Change may not be a great idea for a program fresh off of a 9-3 record and second-round playoff appearance.
But after watching his offense in offseason workouts, Donaldsonville coach Terence Williams knew a switch was in order.
To get the most out of senior third-year starting quarterback Devon Breaux, the Tigers have overhauled their run-heavy spread offense in favor of a more pass-friendly variation.
And so far, the 6-foot, 180-pound Tulane commitment hasn’t disappointed.
Breaux has thrown for 1,475 yards this season despite missing the Tigers’ season-opening loss against Assumption. In four games, he has averaged 368 passing yards per contest. He entered last week as the state’s leader in passing offense before throwing for 305 in a 56-0 win against Block.
“He’s the best athlete on our team, so every time we snap the ball, his hands are going to be on the ball,” Williams said. “And I have full confidence in him that when the ball snaps, he’s going to make something happen, whether it’s throwing or running.”
Entering the season, Williams knew Breaux, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a junior season that featured nearly 2,800 total yards and 30 touchdowns, would command significant attention from defenses.
So Williams and his coaching staff made the necessary adjustments.
“We take what the defense gives us, and the last couple of years we’ve run it more than we’ve thrown it,” Williams said. “A lot of teams have stacked the box against us, and that’s allowed some passing lanes to open up. Everybody trying to stop our running game has helped the passing game open up.”
To carry out the change in philosophy, Williams had to get his players on board. Breaux, who also plays basketball and competes for the track team in the 400 meters, long jump, high jump and triple jump, accepted the initiative and devoted his summer to mastering the offense.
“He’s very talented, but that talent wouldn’t show on the field if he didn’t put in the extra work,” Williams said. “He’s turned into one of those guys who spend a lot of time in the locker room studying film and helping other guys become better.”
But a balanced offense hinges on more than the influence of just one player. Breaux credits his passing prowess to the development of his two favorite receivers: freshman Jaquel Grant and sophomore Leondre James.
“They’ve been with me all summer preparing,” Breaux said. “We prepare on Saturday and Sunday for Friday. As long as we’re on the same page, there’s not much that can go wrong.”
A brutal nondistrict schedule has left Donaldsonville with a 2-3 record, but the Tigers face perhaps their biggest test of the season when they travel Friday to open play in District 7-3A against top-ranked St. Charles Catholic.
“We’re going to need all of our guys playing their very best come Friday for us to come out with a victory,” Williams said.
“And somebody like Devon has to spearhead that.”