It certainly helped junior running back Tristan Allen, and it helped the Class 2A Indians win their final two games.
Ohatchee closed out its 2012 season on Thursday with a 34-12 victory at Gaylesville. Allen broke the 1,000-yard barrier for the year with 56 yards on 15 carries, giving the Indians (2-8) something positive to take with them in the offseason.
"It's fit our kids well," Wehunt said of the change in offensive philosophy. "I'm proud of them. This is good for the offseason. It's something to build on."
The win was also sentimental for Wehunt. He coached the Trojan boys basketball team last season, and is also a relative of Gaylesville head football coach Brian Clowdis.
"This place is special place to me, but we're glad to come in here and get a win," Wehunt said.
While jubilation was on the Ohatchee side, disappointment and concern were on the minds of the Trojans (3-7). Not only did they lose their final three games of the season, but they also lost senior tailback John David Jennings to a neck injury late in the third quarter.
Jennings walked on his own power to the Trojan locker room after being checked out on the sideline. He was later taken by ambulance to Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Ga., to be checked out more thoroughly, according to Clowdis.
Jennings finished the game rushing for 55 yards on 15 carries. He ended his career rushing for 1,374 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.
"That's the toughest kid I've ever coached," Clowdis said of Jennings.
Ohatchee got on the scoreboard on its first drive of the game. Junior Quin Williams spun off a couple of Gaylesville tacklers and dashed 21 yards for a touchdown. The Indians fumbled the snap on the extra point, keeping the game at 6-0 with 3:04 left in the first quarter.
Ohatchee cashed in a Gaylesville fumble early in the second quarter for its next touchdown. Senior defensive lineman Kolby Slick pounced on the ball and returned it to the Gaylesville 19-yard line. Seven plays later, senior quarterback Riley Allen scored on a 1-yard sneak on fourth-and-goal. Tristan Allen ran in for the 2-point conversion, giving the Indians a 14-0 lead with 8:04 remaining in the second quarter.
The Trojans answered on their ensuing drive. Junior quarterback Cole Murphy capped an 11-play, 66-yard drive with his 22-yard touchdown run at the 2:47 mark. Murphy's 2-point conversion rush fell short of the end zone, keeping the score at 14-6 Ohatchee.
Gaylesville's defense forced the Indians to punt on their next possession. The Trojans set up at their own 10 with just over a minute left in the half, but another turnover spelled disaster.
After the Trojans managed drive to their own 34, a Murphy fumble was recovered by Williams, who scampered in for the score with no time left on the clock. Zach Mangum's extra point put Ohatchee in front 21-6 at halftime.
"We were just trying to get in (to halftime)," Clowdis said of the play. "If we bust one, so be it. We go in down a touchdown at the half, but the worst-case scenario was they pick it up and run it in."
Wehunt said the score was a big momentum boost for his team.
"It gave our guys a little more pep going in," he said
Tristan Allen gave the Indians more pep going back out. He was limited to 23 yards on seven carries at halftime after tweaking his ankle on the Indians' first offensive series, needing just 33 yards to earn 1,000 for the season.
"At halftime, I told him 'If you're limping, you're not going back in,'" Wehunt said. "He said 'I'm fine.' We knew coming in he lacked 56 (yards) from having 1,000. We wanted to get him that 1,000, then we got him out."
Tristan Allen gained almost all of the yardage he needed on the Indians' first drive.
He carried the ball seven of nine plays on the opening drive of the second half, pushing his rushing total to 52 yards for the game. However, on fourth-and-3 at the Trojan 33, Tristan Allen fell short of the first down, giving the Trojans the ball back.
After a Gaylesville punt, he broke 1,000 on his first carry of the Indians' ensuing drive - a 4-yard run. He didn't return to the game the rest of the night.
Stopping Tristan Allen and the rest of the Indian rushers proved a tough task for the Trojans.
"Offensive line-wise, they outmatched us up front," Clowdis said. "They're bigger than us. If they were going to run at us, they were going to hurt us, and they ran at us."
Junior Dylan Coleman accounted for Ohatchee's next touchdown on a 41-yard run with 4:33 left in the third. Mangum's extra point was wide of the mark, keeping the score at 27-6.
Two plays after that score, an interception by the Indians' Dylan Parker led to another Ohatchee touchdown. This time, junior Desmond Bankston dashed in from 20 yards. Mangum's point after made it 34-6 Indians at the end of the third quarter.
Gaylesville scored its final touchdown of the night on a 1-yard run by Dylan Mitchell with 2:47 to go in the game.
Mitchell led the Trojan rushing attack with 81 yards on 15 carries. Murphy added 49 yards and a score on 10 totes.
Logan Hurley and Levi Teague led the Trojan defense with seven tackles apiece. One of Hurley's tackles went for lost yardage. Seth Dawson and Gable Lawson both accounted for six tackles, with one of Lawson's for negative yards.
"I think we played hard, but we didn't do a good job of playing well," Clowdis said. "We made a lot of mistakes."
Clowdis said he was proud the Trojans continued to give effort even after beginning the season at 0-4.
"Obviously, 3-7 is not where we want to be and not where we thought we'd be at the beginning of the year. You start 0-4 and it's hard, but they kept fighting. When you play three out of four ranked teams to begin the season, and three out of four on the road to begin the season, it's tough."