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Phantoms could turn to the air this season

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West De Pere quarterback Josh Blount is expected to throw more passes this season. (WLUK)

DE PERE (WLUK) -- Josh Blount has been incredibly productive in three seasons at quarterback for West De Pere -- as a runner -- but that may change this season.

Jack Batten stepped down as coach after the 2019 season and Batten was a run-first coach featuring a huge offensive line in front of Blount. Now enters new coach Chris Greisen, who was previously the offensive coordinator at Freedom and holds 7-on-7 passing camps in the offseason.

As effective as Blount has been he may get a chance to show off his arm, which he normally only does in baseball season (he's an Illinois State baseball recruit). Greisen is a former NFL quarterback, who will seek to move the ball through the air more often.

And that will not be hard to do. In three seasons, Blount has averaged almost 94 passes per season, while rushing for 3,946 career yards, including 1,498 as a sophomore. Conversely, he has only thrown for 1,000 yards once, last season.

Meanwhile, at Freedom the past three seasons the Irish threw more than 200 passes each season, including 271 in 2017. Also, Freedom topped 2,000 passing yards in two of the last three seasons.

Blount said he has noticed a difference with Greisen's attention to the pass.

"It's different in practice," he said. "We're working on reads and keys this week for Menasha and it's a little different than it has been in the past.

"We're excited to sling it and we still have a run game off of that. We're still West De Pere. We're going to attack with as many weapons as we can."

Sling it? That term has never been used prior to Greisen's arrival but times are different now.

"We'll throw it more than we have in the past," Greisen said. "Jack did such a nice job and before him Bill Turnquist. We're going to demand the same level of excellence, but maybe just do it a little different way.

"We still believe in running the ball, you have to in Wisconsin, especially late in the fall. We still have to run the ball but we'll put it up more in years past. It's all about execution either way."

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay

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