Ball security is key now

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 14, 2013

High and tight.

That’s the motto all running backs use to describe how they are supposed to carry the football.

In my years as a sports editor watching both high school and college football, I’ve noticed that trend falling off a bit.

Usually during games, I’m looking through the view finder trying to get the best picture on the field, so I don’t have much of a chance to actually watch ball carriers’ techniques.

Now, this is just what I’ve seen from most players as they careen down the field during any given game — flailing the ball in one arm not anywhere close to their chest, where it should be.

It’s often scary to watch when you know what’s about to happen next.

A player can easily just punch the ball out with little effort and jump on the ball, which can lead to a touchdown or a momentum shift in a game.

Ball security is vital during any regular season game, but is more so during the postseason.

Straughn will be traveling to face Dale County in the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs tomorrow night.

Tigers head football coach Trent Taylor said Tuesday, as teams advance farther in the playoffs, they get a lot of breaks.

“The further you go in the playoffs, and I didn’t say this, but (SHS offensive coordinator) coach (Ray) Wilson has said this for as long as I can remember. That, from the second round on, there’s a whole lot of luck involved; maybe not luck, but breaks,” Taylor said. “The turnovers, and missed assignments; that’s true with any game. It just becomes more prevalent in the playoffs. While you might get away with turning the ball over against a team that’s not as good, there isn’t such a thing as a team that’s not as good.”

Yeah, ball security is important in any game, but is more so now during postseason play, especially in high school.

During times when I’ve watched college football, I’ve noticed the same thing about running backs carrying the ball with no iota of where it could end up;

however, there have been a lot of instances where players will drive the ball up the field carrying the football the way they’re supposed to, and that’s good to see.

Ball security is important, and every player should know to carry the ball high and tight.