Lake Dallas sported the No. 1 pass offense in Class 4A last year, and with a stingy defense, soared to the third round of the playoffs. Even with that success, head coach Michael Young is pushing for change.
When the Falcons open the season at home on Aug. 30, against Richardson Pearce, the defense will line up in the 3-4. The offense will be more dedicated to controlling the clock and a solid run game with the pistol formation. They will still use variations of last year’s spread, but it will be a different look.
Lake Dallas threw for 4,014 yards a year ago while rushing for 1,981 yards. With many of last year’s players no longer with the Falcons, Young will adapt his system around this year’s team as it hopes to make another deep playoff run.
“It’s important to have the right plan in place to match your players’ skill set,” Young said. “Last year we had five first-team all-district wide receivers and we felt like we could spread people out and score from anywhere. We have playmakers left. But it’s a different game for us now.”
Tying it together is quarterback Marshall Dominy. Lake Dallas has become a hot bed for quarterbacks in recent years, and Dominy is no exception. Young said Dominy is perfect for the new pistol offense because he is a dual threat.
“Marshall is a great athlete who is dangerous with his feet,” Young said. “If he can get on the same page with a younger group of wide receivers, he’s going to have a great year.”
Young isn’t down on his team, but he did say this was the hardest his program has been hit by graduation in eight years. Gone are 27 lettermen, including quarterback Dalyn Williams, standout running back Dontonio Jordan and the wide receiver trio of Tyler Vance, Tre Dickerson and Ferrando Joseph.
But there is optimism. The Falcons’ offensive and defensive lines may be the best they’ve had with a trio of returners on both lines. Emilio Hernandez moves from guard to right tackle and is flanked by John Laubacher and Joe Williamson.
Grayson Schantz posted 12 sacks last year. Luke Medlicott and Colton Lively could also have breakout seasons.
Young said he’s also excited about several guys he deems “big playmakers,” including junior Josh Jackson.
At 6-feet, 175 pounds, Jackson could be one of the best cornerbacks in District 5-4A. That says a lot considering Roman Mitchell also returns. Mitchell snagged four interceptions a year ago.
“We’ve spent a lot of time talking about him [Josh] and how to get him involved on both sides of the ball,” Young said. “He’s so athletic that if he works hard enough, his talent alone would make him the best athlete we’ve ever had.”
Expect Jackson to get between eight and 10 touches per game.
“I feel like wherever they play me, I can be a threat,” Jackson added. “I’ll do whatever it takes.”
So will others. Mitchell will see time at wide receiver and running back. Schantz will play some tight end while Lively adds depth at defensive line, fullback and H-back.
But for the Falcons to succeed, Dominy must play a huge role. And like any signal caller, Dominy is focused on the team.
“I think with the way we’ve picked things up, and the way our defense has been playing, we match up perfect with everyone else in the district,” Dominy said. “I see us finishing right on top.”
Marshall Dominy will try to carry on the tradition of great quarterbacks at Lake Dallas that includes current Missouri starter James Franklin and last year’s starter Dalyn Williams. Dominy is a dual-threat quarterback and has the ability to make plays running and throwing the ball. Dominy must fare well in his new role for Lake Dallas to succeed as a team.
2011 record: 9-4 (4-2, District 5-4A)
Coach: Michael Young (57-23 in seven seasons at Lake Dallas)
Returning starters: Three on offense, five on defense
Key players: QB Marshall Dominy, RB Tony Green, DL Grayson Schantz, DB Roman Mitchell, DB Josh Jackson, OL John Laubacher, OL Joe Williamson
Offense: Multiple-set spread (pistol)
School enrollment: 1,230
Stadium: Falcon Stadium
Keys to a historic season
GRIND IT OUT
Dalyn Williams and Dontonio Jordan were amazing in the run game last year, but the Falcons’ offense was built to throw the football (4,014 yards passing). Head coach Michael Young is going with the pistol offense, which allows for more variety and to help control the clock in a tough District 5-4A. Running back Tony Green is seen as a superstar in the making and is prototypical for this type of system (taller, big shoulders, physical runner). Green got touches during last year’s postseason, averaging 4.05 yards per carry on 19 carries.
CALLING ALL PLAYMAKERS
While the coaching staff is gushing over wide receiver Josh Jackson, Young won’t put his eggs in one basket. Last year, the Falcons’ offense had five experienced wide receivers, making it harder on defenses to key on one person. Quarterback Marshall Dominy has to be a dual threat and find a rhythm with new receivers. Roman Mitchell, Grayson Schantz and Colton Lively must bring their talents to both sides of the football.
PROTECT THIS HOUSE
Lake Dallas plays host in four of its seven District 5-4A games, including an Oct. 12 date with Wichita Falls Rider. Guyer travels to Falcon Stadium on Oct. 19. Three of their first four district games are at home. Historically the Falcons play well at home, including a 4-1 mark last year.
BE SOLID UP FRONT
Young says this might be the best offensive-defensive line combination he’s had at Lake Dallas. Schantz (Newcomer of the Year) had 13 sacks in 2011. He is flanked by Luke Medlicott and Lively in a revamped 3-4 defense. Offensively, if linemen John Laubacher, Joe Williamson and Emilio Hernandez are as good as advertised, Green will reap the rewards. Young said a solid group up front could mean contending with Guyer and Rider.