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Photo by: Isaac Babcock - Sam Richardson transformed Winter Park's offense last season, but he's lost two key running backs. Now he may need to rely more on his arm, and receivers.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010 10 years ago

Wildcats back on the offensive

As they prepare for the preseason and their first game on Sept. 3, the Wildcats are looking strong
by: Isaac Babcock Managing Editor

Winter Park might have one of the most dangerous duos in high school football this season, with Sam Richardson at quarterback tossing the ball to rising star Dvario Montgomery.

Over the last two seasons, the Wildcats went from a struggling team that relied on its defense to an offensive powerhouse with Richardson calling the plays. Last season he threw for 1,300 yards in 10 games for the Wildcats, giving them the offensive fire they needed to win a district championship.

But two of the big reasons the Wildcats got there – seniors Zee Ware and Patrick Mputu – will not be returning to the field this season. Both had functioned largely as running backs, though they did catch passes from Richardson.

Richardson himself created much of the Wildcats' running game. Though he threw for 9 touchdowns last season, he rushed the ball into the end zone for 13 touchdowns.

Enter Montgomery, who until this season, had lingered on defense despite having some of the fastest legs on the team. Now he's emerging as the Wildcats' top receiver. He's already shined in the offseason, grabbing the spotlight in 7-on-7 and skill tournaments.

The Wildcats are looking to keep up their offensive momentum they built in 2009. In that 11-2 season, Winter Park scored 28 points or more in all but two games. Against Lake Brantley, they battled to a 50-47 win driven entirely by offense.

That was a big departure from 2008, in which they didn't score more than 28 points in any game all season. Their offensive high point – a 28-6 blowout over University – came in the middle of an 8-game Cougar losing streak.

The big difference: That season Richardson was a wide receiver, and Montgomery didn't play varsity at all.

Come Sept. 3, the Wildcats will see just how good their offense can be against host Winter Springs. The Bears are looking to improve upon a 3-8 record last season.

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