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PREVIEW: Changes have offense in air for Chaffee football team

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chaffee’s Charlie Montgomery carries the ball against Hayti during a game last season. Montgomery led the team in receiving as a sophomore. The junior also is the Red Devils’ top returning rusher.
(Southeast Missourian file)
Charlie Vickery's face lights up when asked if his Red Devils will follow the path of keeping the ball on the ground like last season or try something new.

The Chaffee coach is ready to test sophomore quarterback Peyton Montgomery.

"He's got a lot of learning to do, but potentially he could be a really good player," Vickery said.

The Red Devils will use a spread offense this season in an attempt to capitalize on Montgomery's arm. He routinely threw tight spirals 30 to 35 yards during a recent practice.

"The kid can throw the ball really well," Chaffee junior lineman Gavin Seyer said.

Chaffee’s Jimmy Golden rushes for a first down during a game last season. Golden will take on a bigger role in the offense his junior season.
(Southeast Missourian file)
Montgomery replaces Jordan Yahn, who started for most of the last three seasons and graduated in the spring. Vickery said his new quarterback is comfortable in the pocket or on the run.

"Peyton's got good speed," Vickery said. "He's got what I call a wiggle about him. He's not a straight ahead guy. He's a passer."

Montgomery said he's ready to take the reins for the revamped offense.

"Last year I was in a lot of practices with the first team, and I've been playing quarterback since second grade," he said. "I'm pretty ready. Make sure you do your job and help the other people as much as you can, but you've got to worry about yourself a lot."

The new offensive scheme relies on Montgomery making a quick read of the defense and getting rid of the ball.

"We're doing a lot more passing game and spreading people out," he said. "That's the main thing. Quick passes."

Juniors Layton Tenkhoff and Charlie Montgomery, Peyton's older brother, will be two of the new quarterback's main targets.

"We've got a few deep passes hopefully we can complete," Charlie Montgomery said. "He likes throwing the long ball, and I like catching it."

Tenkhoff took a similar stance on deep balls.

"He's real good, and as long as he gets it to me, I'll be fine," Tenkhoff said. "I'll do the rest."

Junior Devon Yahn, Jordan's younger brother, senior Cody Johnson and junior Travis Hall also will catch passes from Peyton Montgomery.

"We've got good skilled positions in this receiver group," Peyton Montgomery said. "They can all catch the ball. That's what makes it pretty easy."

Tyson Estes carried the load in the backfield last season, and he's now trying to earn playing time at Southeast Missouri State. Estes, who was named the Southeast Missourian football player of the year, rushed for 1,431 yards and topped 200 yards in a game twice.

"We'll probably spread it around a little bit more," Vickery said. "Last year he was getting 25 or 30 carries."

Junior Jimmy Golden will replace Estes in the backfield.

The Red Devils return three starters to the offensive line. Seyer returns, although he moved from tackle to center, and will join forces again with D.J. White and Sam Howard.

"I think our line's going to be fine," Vickery said. "They run pretty well. You just never know until you get into that first game."

Jordan Yahn and Estes were stalwarts on defense last season, but Vickery said there's plenty of talent returning for the Red Devils. Chaffee allowed an average of 322 yards per game last season.

"We just got to make sure we hit people," said Tenkhoff, who also plays defensive back. "We can't be scared. You've got to be physical."

The Red Devils rallied to beat St. Vincent in their district opener before a turnover-plagued loss at Cleveland NJROTC and a rout at the hands of eventual state champion Valle Catholic. The Red Devils finished 5-5, which serves as motivation for this season.

"They've won in basketball and they've won in baseball and they've won in track," Vickery said. "Their attitude now is they expect to go out and compete every week, no matter who we're playing. I don't think they've really looked at it as being an underdog against anybody."

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