Camden Fairview began Thursday’s game against El Dorado in a spread offense. The Wildcats and their new 3-4 alignment forced the Cardinals to dig into their bag of tricks.
Fairview went to a jumbo set with three backs in the backfield and the quarterback flexing out wide.
“It’s an old school formation. I always called it Maryland I,” said El Dorado defensive coordinator Trey Outlaw. “I remember being in high school and playing NCAA on the PlayStation. You just mess around and you pick weird formations you don’t ever see. I remember seeing the Maryland I. That’s what it’s called and, honestly, I haven’t seen it since the video games in high school.
Camden had ran it the last two years on us. They went to it more this year against Arkadelphia and against us in short yardage, just trying to put some of their really massive offensive linemen out there. If you have a great offensive line like they do, why not put your best players on the field? We called it Maryland I and whenever they shifted the quarterback out, we said they shifted to heavy.”
El Dorado’s adjustment was to insert six defensive linemen, four linebackers and one defensive back. The Wildcats would play eight defensive linemen in the game.
The adjusted lineup led to defensive stands to close the first half and another to end the game.
“I’m really proud of these guys. They did a great job of making big plays when we needed them. I don’t think the score indicates the quality of game we played defensively. We held them to under 120 yards rushing, which is big for us,” said Outlaw. “That’s something we wanted to focus on, especially going to this 3-4 defense, stopping the run and putting pressure on teams. Anytime you can hold them to that few yards, it’s a great night.
“The two big stands, I can’t say how proud I am of the guys, stopping them on the goal line at the end of the first half. At the end of the game, being able to switch out personnel like we did and just going smoothly to getting out there and getting in the right position. If the kid had caught the ball, we had two or three guys ready to make the tackle. It was a great job by those guys making game-winning plays for us.”
Senior linebacker Jyrin Steward had 12 tackles, including 11 unassisted, with two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. His biggest play came at the end. The Cardinals, in their heavy offense, had second and goal from the 3. Steward broke into the backfield and dropped the back for a 4-yard loss.
“That was a massive stop for us. If you ask me, I prefer not to be in that heavy set because it allows us to use our speed better,” said Outlaw. “Him making that big tackle for a loss, having a fourth and goal from the (8) yard line, allowed us to put our speed back on the field. That was a big play by Jyrin.”
Safety Marquees Waller led the team with 13 tackles. Javin Steward had 10 tackles with Danquez Shelton record seven tackles with a sack and a forced fumble.
The coach said all of the eight defensive linemen contributed.
“That’s about four more than we’ve played since I’ve been here in a game, which is something else,” he said. “Damarian Rester had two tackles and a (tackle for loss). Takoi Steward had three tackles and a half sack. Ahmayus Young had five tackles. Trey Cook had two tackles. Nic Wilson had two. Josh Hill had a tackle. Javeon Carroll had two tackles.”