Advertisement
  1. Sports

Tampa Bay Tech offense gains dimension with addition of RB Treshaun Ward

Jaquavious Johnson, left, and Treshaun Ward pose for a portrait during practice at Tampa Bay Tech High School in Tampa on Monday, August 21, 2017.
Published Aug. 22, 2017

TAMPA — The playbook was pretty simple at Tampa Bay Tech. Snap the ball to quarterback Michael Penix and let him throw all over the field.

That also meant defending the Titans wasn't all that difficult. Drop linemen into coverage, rush Penix and dare the Titans to run the ball.

Despite an 8-1 regular season, Tampa Bay Tech lost in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs to East Lake. Penix, a Tennessee commit, will still throw the ball this year, as his five touchdown passes against Brandon in the preseason game proved.

But the Titans should have a much more potent running game with the addition of junior Treshaun Ward, a late transfer from Plant City. Ward rushed for 1,082 yards and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore. Coupled with Jaquavious Johnson, who led the Titans last year with 617 yards and seven touchdowns, TBT appears more balanced.

RELATED: HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay

"For us to get over that hump of being a second- or third-round (playoff) team to a fourth- or fifth-round team is adding the running game," TBT coach Jayson Roberts said. "That was something we had to do. Last year, Michael was dynamic throwing the ball. After a while, teams were dropping seven or eight guys into coverage. Now that we run, it makes us that much harder to defend."

Ward spent the summer wondering where he would play. He wanted to attend Armwood, but was denied a hardship waiver by the school district. Just one day before school started, Ward enrolled at Tech.

His first regular-season game with his new school will be Friday night against Armwood.

"It was a long process," Ward said. "The day before school started is when I actually knew I was going to Tampa Bay Tech. I knew they were good, especially the way they whipped (Plant City, 39-6) last year."

RELATED: Treshaun Ward transfers to Tampa Bay Tech

Ward got eight carries against Brandon and rushed for 36 yards. He will share the load with Johnson, who got seven touches in the 51-0 rout of the Eagles. When Johnson, a senior, heard that Ward was transferring in, he knew that meant good things for the offense.

"I was glad," he said. "Most people might get jealous because you don't get as many looks, but it's all about the team. Our running game is doubled now. Getting Treshaun as a transfer means as soon as one back goes out another one comes in. There's no dropoff."

Which should cause headaches for opposing defensive coordinators all season. Even with the running game, Penix is still the main threat. A Tennessee commit, he threw for 2,078 yards and 31 touchdowns last season. He had just one interception.

His main target, senior Levi Jackson, had seven touchdown catches. And several other receivers, including junior Isaiah Stephens and senior Evan Lewis, should have big seasons.

But Penix feels much better knowing he has a running game to rely on.

"We've got weapons all over the field," Penix said. "It's a great thing to have. Our running backs are really good this season. They are going to ball every game."

Having so many offensive threats creates a good problem for Roberts.

"We've got some guys," Roberts said. "The hardest part sometimes is managing touches and making sure we get everybody involved."

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Mike Evans (13) walks back to the sideline after sustaining a hamstring injury in the first quarter of Tampa Bay's 38-35 victory over Indianapolis Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Tampa Bay’s Pro Bowl wide receiver’s season could be over.
  2. Running back DeeJay Dallas (13) and Miami will spend bowl season in Shreveport, La., for the Independence Bowl. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    Starting Dec. 20, there is almost a full month of couch potato fun ahead if you love college football.
  3. Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck, spent the 2012 season as Buccaneers receivers coach. He returns to Raymond James Stadium on New Year's Day, when the Golden Gophers face Auburn in the Outback Bowl. STACY BENGS  |  AP
    The Golden Gophers are making their first appearance in the Tampa game.
  4. 2 hours ago• Florida State Seminoles
    Florida State new head football coach Mike Norvell, wife Maria and 5-year-old daughter Mila are introduced during a timeout in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Clemson in Tallahassee on Sunday. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    Florida State’s new coach has a lot in common with its old one, but the differences will be vital to the Seminoles’ success.
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Breshad Perriman (19) beats Indianapolis Colts cornerback Quincy Wilson (31) on a 12-yard touchdown pass for the game-winning points in Tampa Bay's 35-31 victory over the Colts Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. MARK LOMOGLIO  |  AP
    The Bucs rally from a 14-point deficit to win their third straight game, their longest winning streak since 2016.
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) run she ball for short gain while tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Justin Houston (99) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Sunday, December 8, 2019.  OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The Bucs QB threw for 456 yards and four TDs Sunday, the third-most yards in franchise history
  7. UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel (11) runs against USF's Greg Reaves and defensive back Nick Roberts during the first half of the Knights' 34-7 victory in Orlando on Nov. 29. WILLIE J. ALLEN JR.  |  AP
    The Thundering Herd make their second straight December trip to Tampa.
  8. Florida coach Dan Mullen has led the Gators to consecutive New Year's Six bowl appearances. JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP
    This will be UF’s first Orange appearance since Steve Spurrier’s final game
  9. Indianapolis Colts defensive end Justin Houston (99) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)                                       |  AP
    Following a first half in which Winston threw for two touchdowns, two interceptions and 277 yards, Ryan Griffin began the second half at quarterback
  10. Willie Taggart's lone season at Oregon was fine. As for his short tenure at FSU ... we all know how that shook out. NELL REDMOND  |  AP
    Florida State’s newest coach, Mike Norvell, has recent history working against him a bit.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement