April 3, 2012

The Age of the Gunslinger: Rader's first practice portends fast-paced MC offense

More news about: Maryville (Tenn.)

Stefan Cooper, Blount Press Row Editor

Mike Rader has taken the practice field countless times as an assistant coach the last decade. Monday, it was his team.

The new Maryville College head football coach opened his first spring practice to curious onlookers at Honaker Field. For the first hour of the two-hour session, the Scots separated into groups by position. The final hour was largely a fast-paced, 7-on-7 scrimmage, three- and four-wide on every play, quarterback in the shotgun, letting it fly on every down.

"It was somewhat surreal," said Rader after leaving the practice field for the first time as a head coach. "I've been around here for a while and everybody has been talking about this day."

Rader spent the last seven years as the receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Division III powerhouse Huntingdon (Ala.) College. The Hawks amassed mind-numbing offensive numbers during his stay.

Maryville will have much the same gunslinger, go-get-'em mentality. It won't be as easy as plugging in a video game for the Scots. That first hour Monday was tediously repetitious, much of it focused on receivers getting in and out of routes, quarterbacks getting the ball out on time.

"The main thing I wanted was to get us communicating," Rader said. "From the kids' standpoint, they want to learn and they want to be good."

The loudest cheer of the day came when Rader huddled the Scots near midfield and posed a question: "Who are we?" he shouted.

"Scots!" came the reply, a ritual Rader plans to use with every practice when the Scots change stations.

Maryville's first steps under its new coach were necessarily tentative. Rader is putting in an offense that will bear little resemblance to those of the past 10 years. Probably the last 20, actually.

Huntingdon wowed the college football world in 2010 when the Hawks became the only team in all four NCAA divisions to average 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing per game. The Scots will be made over, in many respects, in the image of that team.

Maryville teams this fall hope to spread teams out and run the ball to control the game, then throw it an awful lot to put it away.

Maryville High products Austin Canfield, Zane Winders and Dalton Graumann are taking an understandable liking to the offense. Canfield, a true freshman, is among the frontrunners to be the starter at quarterback when the Scots open the season at Rader's old school, Huntingdon, on Sept. 1.

"People are definitely excited to learn the new system and get involved," Canfield said. "Everything is much more up-tempo and people are excited and happy. I think they are pumped to see what is going to come of this season as a result of all this new stuff. Right now we have only got a few basic things in, so there is still a lot left to learn."

Canfield threw the ball well against the headwinds of an approaching afternoon shower Monday. Winders, a junior, and Graumann, are likely targets should Canfield get the nod as the starter come September.

"It's a different atmosphere," Winders said. "The energy is incredible. Everybody is excited to be out there. There is no dragging around."

The Scots will scatter 16 practices dates over the next four weeks. Division III programs are prohibited from donning helmets or pads until the fall.

"Everybody is taking the initiative to be a leader and it's working," Graumann said.

Blount Press Row staff writer Robert O'Neal contributed to this report.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
Kean at Christopher Newport
TBA
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
TBA
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
TBA
Marietta at Denison
TBA
McDaniel at Catholic
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
Sewanee at Kenyon
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos