FHN Football Debuts New Offensive and Defensive Tactics


Credit to Thomas Jones

Brett Bevil is a teacher and coach at FHN, after practice Bevil talks to the players about their performance, upcoming events, or important information.

The FHN Knights football team have debuted their new offensive and defensive play schemes for this football season and the results so far show great promise. The team started the season with two big wins, a 16-point win against the North Point Grizzlies and a 35 point win against the SCH Pirates. With two wins in their first three games, the Knights have already matched their win total for the entirety of last season. Offensive tackle and senior Jackson Cutlan is happy with this year’s roster.
“I feel like everyone who goes out and plays actually wants to play, I don’t feel like anyones out there because their parents are making them play a sport or something, everyone actually wants to be there and win games,” Cutlan said.
The last time North had a winning record was during the 2016 season where they held a record of 6-5, including their round one win in that year’s playoffs. That season also marked the beginning of Brett Bevills tenure as head coach of the Knights. In the seasons since, they have had a combined record of 8-47 with two no-win seasons in 2018 and 2020. These years of poor performances along with the team annually losing size left Bevill knowing there needed to be changes.
“We really couldn’t ever be in the game for most of those games,” Bevill said. “We were getting beat pretty badly.”
Bring the 2020 season, Coach Bevill started to incorporate more rushing into North’s usual pass heavy offensive scheme. Although the team would end up going 0-10 on the year while only averaging 11.5 points-per-game, the added rushing plays showed decent potential for the future of the program. The new addition of the old school “Wing-T” style rushing plays also gave the team something that Bevill had been looking for; an identity.
“We were searching for an identity, you know one of the questions we were asking was what does Howell North Football run, and we didn’t really have an answer,” Bevill said. “I said I didn’t really care what we did as long as we had an identity.”
This new rush first mindset got further expanded in the 2021 season as they attempted 141 more rushes than the initial introduction in 2020. This further proved to be a step in the right direction as they won two games and averaged 20.1 points-per-game. As the offensive side of the ball started seeing improvement, Bevill decided to shake up the defense. He got to work on creating a new defensive playbook before the 2022 season. Middle linebacker and junior DJ Dillon believes there has been great improvement this season.
“Last year the defense was wild in many points, this year the defense is way better than it was last year,” Dillon said.
North’s new defense has been putting up the best numbers the team has had since the 2015 season. This year they are only allowing 26.7 points-per-game, eight points better than 2021 and 14 points better than 2020. While this year has seen one of the best North defenses in the last decade, Bevill thinks some credit should go to the new offense as well.
“It’s helped our defense out a lot, I think some people can say your defense is doing much better this year and yeah that’s because we run the ball more and were not on the field as much,” Bevill said. “The defensive success is still teamed with the offensive success to hold onto the football.”