Reed City's offense extremely explosive

I would make the argument that the game of football has evolved and changed more throughout the course of history than any of our four major sports in North America.

There are obvious improvements made to equipment, player safety and there has been many alterations to the way in which the game is played.

The first legally completed forward pass was made by St. Louis University quarterback Bradbury Robinson to Jack Schnieder for 20 yards on Sept. 5, 1906 in a scoreless tie against Carroll College.

This opened the floodgates to the modern game of football we see in the NFL, CFL, XFL (Rest In Peace) and across the college football landscape, where we see many pass-heavy offenses that will sparingly throw in a halfback draw play into the mix every now-and-then.

Long passes, high point totals and flashy — sometimes one-handed — catches that grab the headlines for years to come are what the fans have come to expect and love.

It seems the days of teams establishing the running game are becoming a distant memory; in the professional game, the fullback position has essentially been phased out.

In college and even in high school, option offenses are quickly becoming the standard, but even that formation would be considered untraditional by the standards of the past.

But if you’ve attended a Reed City football game at any point during the last decade-plus, you will think you’ve stepped into a time machine and are watching an Army-Navy game from 1934.

RC’s Coyotes implement the Wishbone — a run-first offensive formation which utilizes two running backs and a fullback, giving the quarterback three hand-off options along with the opportunity to keep the ball and run it himself.

While a lot of football fans might not even know about the Wishbone or even view the running game as outdated and “boring,” the offense run by coach Scott Shankel’s team is anything but boring.

Through four games this season, Shankel’s squad has outscored opponents 196-99 and are averaging 49 points per-game in the process.

With the talents of Landon Tomaski, Payton Hansen and Noah Jones occupying the Coyote backfield has been literally running past opposing schools this season, most recently charting 70 points in a win over Newaygo on Homecoming night earlier this month— the most points scored by Reed City in two seasons.

RC accomplished this feat without the likes of Jones, who is currently nursing an injury.

While Shankel was less than pleased with the 40 points his team conceded, I think he should be proud of the way his team picks up yardage and takes time off the clock.

It’s a style of play that you just don’t see anymore and these boys run it to near perfection.

My only complaint is they disguise who’s carrying the ball so well that I can hardly tell who to focus my camera on until he’s 10 yards past me.

Just part of the job, I suppose.

Joe Judd is a sports reporter for the Pioneer. He can be reached at