Features | Friday Night Drive

Prep football: Run-heavy G-K works on passing game at NIU 7-on-7 tournament

Genoa-Kingston senior quarterback Nolan Perry rolls out for a pass on Sunday at a 7-on-7 tournament at NIU.

DeKALB – Genoa-Kingston isn’t known for playing a pass-heavy spread offense. The Cogs are known for pounding the ball between the tackles in the Big Northern Conference.

On Sunday, the Cogs sped things up a little, competing in the 7-on-7 football tournament hosted by NIU.

The Cogs did not travel to NIU merely for a day of competition, but as a learning opportunity that the defense can take into the regular season.

“There’s no doubt it’s better for our defense to play all these different spread teams,” defensive coordinator Travis Frederick said. “In our conference, there’s just more spread-type football teams. You’ve got maybe three that are more under center.”

Frederick said the offense is using this tournament to lock down their base pass plays, but also some other plays just for 7-on-7 tournaments.

“It’s a lot different. Our offense includes play action and a lot of pulls from the line,” senior quarterback Nolan Perry said. “I think it’s a good experience for us to try to change it up.”

Learning the plays isn’t all the Cogs want to accomplish from competing in 7-on-7. For a team that runs the ball a good portion of the time, meshing as a team is always a goal.

“This summer is just building chemistry,” Perry said. “I feel like that’s a big, important part of football, is starting off with chemistry.”

Frederick said that the team had been together for only a couple of weeks, but opportunities like this allow for the players to “get the vibe down.”

“We got some new faces,” Frederick said. “We brought up some sophomores, so they’re learning to play together and feel like a team together.”

The Cogs were one of the smaller squads competing in the tournament, but the skills they were focusing on will transition to Friday nights.

“I feel like that’s basically one of the main motives why we came out here,” senior cornerback Brody Engel said. “We knew we’re going to play bigger teams. I think it’s great to play other competition than just your conference.”

G-K will continue offseason workouts and will compete in other 7-on-7 tournaments over the summer. The goals of getting locked in fundamentally will continue, but the outside factors of leadership and bonding also will be stressed.

“These seniors are now the leaders,” Frederick said. “They’ve got to learn how to set the tempos and lead by example.”