Adam Goss has run over the competition so far.
The South Hills High School football team’s offense literally does run through quarterback Adam Goss.
And it’s Goss’ job to run through opposing defenses. So far, so good.
South Hills has started the season with a 3-1 record. The Huskies won just three games in each of the past two seasons. There’s plenty of credit to go around, but a lot of it goes to Goss, a junior quarterback who plays the position like a linebacker.
“The morning after games, I’m a little banged up and bruised up,” Goss said. “That’s just the game.”
There’s nothing complex about Goss’ role or the Huskies’ game plan. Goss takes the snap, then picks which part of his mammoth offensive line he’s going to run behind. Sure, there’s a pass mixed in here or there, and maybe even a handoff to a running back, but for the most part the Huskies are comfortable having Goss grind out tough yards.
“You obviously want to tailor your offense to what you have,” first-year South Hills coach Albert Rodriguez said. “With Adam, we have an athlete who is playing quarterback. We’ve molded the offense to his strong points, which are obviously his ability to move the chains with his feet.”
Goss has rushed for 414 yards this season. Most of those rushing yards have been bitterly earned. With Goss methodically wearing down defenses, the sequence usually starts with several 4- or 5-yard gains before Goss breaks one for big yards, and possibly a touchdown.
It’s all a stark contrast from last season when the Huskies were a high-flying act on offense with some of the best skill players in the Valley like quarterback Vince Hernandez, running back Jamel Hart and receiver Jamie Canada.
South Hills averaged 34 points per game in 2011, but is averaging just 21 this season. However, last season’s win total has already been equaled and the Huskies are taking long stretches of time off the clock on most drives.
That’s helped the defense improve from allowing 36 points per game last year to just 19 so far this season.
It’s all added up to a strong start that’s breeding confidence that South Hills can contend in the vaunted Sierra League. The question is whether the Huskies can reasonably expect to simply overpower teams in the Sierra and keep things so basic on offense. That won’t be a problem, according to Goss.
“I’ve thought about that,” Goss said when asked whether he thinks league foes will stack the box against his offense. “I would say they will have to stack more people and I know they will, because they’re going to have to stop our running game and our line.
“I love a good challenge and if it’s going to be a challenge out there, I’d love to take it because I know I have good receivers out there. With a league like this, we just need a little good hype in order for us to play our hardest and put our name back on the map.”
South Hills football runs in the family for Goss. His father Wayne Goss Jr. played for the Huskies and Adam is the third son to play. Brothers Wayne III graduated in 2009 and Cody in 2010.
Both of his brothers graduated before the Huskies were moved up to the CIF-Southern Section Inland Division and placed in the Sierra League. Only a junior, Goss has the rest of this season and the next to hopefully help establish the Huskies program against such a high level of competition.
On Friday, Goss and his teammates will get one last prep for league play when they take on Glendora.
After that, the legacy building begins.
South Hills won’t be the most talented team in the Sierra League, but it could be the most determined and best at knowing its capabilities and limitations.
Who knows, with Goss leading the way, the Huskies just might grind out a surprise or two.
“I love being that one person out there to make those plays for a team,” Goss said. “I’m grateful to have a line that big. They relieve a lot of pressure and allow me to read a lot better because I know they have my back.
“Everybody in the league is good and they all have good players. It just makes it more challenging for us, but I think it’s a good time to be out there with all those athletes.”