overall and (4 – 0) in BSAL play.

The Highlanders last two regular season games are on the road against tough league opponents: November 2nd, 7:00PM at John Swett in Crockett, CA, and in the finale at St. Patrick’s on November 9th at 7:00PM.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Piedmont wins 5th game in a row with A-11 offensive air raid of JFK

In BSAL play: Friday afternoon at JFK – High School in Richmond, CA, the visiting Piedmont Highlanders football team overcame a shaky take off, but then began an aerial attack utilizing its diverse A-11 offense to bomb the Eagles stingy defense en route to a 28 – 0 win. The Highlanders now stand 5 – 2 overall and are tied for first place in the BSAL at (3 – 0) with unbeaten St. Patrick’s of Vallejo, CA (7 – 0).

Piedmont’s A-11 offense featuring two quarterbacks in shotgun and (all eleven players potentially eligible) took the opening drive down the field and picked apart the JFK defense. However, an onslaught of penalties against the Highlanders pushed them back deep into their own territory and Piedmont found themselves in a terrible 1st down and 45 yards to go at their own 25 yard line. No problem, Piedmont marched down the field again, converting on a 4th down and 16 with Primary quarterback Jeremy George finding wide receiver Joey Andrada on the right sideline for the catch.

Piedmont’s two quarterbacks (Jeremy George & Ryan Lipkin) combined for 17 completions in 22 attempts, for 291 yards, with four TD passes and two interceptions. George had the hot hand and finished the day by going (16 of 19, for 276 yards, with 4 TD passes and 1 interception). Piedmont also rushed for 69 yards on 22 carries.

“First off, I want to congratulate JFK for coming to play today, “ said Piedmont Head Coach, Kurt Bryan, “they were ready to get after it against us. But…we shot ourselves in the foot with backbreaking penalties in the first quarter and it cost us major yards and a couple of touchdowns early in the game. After we smoothed out it all went well, and our defense was top notch again today. Also, anytime we complete 17 of 22 passes we have to be thrilled. Our guys are learning to operate within the A-11 very well and it’s a compliment to our entire team & assistant coaches for constantly learning and adjusting.”

George fired touchdown passes to four different Piedmont receivers: Rory Bonnin – 18 yards, Jamel Freeman – 24 yards, Kyle Bonacum – 30 yards, and Alexander Menke – 14 yards. Nine different Piedmont players caught passes on the day.

Piedmont plays its final home game against Moreau Catholic on Friday night, October 26th at Witter Field in Piedmont, CA at 7:00PM. The Highlanders final two games are on the road at John Swett in Crockett, CA, and at St. Patrick’s (Vallejo) on November 9th.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


October 13th, 2007

Re: Piedmont wins 4th game in a row with rough defense and power offense.

At Witter Field in Piedmont, CA on Friday night October 12th, the host Piedmont Highlanders football team left no doubt about the where their focus is for the second half of the season by destroying the Albany Cougars 40 – 7 in BSAL play.

The Highlanders 4-2 overall and (2-0) in league used a stifling defense and punishing ground game combined with their A-11 Offense to dismantle Albany.

Piedmont’s offense spent the first half of the season developing their new A-11 Offensive system (featuring eleven potentially eligible receivers & two quarterbacks in shotgun) and getting the kinks worked out en route to an overall record of 3-2 entering Friday night’s contest vs. Albany. However, the Highlanders sent a message to their upcoming opponents – they can pound the ball on the ground as well.

Seven different ball carriers combined for 170 yards rushing on 38 carries, as Piedmont rushed from their base A-11 Offensive spread sets and their traditional “Highlander” formations as well. Piedmont threw only 9 passes on the night, completing 6 of them, for 26 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions.

“It is important for our team to be balanced and flexible,” explained head football coach, Kurt Bryan, “we need to take what the defense gives us to a certain degree. We like to run and we like to throw, either way…it does not matter to us.”

Primary Piedmont quarterback, Jeremy George drove Piedmont down the field on the opening drive, and began the scoring by hitting WR Elliot Wainess in the end zone for a six-yard touchdown pass. On Piedmont’s second drive of the game, George found the end zone on a four-yard run and a 14 – 0 lead. Piedmont’s defense was relentless all night, forcing Albany into eight turnovers, the highlight of the evening was Safety Rory Bonnin’s 51 – yard interception return for a touchdown and a 20 – 0 Highlander lead to end the first half scoring.

The Highlanders running game paid huge dividends in the second half. Running Backs Keith Reid and Chris McHenry scored on punishing touchdown runs respectively.

“Each week we need to mature and get better,” said Bryan, “So far, so good.”

