LAYTON -- He has become offensive, but not in an odorous way.
A longtime defensive guru, the Lancers' Jim Batchelor has switched gears in taking over as the team's offensive coordinator.
The change came when Layton High OC Scott Applegate decided to retire following a non-playoff season in 2012. "Gate" was the offensive coordinator for eight years.
"I knew I would probably call the other side of the ball when Scott retired last winter. It came a year sooner than I had planned," Batchelor said. "I said if you get out, 'I want you in the press box to help with the transition.' He has discovered there is life after football."
The Lancers (1-2 overall) open Region 1 play today against winless Fremont (starting 0-3 for the second straight year) at Lancer Stadium.
"Obviously, we miss Scott. He is a friend and we're adjusting," said Batchelor, who is 44-48 in eight years at Layton. "We're adjusting well to the transition.
"I would like to put a lot of points on the board and keep people guessing. It will be a work in progress all season for me and the kids," he said. "It's good to get out of your comfort zone. I don't know if my wife would agree because I drive her nuts. We wanted to win more of our preseason games, but it has prepared us for league play."
Batchelor spent 11 years at Davis, including the last four as defensive coordinator, before returning to Layton in 2005 and guiding the Lancers to the 2007 state 5-A championship game.
"When I came over from Davis I thought about what I wanted to do," Batchelor said. "Scott and I had worked together on the JV team under (former coach) Curtis Page. I called the defense and Scott called the offense."
Batchelor, who was then teaching at Syracuse Junior High, spent two years on Page's staff before departing for Davis, where he coached under Jim Dickson and Ryan Bishop.
"It's a lot more stressful coaching the offense and you get comfortable doing what you're doing," he said. "I have a different thought process on when plays are called."
The Lancers have holstered the pistol and are in the second year of running the spread.
"I can see what I want to do on defense in my sleep, so I had to change my thinking process," Batchelor said. "I had a grasp of offense spending so much time looking at defense -- down and distance and what they're trying to do.
"What offenses did to me, that's what I want to do to them," he said.
"There is always a little bit of a learning curve. Three-fourths of the playbook is in. Hopefully, we'll get it all in before the season ends. We have a good mix right now."
Layton put up a season-high 35 points in a Sept. 6 road victory over Clearfield.
"We had a rushing touchdown called back against Hunter (in Week 1) and we had a few drops," Batchelor said. "Box Elder took it to us -- they controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage -- and last week was a better game. We weren't stopping ourselves like we were the week before; we were finishing plays."
After going no-huddle versus the Wolverines, the Lancers scaled that back to about one-fourth against the Bees and not much versus the Falcons.
"It's still there if we need it and need to change the game's pace," Batchelor said. "We're huddling more and getting better execution."
Quarterback Hunter Evans completed 16 of 22 passes for 185 yards with one touchdown and an interception against Clearfield.
On the season, he is 37 of 72 passing for 412 yards with three touchdowns and six picks.
"Evans struggled in the first two games, holding the ball too long. I think he was pressing two much," Batchelor said. "Get your reads and make the progression. He has the weapons to make this offense succeed."
Layton has rushed for 547 yards and five touchdowns on 114 carries.
"We've run the ball well in three games," Batchelor said. "I'm more of a run guy, but you want to stay balanced. You have to tweak your offense to the talent you have."
Tailback Davis Marriott has run for 406 yards and four touchdowns on 65 carries.
"If they can't stop Marriott, I'm going to keep giving him the ball," Batchelor said. "He gets stronger as the game goes on.
"I'm going to keep doing this until it's no longer fun. When practice isn't fun anymore, it's time to leave."
Contact reporter Dennis Larsen at 801-625-4264, firstname.lastname@example.org.