FREDERICK — In a day and age where the spread offense is working wonders for most football teams even at the high school level, the Frederick Warriors are perfectly fine going against the grain.
Head coach Travis Peeples is a former college quarterback, so of course the thought of opening up the playbook a bit is always being entertained. But the stable of tailbacks the Warriors employ and the stout offensive line in front of them have produced exceptional results thus far, and the running game was on full display Thursday night in a 47-22 non-league home win over Centaurus.
There's more to the core of running backs than the three FHS players that were primarily featured on Thursday, but James Jones, Matt Olson and Jacob Cole all ran roughshod in accounting for 479 yards and five touchdowns in the victory.
Most impressive was the work done between the hashes at the point of attack and then the bounce-out capability shown by all three beyond that first level. That yardage total came on 55 totes of the ball — or 8.7 yards per carry.
"Our kids are prepared, and we have the type of kids here that want to play physical so every week we step into things feeling we have a chance to win," Peeples said after Frederick wrapped up its preseason 4-1. "We have more than three running backs, but the three that ran tonight ... they definitely accepted our challenge to them of hitting the hole harder.
"The run attack was great, and it also comes down to our offensive line believing they can push."
Jones led the way with 202 yards and two scores — his big run coming on a 64-yard touchdown with 9 minutes, 4 seconds left in the second quarter that put FHS ahead 27-6. But Cole got the Warriors in the right frame of mind with a 51-yard TD on the game's second play from scrimmage, and Olson contributed a 20-yard run for a touchdown late in the first half, as well.
The big plays really never died for Frederick, which won all of two games the past three seasons combined.
"I felt like the holes were huge, just huge," said Olson, who finished with 121 yards but was effective in all facets of the game. "I love J-Cole, I love James Jones and I feel like we're all on the same level. But we couldn't do it without our line."
It appeared Thursday was going to be a shootout, as Centaurus (0-5) marched down the field following Cole's touchdown and made it 7-6 with Nick Faraca's 25-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Montoya.
After Frederick found the end zone again, Centaurus's next possession was much the same but ended with an Olson interception at the Frederick 8, taking away a good chance for Centaurus to answer. Frederick made sure to take advantage of the turnover, marching 92 yards to get its third touchdown of the opening stanza with Jones' 3-yard run.
Olson had another interception to set up the drive in which he was able to finish to make it 33-6 at halftime. For good measure, the senior ran a kickoff back 82 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, seconds after Centaurus had made it 33-14 on a Mac Post plunge.
"I hadn't returned a kick since my freshman year, so it was a special moment for me," Olson said.
Faraca finished with 304 passing yards, and Andy Mendoza had eight receptions for 102 yards for CHS. Post had 63 yards on 14 carries.
Frederick 47, Centaurus 22
At Frederick HSCentaurus (0-5)6088—22
Frederick — Jacob Cole 51 run (Luke Dunker kick). Centaurus — Anthony Montoya 25 pass from Nick Faraca (pass failed). Frederick — Cole 8 run (Dunker kick). Frederick — James Cones 3 run (kick failed).
Frederick — Jones 64 run (Dunker kick). Frederick — Matt Olson 20 run (kick blocked).
Centaurus — Mac Post 1 run (Elijah Silver pass from Post). Frederick — Olson 82 kickoff return (Dunker kick). Frederick — Jones 1 run (Dunker kick).
Centaurus — Mendoza 7 pass from Faraca (Faraca run).
RUSHING — Centaurus: Mac Post 14-63, Nick Faraca 9-27, Andy Mendoza 4-19, Elijah Silver 2-20, Jackson Sniff 1-0. Frederick: James Jones 24-202, Matt Olson 13-121, Jacob Cole 18-156, Brandon Hornby 1-6, Jacob Green 1-(minus-2).
PASSING — Centaurus: Faraca 27-50-2-304, Mendoza 0-1-1-0. Frederick: Green 2-3-0-17, Kyle Polansky 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Centaurus: Mendoza 8-102, Silver 7-69, Anthony Montoya 4-47, Ashur Cook 4-53, Matthew McGuire 2-22, Tyler Herbstreit 1-12, Pedro Medino 1-9. Frederick: Dylan Sindelar 1-13, Cole 1-4.