Stone Bridge coach Mickey Thompson admitted that coming into the 2011 season he was changing up his offense in order to fit around his personnel, most notably his 6-foot-5, 220-pound junior quarterback, Ryan Burns.
Even before taking the field for his first ever start, Burns has already picked up scholarship offers from Stanford, Boston College, Virginia, and Rutgers. The plan was to spend more time in the spread and less time in the single wing.
Well sometimes plans change.
All it took was a little more than three quarters of scoreless football on the road Thursday night against No. 18 Robinson for Thompson to revert back to what he knows best ? running the ball in what he calls the "Jumbo" package.
Something was noticeably different when No. 7 Stone Bridge took the field on its own 34-yard line with less than nine minutes in the game.
Senior running back Stephen Trivieri entered the contest for the first time and was joined by junior Cameron Reynolds, who lined up as wingback for the first time all night. All-state defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, who had been terrorizing Robinson's offense, was in as the lead blocker on the right side.
Trivieri, a senior transfer from Canada who had yet to carry the ball, took the direct snap on the first play and gained a modest three yards rushing right behind Allen along the right hash mark. He would do the exact same thing twelve more times to finish the eight minute drive with 13 carries for 64 yards, including a game-breaking 32-yard that all but sealed the deal.
Senior kicker Ben Lambourne connected on a 17-yard field goal with 37 seconds remaining to provide the only points in a 3-0 Stone Bridge victory.
Robinson, who limited Stone Bridge to just 124 yards rushing on 40 attempts, had no answers on the last drive.
While it may have looked unorthodox to most after what they had seen for the previous three quarters, Thompson knew exactly what he was doing.
"When we have been in trouble in the past we have always put the ball on our hash and run direct snap right at people," Thompson said.
For a Stone Bridge squad looking for playmakers on offense, it's looks like they may have found one.
"Honestly he was probably, coming into this game, our 3rd string fullback," Thompson said about Trivieri.
"But once we kept giving him the ball, we couldn't stop."
For Robinson, it was a tough start offensively to the Trey Taylor era as the former W.T. Woodson coach breaks in a new scheme, the option, with a new quarterback, sophomore Avyn Johnson. The Rams finished the night with 66 yards of total offense and 70 yards in penalties.
Even with the low numbers, Taylor sees improvement in his young signal caller.
"I thought this was the best he played from our inter-squad scrimmage, to our first scrimmage to our second scrimmage to this," Taylor said about Johnson.
"He still has a lot to learn, but pretty much everything we do, it's a read, it's a true option offense. Every week he's going to get better and that's what we expect."
A big reason for the Rams offensive woes was Allen with his 13 tackles and four sacks on the night. The impressive junior loved the defensive battle.
"If I had it my way, we would win like this every day," Allen said about the shutout victory.
Even though Stone Bridge abandoned the run on the last series, it doesn't mean that the experiment is over after just one game. Burns finished the game going 7 for 20 for 101 yards and one interception.
"Going forward we have to be able to throw the ball better," said Thompson.
"We had too many dropped balls."