Lions Rule With Up Tempo Attack
LA FERIA – The Lions have been kings of their district two of the last three years. That’s thanks in part to an offense that dares the other team to keep up with them, if they can.
“Most defenses aren’t ready for it and we just hit them with that,” said senior wide receiver Noah Conde.
The up tempo attack is something coach Oscar Salinas brought in when he took over the program. Although the Lions didn’t have a lot of size when Salinas arrived, they had plenty of speed.
“This gives us the advantage because our deal is to tire the defense out and get those mismatches against our quicker, faster kids,” said Salinas.
La Feria’s coach got some of the ideas for the offense from a book written by Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. Among the main points, the offense never huddles and teams should try to snap the ball as quick as they can.
“The first thing is our kids are instructed to hand the ball to the official because we want it set,” said Salinas. “Then we’ll set our formation and we’ll start looking to see what the defense gives us. From there, we’ll have a signal call. We’ll have a pass or run play.”
The goal is to snap the ball in 10 seconds after it’s set. It’s an offense that relies on great stamina and quick thinking.
“Right from the end of last year, we came in the summer and we did footwork drills here,” said Conde. “That’s what got us in condition.”
“It’s fun when you we get it done fast, but it was pretty hard to learn at first,” said junior quarterback Dorian Hernandez. “My sophomore year it was hard to catch onto things with a big senior group on offense. They helped me through everything and we just got the job done.”
Coach Salinas looks for different ways to improve his team’s game plan every year. Recently, the Lions’ staff visited Austin Westlake and Lake Travis to get some pointers.
“I’m a big believer in that,” said Salinas. “You always have to keep learning. Don’t stay the same. If you stay the same, you’re not going to get better.”
So far, so good this year. The Lions are out to a 4-0 start and they’re in search of their second straight district crown.
“We just try to keep doing it over and over every series and getting the touchdowns as many times as we can,” said Hernandez.
“It’s just clicked,” said Conde. “Hopefully we can put up more points. It would be nice to put up more points on other teams.”
La Feria will play Brownsville Rivera and Rio Hondo before the start of district play.