Best Locally Concocted Bit of Gridiron Sorcery

The A-11 Offense

Just a few years ago, Kurt Bryan and Steve Humphries were frustrated coaches trying to figure out how to win more games with their small school of undersized football players. Their solution — a unique formation called the A-11 offense, which took advantage of a rule loophole — would be revolutionary, featuring two quarterbacks, up to six receivers, and all eleven on-field players as potential weapons. Contrast that with the typical football offense, which features one quarterback and just a few pass-catching threats. Scientific American magazine did the math and found that the new formation upped the number of possibilities for what can happen on a given play from some 36 to a whopping 16,632. As the Highlanders rode their new toy to exceptional success and other high schools nationwide began to adopt the A-11 (the offense has always been illegal at the collegiate and professional levels), traditionalist objectors cried foul. Last year, the national governing body of high school sports voted overwhelmingly to close the loophole that made Bryan and Humphries’ invention possible. But Piedmont’s pigskin magicians went back to the lab to make a few adjustments, and a slightly modified version of the A-11 is still going strong.

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