Offenses in the DFW area have changed throughout time. Most offenses in the early 1900’s were historically run heavy in the Metroplex. Over the next 50 to 60 years, the passing game became featured in offenses. Football from the 1980’s into the 2000’s ushered in a whole new element to offensive football. The spread offense became an offense teams all over Texas began to use. The style can be seen on a Texas high football field on every single Friday night in the Metroplex.
Rusty Russell, who attended Howard Payne University and coached at the Fort Worth Masonic Home, began implementing the spread offense on the high school level in 1927. Russell used the spread offense because his teams were small, and were usually less physically gifted compared to their opponents. He spread out the defense and used his players speed against their opponent. In the 1950s, TCU Coach Dutch Meyer introduced the spread offense to the Texas college football world, by spreading his halfbacks out on each side of the quarterback. Dutch Meyer’s spread offense was also called a double wing formation. In Texas high school football, two of the most successful Texas coaches, Art Briles (Stephenville) and Todd Dodge (Southlake Carroll, Marble Falls, Austin Westlake), are considered innovators of the modern day spread offenses.
When Texas high school football fans read headlines on Friday nights during the 2016 season in DFW, spread offenses were putting up big offensive numbers. Shawn Robinson (TCU), the 6A Division II Champion from DeSoto High School, had 4,882 total yards during 2016 (3,413 Pass, 1,469 Rushing) in a spread offense. Not only is Robinson a great passer, but his mobility makes him a dangerous runner, and makes a spread offense difficult to defend. Syrus Moore (Harding University), who played at Justin Northwest High School in 2016, had 1800 yards rushing and 20 TDs in the Texans spread offense. Moore used his speed and quickness between the tackles to turn short gains into long TDs. Being in a spread offense allowed Moore to see his reads quicker and burst into the secondary often. Charleston Rambo (Oklahoma), from Cedar Hill High School, had 1590 yards receiving, with 25 TDs, while averaging 113.6 yards a game. Rambo averaged 18.3 yards per catch in a potent spread offense in 2016. Rambo excelled at getting deep downfield and could line up outside or inside in the slot in Cedar Hill’s spread offense. The Longhorns offense can have four wide receivers and sometimes five wide receivers lined up when the offense is on the field. These type of formations are how spread offenses attack defenses and keep them off balance.
DFW spread offenses have proven that this offense is here to stay. The spread offense allows teams to put their explosive athletes on the field at the same time. In today’s version of Texas high school football, a potent spread offense can win a state championship. Desoto High School (6A Division II), Aledo High School (5A Division II), and Highland Park High School (5A Division I) are powerhouse programs in the DFW Metroplex. Each of these schools run a spread offense and each took home a State Championship in 2016-2017. Heading into the 2017 football season, spread offenses all over DFW hope to be playing in Cowboys Stadium holding up a state championship trophy.
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