Revved up offense powers Reinhardt

Drew Cronic’s offense has its roots in the Wing-T, but basically it’s designed around “people running all over the place.”

“We really want to make you cover every inch of the field,” said Cronic, the offensive coordinator at Reinhardt.

Opponents have mostly failed at that task this season.

The Eagles (3-3, 1-1 in the Mid-South Conference) are averaging 48.5 points, second in the NAIA. They’re also second in first downs (28.8), third in total offense with 544.5 yards and fourth in rushing at 327 a game.

Their combination of fullback runs, jet sweeps and misdirection plays in an up-tempo, no-huddle attack scored 61 points in a win over Union (Ky.) on Oct. 4 after putting up 63 points the previous week.

Reinhardt opened the season by scoring 42 in a loss to Mercer, a FCS program, and scored 52 in a overtime loss to nationally ranked Faulkner.

“We’re just really clicking,” running back L.J. Stegall (Jeff Davis) said. “Everybody is on the same page and everybody knows their assignments.”

When longtime Georgia high school coach Danny Cronic was hired to start Reinhardt’s program, he brought in his son to run the offense.

Drew thought his scheme would excel in Georgia, where he said there are plenty of “5-8, 160-pound kids who can fly.”

The Eagles used it to finish 6-4 in their inaugural season in 2013 and have ridden the skills of Stegall and other players this year.

He’s second in the NAIA with 204 all-purpose yards a game, much of it on 595 yards rushing. He’s also second in the country in kickoff return yardage (458) and has rushed for more than 100 yards in four of Reinhardt’s six games.

Niagel Curtis (Gordon Central) has 418 yards rushing and Ian McIntosh (Lumpkin County) has added 238 yards and seven scores.

Quarterback Johnathon Chamblee (Savannah Christian) has completed 63.9 percent of his attempts for 1,061 yards and eight touchdowns.

“It’s their second year in the system and everybody’s more comfortable with it,” Cronic said. “It keeps the defense off balance. It’s fast. They believe in what we’re doing.”

True homecoming

Morehouse (4-2, 2-1 in the SIAC) has played six games this season.

None of them have been at B.T. Harvey Stadium.

So it’s only fitting that the school planned homecoming for the team’s first home game.

Morehouse plays host to Albany State at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Golden Rams (3-2, 2-0) lead the East after defeating their first two division opponents by a combined 50-0 behind the running of Jarvis Small (Brunswick), who’s second in the SIAC with 503 yards.

Small had just 3 yards in the first two games, but has 161, 129, 106 and 104 in the past four.

Around the state

Fort Valley State defensive tackle Bernard Little (Putnam County) is the SIAC’s defensive player of the week after he had 10 tackles, three sacks and two hurries. … Shorter linebacker Trevaris Horton leads the Gulf South Conference with 5.5 sacks. … Receiver Dimitri Reese, who transferred from Auburn to Point in August, has 14 catches for 174 yards for the NAIA program. He played in two games for Auburn last season. … Savannah State linebacker Marquis Smith leads the Tigers (0-6) with 39 tackles, six sacks and 11 tackles for loss. … Fort Valley State freshman receiver Drelon Freeman (Carver-Columbus) averages 22.7 yards on his 17 receptions, six of which have gone for touchdowns. … Albany State linebacker Tavarius Washington (Burke County) leads the SIAC with 10.8 tackles a game, 28th in Division II. … Clark Atlanta running back Montavious Taylor (Caver-Atlanta) has seven touchdowns this season after scoring four times in last week’s win over College of Faith. … Georgia Military College, which played for the NJCAA national title last year, has lost two straight and is 3-4 this season.

Thursday’s score

West Alabama 55, Shorter 10

Saturday’s games

Webber International at Point, noon

Hendrix at Berry, 1 p.m.

Atlanta Sports Academy at Georgia Military, 1 p.m.

Methodist at LaGrange, 1 p.m.

Benedict at Clark Atlanta, 2 p.m.

Albany State at Morehouse, 2 p.m.

Limestone at Fort Valley State, 2 p.m.

Edward Waters at Paine, 2 p.m.

Delta State at West Georgia, 2 p.m.

Reinhardt at Belhaven, 2:30 p.m.

Valdosta State at Mississippi College, 4 p.m.

Western Carolina at Mercer, 4 p.m.

Bethune-Cookman at Savannah State, 6 p.m.


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