Niles’ Anthoney Bice scores one of his two touchdowns against Benton Harbor Friday night. (Leader photo/JOSEPH WEISER)

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Niles unveils ‘new’ offense in victory

Published 10:45am Saturday, October 6, 2012

Niles unveiled a new offensive look in Friday’s high school football game against Benton Harbor.

The “power package” produced rushing yards and ignited a Vikings’ offense in a 34-8 win over the Tigers.

In the new offense, which looked a lot like the “wildcat”, running back Darek Bullock-Mills turned into a quarterback with the option of running or throwing. On Friday, Bullock-Mills rushed for 139 yards on 30 carries and scored a touchdown. Bullock-Mills also completed 1-of-3 passes for 14 yards. Anthoney Bice also spent some time running the “power package.”

In the second half, Bice rushed for 48 yards on seven carries with a touchdown behind center.

“We went with another package, one of the multiple packages that we have, and we wanted to make sure that we established that,” said Niles coach Antwon Jones, whose team snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West Division. “We’re really more of a finesse offense with our scheme.

“We really want to have more of a power flair to our offense and start punishing some people with our hurry-up. You could see that Benton Harbor was getting worn down.”

The Vikings need wins in their final two games against St. Joseph and Portage Central to qualify for the playoffs.

“We were looking at this as the playoffs,” Jones said. “This was playoff game one. Our mission is to make the playoffs. The important wins are in the playoffs. That’s where we want to be.”

Niles trailed 8-6 when it went to its new offense at the end of the first quarter into the start of the second. Raymone Hayden’s 18-yard touchdown run gave the Tigers an 8-6 lead with 3:38 left in the first quarter. The extra-point kick failed.

After running the “power package” and being stopped on downs after totaling 73 yards on 12 plays, the Vikings went back to Cole Clemens at quarterback on their final drive of the first half. Clemens completed three passes for 32 yards on Niles’ next drive, which was capped by a 16-yard touchdown run by Bice with 1:13 left in the second quarter. After the touchdown, Clemens tossed a two-point conversion pass to Bullock-Mills.

Jones was asked about how he felt going into halftime with a 14-8 lead against a winless Tigers squad.

“You get frustrated when you see kids not making plays, but that’s part of the game,” Jones said. “Sometimes, you’re not clicking right. You just stay the course. I’m not going to flinch. I told our team, ‘we’re fine, correct some things and get ready to come out in the second half and go into more of the power package, get settled down and play solid football’.”

On three of its four drives in the second half, Niles ran its “power package” and scored three touchdowns. The Vikings got touchdown runs of two yards from Bullock-Mills, one yard from Warren Smith and six yards from Bice.

Niles went 3-for-4 on fourth down in the second half.

“It’s the same philosophy that we’ve had all year,” Jones said. “You know that I go for it on fourth down. I look at it this way, if we get 50-percent of our fourth down attempts, that’s 50-percent more time that we keep the ball and 50-percent less opportunities that the opponent gets the ball. I have faith in our kids.”

Clemens completed 10-of-18 passes for 114 yards and had a one-yard touchdown run with 8:40 left in the first quarter.

Defensively, Niles held Benton Harbor to 132 yards and nine first downs.

“We had some new guys step up and give us a fresh change on defense,” Jones said. “They made some mistakes, but they played pretty good. They gave us some extra speed and that sparked us a little bit.”


Benton Harbor 8 0 0 0 – 8

Niles 6 8 13 7 – 34

N – Cole Clemens 1 run (pass failed)

B – Safety

B – Raymone Hayden 18 run (kick failed)

N – Anthony Bice 16 run (Clemens pass to Darek Bullock-Mills)

N – Bullock-Mills 2 run (Ryan Casey kick)

N – Warren Smith 1 run (pass failed)

N – Bice 6 run (Casey kick)

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