In short-yardage situations when the Sterling Golden Warriors absolutely need a yard or two, they can trot out the Seal Package.
Seal, for the Golden Warriors, involves putting H-backs slightly behind the line of scrimmage, between the tackle and guard, to serve as a lead block for a power run.
“We’ve got two good big kids in there who are good blockers for us, so we can do some things out of it,” Sterling coach Jon Schlemmer said. “When we go to that, I think our kids have confidence. If you bring two big blockers into the game, you’re going to be able to hopefully get those extra yards.”
That has led to a lot of success in short-yardage situations for Sterling, especially on key downs. In the Week 6 win over Quincy, Sterling went 6-for-12 on third down, able to move the sticks on its short-range opportunities like a pair of third-and-6 attempts on its first two drives. For the season heading into Week 7, Sterling is 31-of-77 on third down and 8-of-11 on fourth down.
Powering the Seal Package are the H-backs. Oftentimes it will be senior Jason Farnham Jr. leading the way.
“Coach [Shad] Bailey has said, ‘Wherever Junior’s at, just go behind Junior,’” Farnham said. “Hopefully I will make the hole and we can get some yards out of it.”
No matter the package, Sterling’s rushing attack has certainly gotten yardage out of it. The Golden Warriors entered Week 7 averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
Farnham said that when he was first introduced to the Seal Package, his immediate reaction was, “Whoever’s in front of me is going to go on his back.”
Farnham has plenty of experience as the lead battering ram for the Sterling rushing attack. He was a guard during the spring season, and had a few reps at guard in 2019 as well. Moving to H-back meant learning some new things, with the added wrinkle that he can leak out for a pass, but he said he’s picked up the new role fairly quickly.
Sterling senior back Jacob Huffman thinks the Seal Package is a fun one to trot out.
“That’s just when we need a couple yards and we pound the ball, through,” Huffman said. “They’re like two wing backs. If it’s third-and-2, a big down, we put in the Seals and try to punch it through.”
The Warriors will at times kick out the ends, but often it’s a package designed to get one of the backs a few yards at a time via the power rush.
“When we get a big kid through the A- or B-gap, Junior’s a 260-pound kid, Lucas [Austin] is a 220-pound kid, trying to get big bodies on some of those linebackers and just letting our running backs find a little seam,” Schlemmer said.
The Seal Package is just one of the many packages the Golden Warriors trot out on offense. Through all of their different looks, they also use different personnel.
“With all the packaging we do, with all the different kids we have playing, kids take a lot of pride in whatever package we’re in,” Schlemmer said. “We don’t necessarily have 11 starters on offense. We have so many kids that fill in different packages, you might not start in our Navy Package, but you’re a starter in Air Force or Rangers or Greens. It’s one of those things that you can’t really say these are our 11 starters.”