This year, Connors made the transition to the pistol wing-T offense. As the quarterback, Talbot is given the freedom to freelance within the offensive system, at times making decisions within a play as to whether he’ll hand off to a tailback, keep the ball himself or pass it to a receiver.
The learning curve has been evident through the first five games. Late in the game against North Reading, Connors decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 with his team trailing 14-0. He called a waggle, meaning Talbot rolled to his right with the option to pick up the yard with his legs or pass it to the a receiver rolling with him on the same side of the field. Talbot attempted to force the ball into a tight space, and the ball fell incomplete. On the sideline, Connors told Talbot he should have picked up the first down with his legs.
Talbot executed the same play to perfection three times last week against Ipswich, each play going for a touchdown.
“We coach it as a quarterback run play,” Connors said. “If you don’t think you can get the yardage, then you throw. I think, particularly against North Reading, Matt wasn’t attacking the line that well. We came back and went to work on that. The last two weeks, he’s been coming around the corner looking to run.”
Amesbury will look to run its winning streak to three games tomorrow when it faces off with Georgetown (1-4). Amesbury’s pursuit of its first CAL title since 2008 won’t begin until next week, when all local teams begin their league schedules.
Last year, Amesbury stumbled during league play with losses in each of its last four games. This year, Connors feels the team is in better hands now that his quarterback has 16 games of experience at the position.
“Athletically, Matt’s always had the tools to be our quarterback,” Connors said. “Basically, he’s matured as a player. He has a better understanding of the game, a better understanding of his teammates. That’s what seniors are supposed to do. That’s what he’s done. He takes responsibility for what he does and what he doesn’t do.”