The Plainfield (Ind.) High School football team was able to run at and through the majority of opposing defenses last season on its way to an 8-4 mark.

The Plainfield (Ind.) High School football team was able to run at and through the majority of opposing defenses last season on its way to an 8-4 mark.

But after the Quakers lost the leaders of its offensive line to graduation, including North Carolina recruit James Hurst, coach Brian Woodard said his I-formation offense will need to mix in several misdirection plays to move the ball against Pickerington Central when the teams meet Saturday in the Warren Central Classic at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis.

Plainfield nipped Danville 14-7 in its opener last Friday and this game will serve as Central's opener.

"We're a running team, but our line isn't as strong or experienced as it was last year, and their defense is physical and does a great job of flying to the ball to make tackles," Woodard said. "We can't line up and knock them off the ball, so we'll have to play angles, pull, trap and use misdirection. Their defense is quick, and anytime you're that quick, you're going to over-pursue and make some mistakes. We have to be good enough to take advantage of their mistakes."

Centrals defense will try to confuse the Quakers inexperienced line by using multiple fronts and blitzing from difference angles, defensive coordinator Jeff Lomonico said.

However, Lomonico said its crucial that his experienced group of backs led by Notre Dame recruit Eilar Hardy, Tamani Carter and Mike Jamar-Brown stays honest for the play-action passing plays.

Plainfield's offense is led by senior quarterback Gabe Cunningham (6-foot-1, 180 pounds), senior running back Evan Wilson (5-11, 200), senior receiver Jordan Massey (6-1, 200) and senior center Bryan Brock (6-0, 260).

Last Friday, Wilson rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, and Cunningham rushed for 57 yards and a score on 12 carries and completed two of six passes for 24 yards. Massey had both catches.

"They have some big corn-fed boys and they use heavy sets to hammer the ball down people's throats," said Lomonico, whose squad finished 10-2 last year. "We've got to bring some people up to make sure we don't get driven off the front, but we have to be disciplined enough to recognize when they're doing something different. We can't fall asleep on counters and pass plays. We have to respect those plays and keep them covered."

Central coach Jay Sharrett said the Tigers are going to utilize a wide variety of formations and players on offense to try to keep the Quackers' 4-3 defense guessing.

Starting quarterback Grant Hammond and backup quarterback Nick Jensen-Clagg both are expected to take a significant amount of snaps, and receivers Carter and Kris Strange are two of their favorite targets.

The Tigers also will distribute the ball to running back Speedy Hammond on the perimeter and to running back Devone Penick up the middle.

"We were successful using a two-quarterback system last year, and both Grant and Nick are going to play in important situations once again," Sharrett said. "We've got a number of kids who do certain things really well and we're going to call on a lot of different athletes to make plays for us. Plainfield's defense is very fundamentally sound, so we'll need to attack different parts of the field and hope our guys can make some plays."

Woodard said his defense, which is led by senior end Luke Cox, junior cornerback Garrett Goodbar and Massey at inside linebacker, will need to blitz more frequently than usual to try to force the Tigers into making uncharacteristic mistakes.

Last Friday, the Quakers surrendered 284 yards of offense but forced four turnovers.

"We're a bend-but-don't-break defense that's fairly conservative," Woodard said. "We're a medium-blitz team that tries to keep things in front of us. But they have a lot of size on their offensive line and they have a good one-two punch at running back, so we can't afford to lay back and play loose. We'll blitz and come after them."