Piedmont travels to JFK – Richmond to take on the Eagles on Friday the 19th @ 3:15PM.

Monday, October 8, 2007


October 8th, 2007

Re: Piedmont wins 3rd game in a row with stout Defense & incredible last second FG!

On Piedmont High’s homecoming vs. a big and strong Oakland High football team on Friday night, October 5th at Witter Field in Piedmont, CA; the Piedmont Highlanders fought their way to victory until 1.5 seconds were left in the game, as Jordan Remer’s 32-yard field goal split the uprights for the Piedmont win, 17 – 14.

“Oakland was big, fast and physical all night long,” explained Piedmont Head Coach, Kurt Bryan, “it was like a classic Heavyweight boxing match. They were hitting us hard all night and we kept trading blows with them until the last play of the game. At halftime with the score tied 7 – 7, we told our players in the locker room that this game was going to come down to the last play of the night, so mentally prepare for it now.”

Piedmont’s stout defense allowed only 185 yards of total offense by Oakland and one touchdown, while Oakland scored their other touchdown on a blocked punt at the end of the first half.

Piedmont’s A-11 Offense (featuring all eleven players potentially eligible and two QB’s in a shotgun formation) opened the scoring with a 38-yard scoring pass from QB Jeremy George to wide receiver, Joey Andrada to take a 7 – 0 lead. Penalties hurt Piedmont’s offense throughout the night, negating several big gains by its offense. “Now, at the halfway point of the season with a 3 – 2 record and 1 – 0 in league play, we need to clean up our execution a little bit more.” Said Bryan.

In the 3rd quarter, George scampered 13 yards up the middle for a score and the Highlanders lead 14 – 7. However, Oakland tied the game in the 4th quarter, 14 – 14 on a nice touchdown pass, and the final stage was set for Piedmont’t dramatic win.

Piedmont defensive back, Devin Brown intercepted an Oakland pass, and with only 32 seconds left in the game and the ball on their own 17 – yard line, Piedmont began its winning drive. On its first play from scrimmage, George found Brown at midfield for a 39 – yard gain on a deep crossing pass play. On the next play, George rolled to his right and hit Joey Andrada with a 15 – yard out. With only 13 seconds remaining in the game and the ball on Oakland’s 30-yard line, George executed a quarterback draw to perfection and raced to the 15-yard line. The Highlanders called their last time out with 5 seconds on the clock, and Jordan Remer’s 32-yard game winning field goal set off a delirious celebration at Witter Field in front of the hometown crowd.

“It was the most dramatic win I have ever been a part of,” said Bryan, “truly amazing!”

Piedmont continues BSAL play and will host Albany, October 12th at 7:00PM at Witter Field.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


September 30, 2007

Re: Piedmont gets 2nd consecutive win with new A-11 offense and tough defense

On Friday night September 28th, 2007 at Witter Field in Piedmont, in a Bay Shore Athletic League (BSAL) opener, the Piedmont Highlanders football team won their second game in a row, defeating St. Mary’s High 21 – 14. The Highlanders now stand 2-2 overall, and 1-0 in league play. The Highlanders new A-11 offense featuring eleven potentially eligible receivers and two quarterbacks in shotgun continued its growth, as they rolled up 335 total yards of offense against a solid Panthers squad.

Primary Highlanders quarterback, Jeremy George led the attack, finishing with 17 completes on 31 attempts, with two touchdowns and one interception – his first of the year. The second Highlanders quarterback, Ryan Lipkin, was a steady 4 for 7, for 74 yards. On the night, Piedmont passed for 243 yards, and rushed for 101 yards on 25 carries, with George leading the way with 11 rushes for 60 yards.

“It’s good to see our offense mature each week,” said Piedmont Head Coach Kurt Bryan, “but our defense was tough against St. Mary’s and they dictated the tempo throughout most of the night.”

Piedmont’s defense held St. Mary’s to 176 total yards, and if not for a fluke fumble on an attempted punt by Piedmont, easily would have held the Panthers to only 7 points.

To open the game Piedmont’s A-11 offense came out firing and marched down the field to take a 7 – 0 lead, when George found wide receiver Joey Holland in the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown pass. St. Mary’s answered by putting together a nice drive culminating with a 13-yard touchdown pass from their quarterback Rivera, to Shields.

However, the Highlanders offense was just warming up, as they built a 21 – 7 halftime lead by marching up and down the field and eating up huge amounts of time – thereby allowing the Piedmont defense to stay fresh. “It’s one of the benefits about our new system.” Said Bryan, “When the execution of our A-11 offense is good, our opponents defense must pursue our guys all over the field and they get fatigued. Respectfully to St. Mary’; it was self-evident midway through the 2nd quarter that their defense was tired.”

