Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Coaches victimized by DeSoto's offense weigh in on Mansfield Timberview's odds
Mansfield Timberview is 5-0 for the first time in school history while holding opponents to 8.2 points a game, in what’s become an impressive start for second-year coach James Brown’s team.
Don’t blame Brown for holding off on talk of falling confetti and championship banners. It’s way too early for that, especially considering what his team’s up against on Friday night — DeSoto.
DeSoto (5-0) is beating its opponents by an average of 33 points. Senior quarterback Desmon White is as effective a runner as passer in an offense that’s gained at least 400 yards every game.
Brown’s task this week is stopping the seemingly unstoppable, game-planning against a high-powered spread attack with a dual-threat quarterback.
“When you look at DeSoto as a whole, you’ve got to really start with their quarterback,” Brown said. “Des does a really good job of controlling that offense. They’re so fast-paced and high-octane. We’ve watched him take designed plays to the house and we’ve watched him take broken plays to the house.”
Area coaches who have matched up against White this season agree. Bob Wager at Arlington Martin was blown out by DeSoto in the season opener, 46-7, but is 4-0 since.
Wager said simulating White in practice provided a number of issues. It’s tough to replicate that kind of talent, even when using the most gifted player on the roster to imitate White.
“Typically speaking, if he’s the best athlete we have, he’s probably not playing on the scout team,” Wager said. “There’s a time and place for scout teams, but when you need to see things at speed, you have to let your first offense and your first defense play against each other.”
Wager said when a quarterback only hands off and throws from the pocket, it’s essentially 11-on-10, in favor of the defense. With White’s ability to run, it’s always 11-on-11.
Coach Joey McGuire at Cedar Hill, which fell to DeSoto, 47-20, said keeping a defensive spy on White at all times is a must, especially when blitzing.
“You can’t lose those rush lanes,” McGuire said. “Because they’ll pull it down and hurt you on the ground.”
McGuire said the Timberview defense could prove to be an interesting matchup for White and DeSoto.
Timberview safeties Ed Paris, an LSU commit, and Brandon Simmons, a Stanford commit, provide the safety net that could play a critical role in slowing down DeSoto.
“With Brandon and Ed anchoring the back end, we really feel good about the communication and leadership back there,” Brown said. “And how they’ve mentored the young kids.”
The formula for Timberview’s success has been a staunch defense, aided by an offense still searching for its identity. It returns just two players — quarterback Tevin Muse and wide receiver Myron Gailliard — who saw time on the varsity roster last season. Brown said his offense has done “just enough to get the job done.”
“I’ll probably still be saying that Week 8 or 9,” Brown added. “We’ve just kind of [piecemealed] it together. They’ve done a real good job of taking control of things they can.”
For Brown, the success of his team won’t come down to a specific scheme or strategy.
“It’s about getting kids in real time, getting them in space and putting them in the right place at the right time,” Brown said. “You just hope that when the speed of the game actually picks up on Friday night, that we can catch up with it.”