MAN - Over the last 20-plus years many high school football teams have trended to a more balanced offensive attack.
No longer was it just sprinkling in a pass here and there to keep defenses honest and throwing by necessity on third-and-long.
The Man High School football team, however, has stuck to its guns over the years and its bread-and-butter with its punishing ground attack.
The Hillbillies have had some success this decade with a more varied offense and passing game with recent quarterback John Thomas Keffer but Man has stayed true to its main theme.
And that is running the ball.
It's nothing fancy.
The Billies wear the hard hats and carry the lunch pails with that old school style work ethic.
And that's keeping the ball on the ground, moving the chains, churning the clock with long sustained drives and wearing down opponents.
With a multitude of returning veteran running backs, Man is looking to do just that this football season and hope to improve on last year's 6-4 record, which was the best in Logan County.
"Running has always been our game," said Harvey Arms, Man High's 18th-year head coach and the dean of Logan County's high school football coaches. "We want to play a tough, physical style of football. That's what we do at Man High School and that's what we've done for awhile. But we are trying to expand and see if we can use our talent to do some different things. But we're comfortable in moving the football on the ground. A lot of our skilled position players are returning."
Man has six returning players in its backfield.
Last year, the Billies used a running backs by committee system and this fall Man is looking to do the same.
Arms said many of Man's running backs can also play wide receiver depending on the situation and formation.
"Any of our backs we can also move out to receiver if we needed to," Arms said. "We have some good athletes. We don't have any big bulky tight end types of receivers. They are all about the same and they are good athletes but if we need to move them in to block we've got confidence that they can do that."
Brothers Zach Frye, a senior, and Cameron Frye, a junior, return to Man's deep backfield.
"Both of them carried the ball a lot for us last year," Arms said.
Dylan Morris, a senior, and junior Nick Plumley are also returning.
"Both played fullback for us last year," Arms said.
Senior Quentin Moody can play either running back or receiver and with speed is a dangerous player to take it to the house.
Senior Brock Muncy, also a top defender at linebacker on defense, also could see plenty of carries.
"Both of those guys can play either running back or receiver," Arms said.
Josh Moody, a freshman and Quentin's younger brother, had a big year at Man Middle School last season playing for legendary coach Tootie Carter, the former Man High School football coach from 1969-98.
"He's a good running back and good receiver," Arms said of the younger Moody.
Senior Sam Milton, starting quarterback Caleb Milton's twin brother, had a big year at receiver for the Billies last season and hopes to be Man's top target again this fall.
"Sam was our top receiver last year," Arms said.
Josh Moody and Chris Isaacs, another freshman, also figure into Man's plans at wideout.
Muncy was a Class AA Special Honorable Mention All-State selection from a year ago. Sam Milton was named Honorable Mention All-State last year.
Man is hoping to make a run at the playoffs this season.
The Billies' last post-season run was 2013-15 when the Billies were a Class A team. Man has been back in Double-A the last three seasons.
Man is scheduled to open the regular season on Aug. 30 at home against Logan. The Billies lost 20-14 to the Wildcats last season at Logan.
The Billies' preseason opener is this Friday night at Class AAA George Washington.
Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at email@example.com.