The Highlanders took the lead again 14 – 7 after a long drive, when George scampered 13-yards up the middle for a touchdown. Piedmont got the ball back after a St. Mary’s punt and they marched down the field on a 16 – play drive. George hit Lipkin for a 4 yard touchdown pass to make the score 21 – 7 just before halftime. Bryan explains, “We’re getting there, in the first half we played very well but we committed too many penalties in the 2nd half, and that cost us points and lots of yards. We need to sharpen up and execute even better for a full game.”

Piedmont hosts Oakland High at Witter Field in Piedmont on Friday, October 5th, at 7:00PM.

Monday, September 24, 2007


September 24, 2007

Re: Piedmont High gets first victory with its new A-11 offense.

On a rain soaked Saturday night September 22nd, 2007 on the road against Trinity High in Weaverville, CA, the Piedmont Highlanders football team got their first win of the season and made history as well. The Highlanders new A-11 Offensive system featuring eleven potentially eligible receivers and two quarterbacks in shotgun formation clicked for most of the night in tough elements against a very physical team.

“We have played three very big and physical teams to begin the season,” explained Head Coach Kurt Bryan, “but have stressed to the players the importance of exponential improvement in the new system on a weekly basis. On Saturday night, the team made another giant leap in the execution of our new offense, and the defense, and special teams played very well. It was a team effort.”

On the wet evening, Piedmont Quarterback, Jeremy George continued his efficient handling of the A-11 offense against Trinity, by going 14 of 26, for 180 yards and a touchdown, and he has yet to throw an interception this season. The touchdown pass was a 60-yard strike to wide receiver, Joey Andrada to seal the victory for the Highlanders in the 4th quarter.

George also rushed for 45 yards on 8 carries, and the Highlanders moved the ball well regularly against Trinity, twice settling for field goals in the first quarter, and missing two other field goal attempts and a red zone conversion.

“It was nice to get our first win,” said Bryan, “but we still have work to do, things to tinker with and adjustments to make. Our protection of the quarterbacks has been excellent, but we need to sharpen up our red zone efficiency.”

Piedmont begins BSAL league play on Friday night, September 28th at 7:00PM against league rival St. Mary’s of Berkeley by hosting them at Witter Field in Piedmont.

“They’re fast and big, and it will be a great test for our team. It would be great to get our first win at home if we can continue to improve at a good clip.” Said Bryan.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Piedmont’s new A-11 Offense continues to improve.

On Friday night September 14th, 2007 in their home opener at Witter Field in Piedmont, CA, the Highlanders football team had much to prove to themselves, to their fans, to football purists and to the Truckee High Wolverines. The Highlanders continue to develop and refine their new A-11 Offensive system, which features a groundbreaking eleven - potentially eligible receivers every down, and two quarterbacks in shotgun formation, dependent upon the situation.

Truckee has won the Nevada 3A State Championship twice in the past three years, and last year at Truckee the Wolverines defeated Piedmont by a score of 33 – 7.

On Friday night things were much different as the Highlanders proved their new A-11 Offense will be something to be reckoned with. Truckee defeated Piedmont by a score of 15 – 7, and the game was as close as the score would indicate. Several times the Highlanders were able to penetrate deep into Truckee territory; only to have their offensive drives thwarted by a costly penalty or key mistake.

Piedmont made history on Friday night, when Quarterback Jeremy George found wide receiver Joey Andrada in the right corner of the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown pass to make the score, 12 – 6 Truckee, a successful PAT made the score 12 – 7 and Piedmont was in business. It was the first offensive touchdown ever scored in football history in their new A-11 Offense.

In their combined aerial attack, both Highlander Quarterbacks, George and Ryan Lipkin, were an impressive 20 of 27, for 186 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

“That was a huge score for us, big for the kids, the program and the new system. We have been close many times and finally got the monkey off our backs.” Said Piedmont head football coach, Kurt Bryan.

On the season, the Highlander’s quarterback duo has completed 64.5% of their passes, by going (31 of 48) with one touchdown and one interception, an impressive start in their new system.

Piedmont travels to Weaverville, CA for their next game to take on a physically tough Trinity High School team on Saturday night September 22nd. “We’re coming together nicely and I have a good feeling about our next game,” said Bryan. “It should be a real barnburner and our offense is starting to gel.”

Friday, September 14, 2007


September 14 2007

By Jimmy Durkin
Oakland Tribune

PIEDMONT -- No, it's not illegal.

