Stallions' offense adjusts on fly
Friday nights never have been as action-packed for junior Brandon Krietemeyer of the DeSales High School football team as they have been this season.
After being a part of Thomas Worthington's program as a freshman, he transferred to DeSales for his sophomore season but was ineligible to play varsity or junior varsity because of the OHSAA transfer rule.
This season, Krietemeyer is playing a key role in the Stallions' pistol offense as the starting quarterback.
"I was one of the main water boys last year," he said. "I helped our trainers a lot during the games. If someone had a cramp, I helped stretch them out. I enjoyed having a year to learn. ... I had to sit out a year, but it was a beneficial year."
During a 29-7 loss to Westerville Central in the season opener Aug. 30, the Stallions fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter and spent most of the final three quarters passing the ball.
Krietemeyer completed 11 of 28 passes for 148 yards with one interception and his backup, senior Gage Righter, was 1-for-3 passing for 11 yards.
DeSales mixed in a few more running plays from its triple-option package in a 23-6 win over East Cleveland Shaw on Sept. 6, with Krietemeyer completing six of 11 passes for 52 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions and rushing for 47 yards on 10 carries as the Stallions generated 276 total yards.
DeSales was limited to 112 total yards in a 17-0 loss to New Albany on Sept. 13 as it dropped to 1-2. Krietemeyer completed just one of 12 passes for 42 yards with three interceptions.
"Offense is always kind of a fluid situation, with people getting in sync with each other," coach Ryan Wiggins said. "We have a lot of two-way players, so we don't get the benefit of sitting down and working things out. We've got to fix things early on the fly. It doesn't matter whether you're running the pistol or if you're running the option. You can't have penalties. The things that have hurt us were self-inflicted."
In addition to Krietemeyer getting more comfortable with the offense during the win over Shaw, the Stallions got key contributions from senior running backs Sayyid Kanu and Tucker Yinger.
Kanu rushed 12 times for 68 yards and Yinger had 94 yards and two touchdowns on eight rushes against Shaw.
Against New Albany, Kanu was limited to 29 yards on 11 carries.
Krietemeyer, who rushed for 61 yards and one touchdown against Westerville Central, learned the spread offense during his only season at Thomas Worthington. A year ago, most of the plays he learned were part of the triple-option package.
In the pistol offense, one running back usually stands behind Krietemeyer while he stands in shotgun formation.
"The challenge behind the offense is just getting it down in terms of reading each play, especially on pass plays," Yinger said. "I feel like there's big potential for this offense if we can execute and make all the right reads."
"We added a little bit more option stuff in (against Shaw) and I think we do a little better at it every day," Krietemeyer said. "It's a little bit different of a feel and a different look going out of the gun. I get pretty excited because there are some big plays that are there. It'll come."