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Buffalo High QB to spearhead new offensive system for Bison


By Nick Brockman

Putnam Review

File photo Buffalo quarterback Ethan Burgess carries the ball last year against Poca. Burgess, now a senior, will be leading a new offensive look for the Bison.

Senior Ethan Burgess again returns at quarterback this year to lead the Buffalo football team, and this year he’ll be directing a new offensive look.

Following the departure of veteran coach Mike Sawyer, Burgess will help to implement first-year coach Brian Batman’s new-model offense.

“It’s hard to win football games without really good, solid quarterback play, and I feel like Ethan provides that for our football team,” Batman said. “We’re going to spread the field out a little bit more than Coach Sawyer did and try to be very definitive on reads and where he’s supposed to go with the football. I feel like we can throw the ball some.”

As a fourth-year starter, Burgess said he’s excited about the offensive plan and eager for the challenge of learning a new playbook.

“I think the scheme is most important,” Burgess said. “I think we have that this year. That’s something we’ve lacked.

“It’s new for all of us. I’ve never had to really read, just find the open guy. It’s new to the offensive line where it all starts and that’s most important. We’ve really worked on them and stressing that. The other guys, I think we’re coming along pretty quick.”

The biggest challenge for Burgess presents in checking down his read progression, Batman said.

“Decision-making is something that he’s working on,” Batman said. “Our offense is going to be brand new for him this year, so he’s kind of starting from scratch and having to understand what I want from him as far as reading things he’s looking at.

“The thing I keep telling him – I learned at a clinic – 85 percent of interceptions come from indecision, so I want him to be very smart with the football and to know exactly what he’s supposed to do with it. Get his one and two reads and be done with it. We’ve thrown a lot at him and he’s responded really well with it so far.”

With more film study and practice, Burgess said he’s confident the team will execute even smoother.

“We’ve been getting an understanding of plays and, once we understand them, we’ll get more reps of each and really perfect them,” he said. “I think that’s going to be good for all of us.”

The new offensive outlook, in combination with the team’s talented roster, will provide the Bison plenty of potential to again reach the playoffs, Burgess said.

“We definitely have the talent and the coaching to do so, but anything’s possible,” Burgess said. “We have a tough schedule. We’ve just got to work hard and prove ourselves. I think with the right effort and the stuff we’re putting in now, if we keep that up, the sky’s the limit really.”


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