* (Photo: Keanu Tafeamalii)
The San Francisco 49ers Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week award for week 10 goes to Will Maddox from Jefferson High School in Daly City, CA.*
Coach Maddox and the Jefferson Grizzlies improved their record to 7 – 1 after an exhilarating come from behind win against the Carlmont Scots by a score of 40 – 28. Coach Maddox and the Grizzlies were facing a tough test against a strong Carlmont offense and the offense of the Scots found the end zone multiple times in the first half. After a slow start, the Grizzlies would show why their offense is just as terrifying when they busted the game wide open in the second half.
The opening of the game went about as bad as a coach could hope for. The Scots opened the game with a nine play drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown run. On Jefferson's opening possession quarterback Joaquin Alverez threw a pass that was intercepted by a Carlmont defender. On the very next snap, the running back for the Scots ran for a 52-yard touchdown, putting the Grizzlies behind 14 – 0.
"After starting 1 for 6 and throwing the interception I told Joaquin to calm down because he was going to be the one to win this game for us," said Coach Maddox.
The next possession allowed Alverez to redeem his less than desirable start. After a critical 4th down conversion by running back Angelo Velez, Alverez threw a 42-yard bomb to receiver Daniel Benjamin for his first passing touchdown of the game. This put the score at 14 – 7 and allowed Coach Maddox's offense to see that they could score on the defense of the Scots.
The Scots running game struck again on the next possession, getting a touchdown on a 35-yard run to set the score at 21 – 7. Alverez found the end zone for the Grizzlies again when he ran a quarterback sneak to set the score at 21 – 13. The shootout in the first half would continue when Carlmont ran the kickoff back 98-yards for a score that put the Scots up by 15 points.
Jefferson would strike last in the first half when Velez showed off his big play ability. Velez took a handoff from Alverez and ran for a 56-yard touchdown to pull Jefferson within 9 points at halftime.
Going into the locker room at halftime, Coach Maddox knew that he only need to make one adjustment, but gave the players time to motivate themselves before he spoke to them.
"I always let the players talk to themselves for the first five minutes of halftime. I was talking to the coaches about the one major adjustment that we had to make," said Coach Maddox. "I came into the locker room and noticed how focused the guys were. I took them outside to look at the crowd of 2,500 and told them 'Look at the crowd, let's go win it for the fans, for the school, and for your teammates. If we are going to win we have to make championship plays!'"
To start the third quarter, Jefferson sustained a 65-yard drive that was capped off with a Velez touchdown to put the score at 28 – 27. Velez scored on a 1-yard run that was set up with the Grizzlies' heavy formation.
The Scots set up to punt on the next possession, but a bad snap gave the ball to the Grizzlies on the 18-yard line. The Grizzlies scored again on another 1-yard touchdown run. Velez lined up as the quarterback in the heavy formation to get the score. He was stopped on his first attempt, but found the end zone when he dove over the pile to get the touchdown that gave the Grizzlies their first lead of the night with a score of 34 – 28.
"We have a heavy set with Angelo for our goal line situations on offense," said Coach Maddox. "The first score with the heavy set caught them off guard. The second one they stopped Angelo at first, but he asked for it to be called again. We gave him another try and he fought for that touchdown."
The Grizzlies sealed the game in the fourth quarter when Alverez and Benjamin linked up again for the final score of the night on a 10-yard screen pass giving the Grizzlies a 40 – 28 lead. Carlmont tried to make a late push, but a fumble recovery by the Grizzlies would end any hopes that the Scots had of winning this game.
The offense was led by junior quarterback Joaquin Alverez, who ended the game 21/30 for 302 yards and 2 passing touchdowns to go along with a rushing touchdown.
"I'm the most impressed with Joaquin out of all of our players," said Coach Maddox. "He is only a junior but was able to hang in there after a rough start in a hostile environment and get us the win."
Running back Angelo Alverez showed why defenses all over the Bay Area must account for him when the Grizzlies show up on their schedule. Alverez churned out 178 yards and 3 touchdowns on 31 carries.
"Angelo has been playing great all year. In order for us to won, we told him he was going to have to run the ball a lot for us last Friday," said Coach Maddox. "He had a career high in carries against Carlmont. He was picking up tough yards for us all night. We were able to control the ball the second half because of Angelo."
Daniel Benjamin was the receiving threat for the Grizzlies as he racked up 11 catches for 167 yards and scored twice.
"Daniel is the heartbeat of the team and motivates the guys. He made all of the catches on Friday with a broken hand," said Coach Maddox. "Daniel swapped from running back to wide receiver this year because he saw the talent Angelo has and believed he could help us as a receiver. We like to do everything with him whether its throwing the ball to him on a screen or let him win the deeps balls for us down field."
The success of the offense would not have been able to happen without the work of the offensive line in the trenches. The line allowed the running game to generate 201 rushing yards and 302 passing yards.
"Our offensive line has been doing great all year. They have only given up six sacks this year. When our quarterback throws the ball 30 times and is barely touched, it really shows," said Coach Maddox. "Our center would check for blitzes at the line and would audible the play to the opposite side. He does a great job running our offense. Our right guard Paul Mataveo had 10 pancakes and was bull rushing people down field all night. They make it really easy for us."
The defense of the Grizzlies made their mark on the game in the second half by not allowing a single point to the Scots. They also kept the offense of the Scots from picking up a first down in the second half until late in the fourth quarter. This was all sparked by the adjustment that was made at the half.
"We swapped our defense in the second half by moving our safety up in the box. He was unaccounted for in their blocking scheme and was making uncontested tackles throughout the second half," said Coach Maddox. "I bet that the defense held Carlmont to under 20 offensive plays. They really allowed our offense to control the ball in the second half."
This win secured the Grizzlies not only a spot in the playoffs, but also gave the school its first league championship in any sport in 8 years.
"This was huge! Our school hasn't had a champion in any sport in so long. We had a huge turnout and we were the visiting team. It was special for our players because they saw the support they get," said Coach Maddox. "It was great to see the guys come together as brothers since we have been preaching that all year. It was great seeing the guys get to celebrate as champs!"
Coach Maddox also believes that this season has allowed his players to see what they can do both on and off the field when they put their minds toward something.
"They're learning that they can succeed in life if they put in the work and have the right attitude," said Coach Maddox. "They are special on and off the field."
Coach Maddox started his coaching career immediately after finishing high school and hasn't looked back ever since then. After having a few different coaching positions, he has now been running the show as the head coach at Jefferson High School for the past three years.
"My head coach from high school hired me when I was 19," said Coach Maddox. "Coaching the guys and watching them grow made me fall in love with what I do!"
As our Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week, Will Maddox will receive a $1,000 grant for the Jefferson High School football program from the 49ers Foundation.
As part of the award, he will receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field. Coach Maddox will also be invited to visit the SAP Performance Facility to watch a closed practice where head coach Kyle Shanahan will officially present him with his award. Coach Maddox will be featured on the 49ers Cal-Hi Sports Report on Sunday's at 6 & 10 PM on NBC Sports and re-broadcast throughout the week. Congratulations, Coach Maddox!