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New Trier likes Warren's spread
By Mike McGraw | Daily Herald Staff

Warren defender Matt Miller tries to corner New Trier's wide receiver Devin Boehm at Warren on Friday, September 2nd.

 

George Leclaire | Staff Photographer

Warren's Mitch Munda and Matt Miller lead the team on the field to play New Trier at Warren on Friday, September 2nd.

 

George Leclaire | Staff Photographer

Warren's Connor Iwema is dragged down by New Trier defender Michael Welsh at Warren on Friday, September 2nd.

 

George Leclaire | Staff Photographer

Warren's Adam Reuss runs the ball against New Trier at Warren on Friday, September 2nd.

 

George Leclaire | Staff Photographer

Warren's Davonte Wilcox has a catch knocked out of his hands by New Trier defender Matt Quinlan at Warren on Friday, September 2nd.

 

George Leclaire | Staff Photographer

New Trier celebrates a touchdown in the first half at Warren on Friday, September 2nd.

 

George Leclaire | Staff Photographer

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Published: 9/3/2011 1:50 AM

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Warren has installed a spread offense this season, a radical shift from the I-formation of recent years, especially when it leads to as much passing as the Blue Devils did on Friday night.

The new scheme was still a work in progress during a 21-7 loss to New Trier, which spoiled the debut of Warren's new artificial turf field.

If the Blue Devils could have cut down on mistakes, things wouldn't have seemed nearly as bad. New Trier scored on a 40-yard interception return and later on a 1-yard drive after recovering a Warren fumble.

Trevians cornerback Chris Hall, who made the interception, talked about getting ready for Warren's new look.

"They're usually the power-running game," Hall said. "This week (coaches) told us they were more of a spread, passing team and it kind of shocked a few people. But it worked out."

Overall, the Blue Devils (0-2) lost 4 fumbles and had a total of 5 turnovers. That doesn't include the 25-yard loss on an errant shotgun snap or several untimely penalties by the home team.

"We've got to fix some things up here," Warren coach Dave Mohapp said. "Practice a little bit better, find a better way to practice and make them better. We just never got into a rhythm offensively."

On the other side, New Trier ran a nearly identical spread offense. The Trevians also switched this season, but senior quarterback Jack Nykaza seemed comfortable in the spread, completing 10-of-19 passes for 117 yards and 2 interceptions. New Trier also used a variety of ballcarriers to add 131 rushing yards.

"We were all pro-style. We ran last year a lot," Nykaza said. "This year, we're more balanced. Tonight, our running game helped us out a lot and our defense really stepped up huge. It's more of a running spread, because I'm a running quarterback. But we can pass out of it, too."

The run-to-pass ratio might be reexamined at Warren this week. A good illustration came at the start of the second half when 3 runs gained 15 yards, but then 3 passes went nowhere and forced a punt.

The potential of the spread offense was obvious, but the Blue Devils had trouble sustaining drives. Their lone score was set up by a 38-yard pass from junior quarterback Adam Reuss to Mitch Munda down to the 2-yard line. Tyler Keith ran it in 2 plays later, cutting the deficit to 21-7 with 3:46 left in the third quarter.

Warren drove into New Trier territory on its next possession, but a fumble at the 42-yard line ended that threat. The Devils' next two possessions failed to pick up a first down.

Reuss completed 11-of-25 passes for 127 yards and one interception. Thanks in part to the six fumbles, Warren gained just 62 yards on the ground in 29 attempts.

"In this type of offense, things are dictated a little bit by the numbers in the box and what you need to do," Mohapp said. "We ended up throwing a lot early. We wanted to establish the run in the second half and were able to have some success."

New Trier (1-1) used an 83-yard drive to score the game's first touchdown on a 3-yard run by Michael Thomas midway through a second quarter. Hall's interception made it 14-0 with 1:19 left in the first half.

Warren's second drive of the third quarter started on the 2-yard line after a nice punt and a fumbled snap led to New Trier's third touchdown.