That's the answer to your first question when you see hosting Piedmont High line up in its new offense against non-league opponent Truckee tonight at 7.

Fashioned by coach Kurt Bryan and director of football operations Steve Humphries, and cultivated by the entire Highlanders coaching staff, Piedmont is bringing innovation to the field this season with the A-11 offense.

The name A-11, short for "all 11 players potentially eligible" was changed from the original name of Planet Pluto, which was based on the fact that the concept was "so far out there."

With two quarterbacks, three lineman and six receivers, it's a formation unlike any other.Bryan first started developing the A-11 with his staff more than a year ago when he signed on for his second term as head coach at his alma mater (he also led the Highlanders from 1994-96).

"During last offseason, Humphries said, 'What do you think about a two quarterback offense?'" Bryan recalled. "I thought the only way for it to be worthwhile was to have all 11 (players) potentially eligible (as receivers). That way, the defense only has one to three seconds to react."

But before the staff could begin coaching the offense, it had to learn it.

"(It started) with Kurt and I standing outside his driveway with a little football," said quarterbacks coach Pete Schneider, a standout wide receiver for the Highlanders during the Drew Olsen era. "We had to learn how to receive the snap and when to receive the snap."

The key to making the offense legal is at least one of the quarterbacks lining up 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage, technically making it a scrimmage kick formation.

The base formation has three receivers on each side who will shift in any number of ways so there are seven players on the line of scrimmage at the snap. For one of the offensive lineman to be eligible, they must be wearing an eligible number (1-49, 80-99) and not have another receiver on the line of scrimmage outside of them.

"It's the next step in the evolution of the game," Bryan said. "And we said 'Why not do it at Piedmont?'"

Time will tell how successful the scheme will be. In last week's opener against Campolindo, Piedmont's offense was limited to 126 yards of total offense in a 31-2 loss.

"We made some key mistakes early in the game, which really hurt," Bryan said. "We are young, this is a new system and even though it is frustrating, we know there is a steep learning curve and it is part of the process.

"However, now that we further know and understand how teams will defend the A-11, it will make it easier for our program to adapt and game plan."

For the pessimists out there who question if one bad week is enough to make Piedmont scrap its plans, Humphries said this: "We're committed 1,000 percent. We're making a major commitment. From the lowest levels up to the varsity level, the system is in place."

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Piedmont launches brand new A-11 Offense (All Eleven Potentially Eligible)

Respectfully, throughout its 86-year history, Piedmont High School football teams have been labeled as “undersized, overachievers, hardworking, gritty, creative and smart.” Piedmont is a public high school, participating in the CIF – North Coast Section 2A Classification with a coed enrollment of just over 900 students. And now, the Highlanders will try to keep their spirited football tradition alive by implementing a brand new offense on September 7th, @ 7:00PM in their opening game at Campolindo High School in Moraga, CA.

The Highlanders’ new system is called, “The A-11 Offense” which stands for (All Eleven Potentially Eligible), and it’s a unique offensive system never before seen in the history of football.

“Necessity gives birth to invention,” says Piedmont Head Football Coach, Kurt Bryan, a twenty-two year coaching veteran at the high school and collegiate levels.” And Bryan explains, “We are a very small school regularly competing against teams drawing quality athletes from schools nearly twice our enrollment, so we had to try and create a system that somewhat negated sheer brute strength and size from the offensive side of the ball.”

Exactly, what is the A-11 Offense and how did it come to be?

“The A-11 Offense utilizes offensive principles from other systems such as, the spread, triple option, west coast and traditional I formation schemes.” However, there is one major difference between the A-11 and every other offense: in the A-11, all of the offensive players on the field will be wearing eligible receiver numbers. The players’ jerseys will display either # 1 – 49 or 80 – 99; therefore traditional Offensive Lineman numbered 50 – 79 will not necessarily be on the field during the A-11, although they will be used as well, dependent upon the situation and formation.

“It took us more than a year to develop the A-11 and get it approved,” said Bryan. “We are well within the rules of the game. The feedback from other coaches, our players and the officials has been great. It is the next step in the evolution of the game. Our Director of Football Operations & OL/DL Coach, Steve Humphries, and the entire coaching staff have worked hard to create this system.” Says Humphries, “We are excited to see what happens and hopeful it allows us to be more competitive on a weekly basis. It should be fun to watch, there will be a lot of speed on the field and we believe the A-11 will help our cause. It is worth the investment for our kids and the program.”

For more about Piedmont’s A-11 Offense and the Highlander football program, please visit and pick a game to watch them play. It should be interesting.