Max 246 Z post.
This combination of letters and numbers probably doesn’t mean much to you, but chances are you know it.
No, it’s not the combination to a massive bank vault, nor is it a secret password to unlock free Slurpees for life at 7-Eleven.
It’s a football play.
Before you become disappointed that it can’t deliver you piles of cash or years of brain freezes, know that it’s not just any play. It’s the play— arguably the biggest call from one of the most thrilling games in college football history.
With 13 seconds left, Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin (the Z receiver) sprinted into the end zone and then, in an instant, cut toward the middle of the field at a 45-degree angle (a post route). Reaching up, he snagged Heisman Trophy-winner Jameis Winston’s touchdown pass to complete the Seminoles’ improbable 34-31 victory over Auburn in the national championship game on Monday night.
As America collectively picked up its jaw from the floor, Fairmont State University coach Jason Woodman picked up his cellphone and sent a message to Jimbo Fisher, the coach of Florida State University — you know, the other FSU.
“Hey great call,” he typed. “Max 246 Z post.”
The American people, especially the 11 defensive players in Auburn orange and white, have seen the play too many times on ESPN and other 24-hour highlight networks. But few know its inner workings— or even its name— like Woodman.
He was first introduced to the play— Max 246 Z post— back in 2004 when he started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Louisiana State University under Fisher, who was at the time the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Tigers.
“When I started working with him, I knew very little about the game,” Woodman admitted. “I thought I knew a lot, but when you start working with Jimbo, you realize you don’t know very much until you see a guy with his knowledge and understanding of the game.”
Woodman worked with Fisher at LSU until 2006. Then Fisher was hired at Florida State in 2007. Woodman went with him.
More than anyone else, the Fairmont State coach and North Marion graduate credits Fisher for his development as a coach.
“I probably learned more from Jimbo than I have anyone else,” he said. “He’s to credit for anything I know football-wise.”
The Clarksburg native taught Woodman about the intricacies of how to run an offense — how to game plan; how to anticipate the changes a defensive coordinator will make throughout a game; how to go beyond a scheme and attack a defense’s personnel.
Woodman remembers it all and even borrowed a play. Or two.
“My whole playbook is basically his,” Woodman admitted. “There are a few concepts that I use that he didn’t, but not very many. Everything I know concept-wise offensively is from him. There’s no secret about it.”
Woodman also learned about life outside of the Xs and Os, such as how to recruit and how to build relationships with athletes. The Fairmont State coach credits the Fisher for all of it, “from top to bottom.”
Flash back to Monday. Woodman watched each play carefully on his TV and, of course, “the play”— Max 246 Z post. Then, he saw Auburn's last-ditch attempt fall short, the confetti rain down on the Rose Bowl field and Jameis Winston sprint with his teammates across the field.
Finally he watched as Fisher was presented with the crystal Coaches’ Trophy.
“When I saw him hold up the trophy and you could see him start to cry a little bit, that’s when it starting getting to me a little bit. That’s something that he lives for— for that moment. That’s not his job. That’s his life.”
Woodman, who will begin his second season at Fairmont State in the fall, sees Jimbo’s journey as something similar to what he faces with the Falcons.
“I know what the program was like when we got there. It wasn’t close to what it is now,” said Woodman. “I know the struggles he had when he was there.
“I’m in a similar situation where I’m trying to get a program to go a direction that I want it to go. To see him do it and finally reach what he’s been striving for motivated me a lot.”
So when is it going to be Woodman’s turn? When will his team play for the national championship?
“Hold on. I’ll tell you ...” he said. He picked up his computer mouse, clicked through a couple pages, then smiled.
“Our national championship game right now is Sept. 4,” he finally said. “That’s when we play Notre Dame College. Our first game of 2014.”
Email Mike DeFabo at email@example.com or follow on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.
Max 246 Z post.
5 memorable college hoops tourney buzzer beaters
It's March, which means the NCAA Tournament is just around the corner. But before March Madness takes hold, the conference tournaments, which get under way this week, often provide their own share of exciting finishes. Here are five memorable buzzer beaters from conference tournament play.
Fairmont Senior bullies Ritchie County to claim regional title: PHOTOS
While remnants of a winter storm remained outside of the Woody Williams Armory, No. 1 Fairmont Senior was on fire inside, beating Ritchie County, 69-31, for the Region I title.
It was business as usual for Fairmont Senior, which will advance to the state tournament beginning next Wednesday in Charleston.
North Marion tops Webster, 76-48
North Marion rebounded from a sectional championship loss to beat Webster County, 76-48, on the road Thursday night to punch its ticket to the state tournament.
The Lady Huskies, which had four of their five starters in double figures, used a team effort to get the win.
HERTZEL COLUMN: Huggins just wants WVU to compete
In the end, with Bob Huggins, they count victories and losses, and he has always been one to pile up the victories while keeping the losses to a minimum, at least until the last two seasons at West Virginia University.
And, in the end, when he tries to analyze why the losses have come rather than the victories, he comes to understand that he just doesn’t have the manpower to compete.
Cold-shooting Lady Falcons fall to State
In its biggest game of the season to date Fairmont State suffered its worst performance.
Fifth-seeded FSU shot a season-low 29.5 percent from the field (18-of-61), including a dismal 8-of-33 showing (24.2 percent) in the second half and as a result fell, 71-59, to fourth-seeded West Virginia State in the quarterfinals of the first Mountain East Conference Women's Basketball Tournament here Thursday night at the Charleston Civic Center.
Falcons hope for tournament run
Since day one, making another post-season run has been at the top of Fairmont State coach Jerrod Calhoun’s mind.
Last season the Falcons went three-for-four in the WVIAC Tournament, falling to West Liberty in the tournament’s final game. The strong run, though, propelled the Falcons into the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed.
Carey, Bussie headline Big 12 awards
To the victors go the spoils, and West Virginia University’s newly crowned Big 12 women’s basketball regular-season co-champions certainly took down their share of the conference’s post-season awards, headed by coach Mike Carey and senior center Asya Bussie.
FURFARI COLUMN: Women’s finale fitting as all-time Coliseum great
If you weren’t among the thrilled, extremely vocal 5,502 fans at the WVU Coliseum last Tuesday night, you missed one of the most memorable sports events in that 44-year-old arena’s history.
The No. 7 nationally ranked West Virginia University women’s basketball team’s capture of the Big 12 Conference regular-season co-championship beating Kansas 67-60 on Senior Night was followed by a wild, wonderful celebration.
Local product enters Mount St. Mary’s Hall of Fame
Fairmont Senior graduate Heather Wable DeWees has been inducted into Mount St. Mary’s University Athletics Hall of Fame.
During her time on Mount St. Mary’s women’s basketball team, she was described as a “winner.”
Elliott, Delligatti share state championship win with their fathers
As human beings, we love to share special moments with those we are closest to.
For Ryan Elliott and Vincent Delligatti, that moment was winning the state championship, something they were both able to accomplish with their father as a coach on their wrestling team.
- More Sports Headlines
- 5 memorable college hoops tourney buzzer beaters