Pebblebrook preview: Are they legit?


Michael Smith

A preview at the defense the Falcons plan to bring towards NC

Michael Smith, Sports editor

On Friday, September 23, the NC football team will return to Emory Sewell stadium to host the enthusiastic Pebblebrook Falcons before heading into the Cobb September break.

The Falcons enter the game 3-1, but have not enjoyed a season over .500 since 2009. Still, Pebblebrook brings a fast, physical defense that attempts to confuse opponents with multiple personnel groupings, blitzes, and a variety of coverages on the back end. NC must prepare for yet another Wing-T offense after shutting down East Coweta last week.

Through the first four games of the season, the Falcon offense appears dynamic and explosive, albeit against weaker teams. The offense boasts a fullback, running back, and quarterback that all ran on a 4X100 team that finished second in the region during the track season. Running back Christian Swann torched opposing defenses, averaging over 20 yards per rush and turning just 23 touches into 42 points. Once again, NC’s opponent will look to score with misdirection and long drives, but the Pebblebrook passing game will throw the ball a bit more variously, looking to throw concepts and progressions more than the one-on-one routes East Coweta emphasized.

Defensively, the Falcons do not rely on a singular philosophy or scheme, but on in-game adjustments and opponent-specific tendencies. However, the Falcons generally give opponents a 3-3 stack look with three defensive linemen directly across from the tackles and center, and a linebacker behind each lineman. The team varies its back end coverage from man, zone, one and two high safeties, and a multitude of assignments for the linebackers. Pebblebrook’s defense loves to bump their three linebackers (and two safety and linebacker hybrids) into different positions over receivers and into blitzing responsibilities.

NC’s two starting receivers, Quannie Green and Drew Tejchman, still have not returned from injuries that have kept both players out since the Harrison game. With region play kicking off in two weeks against the Warrior’s toughest opponent, McEachern, Coach Shane Queen may elect to allow both players to continue to rest in preparation for NC’s expected run to the playoffs.

The game should turn out some big plays, big hits, and plenty of excitement. After a dominant performance over one of the best defenses in the state, the Warriors will expect to run the ball with similar conviction and physicality on offense and will expect another domination performance from a defense led by Chandler Wooten, the senior linebacker and Auburn commit who accepted an invite to play in the Under Armour All-American game.


The Chant’s Prediction: NC: 35, Pebblebrook: 14