Georgetown Royals Football '07

Georgetown to rely on aerial attack in quest for postseaon

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Wednesday, September, 05 By Dan Guttenplan
Staff writer

The Georgetown football team disproves the theory that the River Rivals Region is Running Back Country.

Under second-year coach Matt Bouchard, the Royals' offense had a 60 to 40 pass to run ratio last fall. The strategy worked for a team that is consistently smaller in size and numbers that its Commonwealth Conference Small conterparts. Georgetown, a school with 400 total students, fielded a 6-4 football team last season. The Royals' fall concluded with an upset of CCS champion Manchester Essex on Thanksgiving Day.

With junior quarterback Joe Esposito set to play in Bouchard's system for a second season, the Royals could be the early favorites to capture the CCS title.

"Our system is designed for our personnel," Bouchard said. "Joe came in last year, and we installed a package for him. As we became more familiar with what he could do, we geared the offense more toward his talents. Now he should be able to excel in the offense."

For Esposito that would likely mean an increase in his school-record 12 touchdown passes last fall. The then-sophomore was not even slated to play quarterback until incumbent QB Corey Wade broke his collarbone in a preseason scrimmage.

Still, Bouchard now admits that his offense may have been too pass-heavy for his liking last season. He prefers to keep the run-pass ratio closer to 50:50.

"I always feel that when you create the option of passing or running, you make a defense vanilla," Bouchard said. "The defense has to play primarily assignment football. We don't have the bodies to run regularly. We want to put the ball in someone's hands on the perimeter and have a small body on a small body. If a running back is hitting the box at full speed, we have a small body vs. a lot of big bodies." Georgetown will open against Lynnfield Saturday (1:30 p.m., Georgetown High). The Chieftains were 1-10 last year in the Cape Ann League Small. They graduated quarterback Steve Palladino and have a competition between two freshmen and two sophomores for the role as starting QB.

"Compared to last year, our first unit is ahead of schedule with its installation," Bouchard said. "We're looking forward to getting on the field and doing it for real this weekend."

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