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Perry Co. Spreads Success

August 16, 2011
Perry County High School

In 2007, Michael Harrison took over a Perry County football team that had 17 players. In his first year, the team went 0-10.

Four years later, Harrison’s 40-player Perry County team is one of the most exciting in the state with record-setting senior quarterback Jacob Tucker and the spread offense.

“We like to spread the field, open things up,” Harrison said. “We get everyone thinking pass first, then we hit them with the short game. It’s fun.”

Historically, Perry County has been a basketball school with six boys state titles, and the team made the Class A semifinals in March.

But the football team had a semifinal appearance of its own last season, falling to Jo Byrns in Class 1A.

Harrison said six of the top seven players on that Vikings basketball team also played football. One of those guys is Tucker, a point guard on the basketball team.

Tucker set state season records with 4,633 yards of total offense and 56 total touchdowns in 2010. He passed for 3,313 yards and 36 touchdowns.

“(Tucker) is an incredible athlete. He throws great, runs great,” Harrison said. “You can’t teach a kid pocket presence, and he has the best pocket presence of any quarterback I’ve seen.”

Said Tucker: “Those aren’t my numbers; those are the team’s numbers.”

Harrison’s scheme is simple: Each player knows his part of the play. Tucker, on the other hand, must know what each player should be doing at all times.

“He is very smart,” Harrison said. “He wears the wristband. He always knows what’s going on out there.”

But despite their accomplishments, Harrison and his team still realize that their main goal of a state championship remains to be achieved.

“It’s not always about who is fastest or strongest,” Tucker said. “It’s about team chemistry. If this year’s team can come together like last year’s did, no one can stop us.”

Written by
Austin Gwin | The Tennessean


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