Augusta football has outscored opponents 39-0 in the fourth quarter, a statistic that coach Jason Filbeck credits to his platoon system.
“We don’t play kids both ways,” said Filbeck, whose team is 3-0. “We have a free safety, Logan Weakley, and he’s very, very good. He’s been in on two plays of offense this year.”
Platooning is tough with smaller schools because with fewer athletes out, it’s more difficult to find 22 players who can start.
But Augusta has 90 players, up six from last season, Filbeck’s first year.
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Installing the system of one-way starters can be difficult initially.
“A lot of schools are afraid to platoon,” said Filbeck, whose team plays host to Buhler (3-0) on Friday. “I played on a platoon system in high school, and obviously in college, we platooned. I believe it in it. If we’re going to do it, we’ll do it the right way.”
Augusta graduated experienced, talented athletes from 2014’s playoff team, so Filbeck starts four or five sophomores each game. Relying on young, inexperienced athletes can be a concern.
“The benefits outweigh the risks,” he said. “… And it helps in the offseason talking to kids in the hallways. Now we have 22 spots that they can start instead of 11.”
While Augusta’s offense has sputtered at times in wins over Wellington, El Dorado and McPherson, the defense has been stout.
Weakley successfully covers a vast area in the secondary, and the new defensive linemen — Shane Bosley, Aydan Patterson, Jonny Clausing, Ryan Rogers and Kendall Davis —acclimated quickly to starting.
At linebacker, junior Dallin Marlnee has terrorized offenses.
“His instincts are off the charts,” Filbeck said. “He diagnoses plays so fast, and … when he hits people, he brings them down.”