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January 5, 2008

Silver backs shine in passing offense

Under Armour Gallery | More All-Star Games Coverage | Army All-American Bowl Coverage

The Silver team managed to win the Under Armour All-Star Game on Saturday in exactly the manner that head coach Jim Hanifan had designed earlier in the week.

The team relied on an offensive attack revolved almost exclusively around the pass. Even though the team ran only seven designed rushing plays the entire game, the tailbacks were an important part of the offense, and ultimately the deciding factor in victory.

Running backs Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper combined for seven receptions and one touchdown out of the backfield. With the athleticism of the two backs, they were favorite targets for the Silver quarterbacks on swing passes to the outside.

"We run a Wing-T offense at my high school so this is something new to me," said Harper, who scored the winning touchdown on a seven-yard pass from Kyle Parker. "Our school coaches us up really well, though, so it wasn't hard to make the adjustment.

"We knew with the limited rules of what all the linebackers could do that we could take advantage of the outside by passing. Our quarterbacks were good about checking out to us on their reads and we had some room to run."

Unlike Harper, Ellington is accustomed to the role of a pass-catching back.

"My high school team, we run the spread offense," he said. "I'm used to running up the middle, around the corners and catching the ball."

Ellington had four receptions on the game, turning short passes into long gains. The Clemson commit averaged 11 yards per catch.

"I think I was able to use my speed today to get some yards after the catch. People have told me that I have a real good sideline awareness and I used that to my advantage too.

"Since [passing the ball to the backs] was what we mainly used as our running game, I just treated it the same way as I would have if it would have been a sweep or toss to the outside. I'm pretty versatile and I think the coaches this week saw that and used me in different ways."

Under Armour Gallery | More All-Star Games Coverage | Army All-American Bowl Coverage



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