Frederick's move to fullback yields big results for Conant
It sounds like a small change.
But for the Conant football team, moving Malik Frederick from slot back to fullback has yielded big results.
In a 54-7 win over Addison Trail last week, Frederick rushed for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns on 25 carries.
"Last year, we found out that Malik was a guy who we needed to get the ball to a lot more," Conant coach Bryan Stortz said. "He made some explosive plays for us in some key games as a slot back. He's got great speed and vision and the ability to go the distance and break a run at any time.
"But in our offense, the number of touches our fullback gets is a lot more than what our slots get. Our slots split carries and our fullback gets double the carries and we wanted Malik to get all those carries. We wanted him to get more touches."
Stortz said Frederick also benefited from some teamwork to rack up his big numbers against Addison Trail.
"We got some major contributions from the offensive line," Stortz said. "And our quarterback (Joe Dugo) made some really good decisions."
One and done: Speaking of Conant quarterback Joe Dugo, he sported a 100 percent completion rate last week against Addison Trail.
Then again, the sophomore threw just one pass, a 37-yarder that was caught by senior wide receiver Keegan O'Connor.
Conant rolled up 433 yards of offense, 396 on the ground.
"We really want to run," Conant coach Bryan Stortz said of his offense. "But we have the ability to throw when we want to. Last week, we had a lot of success on early downs running the ball. It just made sense to keep moving the chains that way. A couple of things Addison Trail was doing defensively to defend the pass really made our running game successful."
A running offense meshes with Dugo anyway. Stortz says his quarterback is talented with his feet.
"Joe is more of a running quarterback," Stortz said of Dugo. "Our offense is suited to him as a runner and decision-maker."
Center of attention: One of the biggest reasons Hoffman Estates put up 40 points and 480 yards on Elk Grove last week was its offensive line.
"Going into this season, we wondered how the offensive line would play," Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. "And against Elk Grove, the offensive line really performed."
The offensive line was a question mark heading into the season because it is young and inexperienced. Two juniors who saw little time last year are starters now. And a sophomore is the center.
But 6-foot-1, 210-pound sophomore Eddie Resendez exceeded expectations in his first varsity start.
"He was excellent, a nice surprise for us," Heyse said of Resendez. "He's the smartest kid on the line. And center is an important position. He makes all the line calls. He's just a bright kid who picks up on things really quickly."
The Hawks actually returned their starting center from last year, Marco Bustos. But Heyse wanted more size at the guard position, so he moved over Bustos, who is 6-foot-2, 275 pounds. That made room for Resendez at center.
"In our offense, we do a lot of pulling and we need our best linemen in the guard position," Heyse said. "We need bigger kids there and Bustos is doing a good job there."
Double trouble: It won't happen every time. But it will happen enough to keep defenses on their toes.
Running backs Mekhi Williams and Max Lock will sometimes share the backfield for Hoffman Estates, like they did last week against Elk Grove.
In that game, Williams and Lock combined for 264 yards, 2 touchdowns and 46 carries.
"They are both very similar runners," Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. "They are both very powerful and they have a really good relationship, so they like blocking for each other.
"They will both get a lot of touches. Sometimes they will split time, sometimes they will be out there together."
Lock doesn't come off the field. He's also a star middle linebacker for the Hawks. Williams also plays some safety for Hoffman Estates.