Logan Ambrose's natural inclination when he gets the snap from center is to take off and go.
That's exactly what you would expect from someone who, before this season, was a running back at every stage of his football career: youth league, junior high and varsity.
This year, Ambrose is directing the Dover offense.
"I'm a running back playing quarterback," the senior said during the Eagles' practice on Wednesday afternoon. "Right now, I'm getting the feel of being in the pocket and throwing the ball. Coach (Eric) Lam told me from the beginning, 'when in doubt, tuck it and run.'"
Shortly after being named Dover's head coach last winter, Lam approached Ambrose and asked if he would consider switching from running back to quarterback.
"I said if it's going to help the team, I'll do it," Ambrose said. "I didn't really think twice about it. Early in the spring, I was coming in every Tuesday and Thursday and just throwing and getting the steps down as a quarterback. I have two games under my belt now and I'm getting the feel of being in the pocket and throwing the ball."
In keeping with the change theme (new head coach, new quarterback), Dover has a new offense: the Wing-T.
"When you lose a Chad Reed and a Joe Morton from the last couple of years, you've lost some big linemen," Lam said in explaining the switch from the I formation, which features power running, usually by a tailback, to the Wing-T, which relies on misdirection and utilizes three running backs. "We have some linemen who can move, and we have enough backs that we have to get the ball in their hands."
Isaiah Green is one back who will get more than his share of carries.
The 201-pound junior fullback earned a first-team selection last year on the York-Adams Division II Coaches' All-Star Team after rushing for 622 yards (5.8 yards-per-carry average).
"Coming up as a sophomore, I had to get used to the speed of the game," Green said. "I also had to get used to the bigger kids on the varsity level."
Green adjusted just fine, and he feels that Ambrose will do the same in his new position.
"Logan, he's an athlete, and he can step up and play quarterback just fine," Green said. "And, if he rolls out and doesn't see anything, he can just tuck it and go."
Ambrose, Green and the rest of the Eagles are off to a 2-0 start, although both victories were over 0-2 teams.
The heavy lifting begins for Dover on Friday when it travels to Red Land. Match-ups with York-Adams Division I powers Dallastown and Central York are set for the following two Fridays before the Eagles open their York-Adams Division II season on Friday, Oct. 4, against Kennard-Dale.
"These next three weeks are definitely going to help us formulate what our team is going to be," Lam said. "Positive, negative, whatever the scoreboard shows, we want to have a good showing and kind of get a barometer of what we're about."
Dover's Dan Bisking, who was also a first-team Division II all-star in 2012 (defensive end), is well aware of the challenges facing the Eagles in the upcoming weeks.
"Red Land, Dallastown, Central, they're all great teams," Bisking said. "We definitely can't make the mistakes we did in our last game (three fumbles inside the red zone). We have a pretty good group of seniors on this team, some talented juniors and some sophomores who are helping us."
Bisking and the other members of the defense will focus Friday night on trying to contain Red Land's star running back, John Ford.
Ford has more than 2,300 career rushing yards for the Patriots, who are also off to a 2-0 start this season.
Green is Dover's leading rusher so far this season with 148 yards. Ambrose has tucked the ball and taken off for 121 yards. The Eagles attempted a total of just 16 passes in the two victories over Hanover and Solanco. Ambrose threw 10 of them, and Tyler Blazasky attempted six.
Ambrose sustained a concussion in the game against Red Land last season. He sat out the rest of that contest plus the next one.
Keeping cool: Water breaks were frequent on Wednesday, when Dover practiced on a 94-degree afternoon.
"This is the hottest practice we've had," Bisking said. "We're conditioned, so as long as you keep hydrated, your body can do it. It's supposed to be really nice on Friday."
Dick VanOlinda covers high school sports for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at dvanolin email@example.com or at 505-5407.