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gummBy Justin Gumm, Head Football Coach, South Beloit High School (IL)

See how Coach Gumm is using different Power concepts to attack "answers" that defenses throw at them.


By Justin Gumm
Head Football Coach/Offensive Coordinator
South Beloit High School (IL)
Twitter: @CoachGumm87

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gummAt South Beloit High School, we are a spread, no-huddle team that tries to get plays off at an average of 12 seconds between the ball being spot and snapped. Like many no-huddle teams, we signal in our plays and have up to 15 one-word play calls. In our offense, we have two base run plays; inside zone and power. Power, a play that we averaged 6.1 yards per carry for us last season, is the play we will be covering in this clinic report.

For our offensive line, simplicity is extremely important to me. The less they have to know, the faster they can play. We teach “fast minds equal fast feet.” Because we have only two run-blocking schemes, we must be multiple with what we do with our QB’s, WR’s, and RB’s in order to stretch the field horizontally and vertically. Below we will dive into the intricacies of how we get multiple with our “new age” ways to run power.
For a little perspective on the concepts we are going to cover below here is some data on how much we run these plays:

  • Our Power blocking scheme accounts for 45% of our run plays.
  • 32% of Power blocking scheme is Power Read.
  • QB Bubble is the second most common at 19%.
  • Power Give was the least last year at 10% of our Power blocking scheme calls.

Why Run Power?

Here is a shortlist of why we have chosen to make Power one of our two core running concepts:

  1. It is a play that allows us to have multiple double teams up front.
  2. It is a downhill, violent run play that allows you to get North and South with a high percentage of plays getting you positive yards.
  3. It is a scheme that forces defenses to prove their gap integrity and discipline by creating extra gaps at the point of attack.
  4. It is a simple scheme that provides great blocking angles for your offensive linemen.
  5. It is a scheme that can be run many different ways and has many answers to the various techniques teams will use to defend you.

Our Power Scheme

Here is a look at our scheme against 3 common fronts:


Responsibilities and coaching points include:

  • Q - Pivot on the foot closest to the back. Bring the back side foot forward so you are perpendicular to the line of scrimmage. Extend the ball and make sure you get it into the belly of the back then boot away.
  • H - Side shuffle toward the QB and scissor your feet (front foot should be to the QB). Get the football and attack play side ‘A’ gap. Stay tight off double team and follow back side pocket of pulling guard. Find seam and hit it! DO NOT BOUNCE IT!
  • F - Kick out the play side end man on line of scrimmage (EMLOS). Take a downhill path and work inside out on that defender, stepping with the outside foot first. Your head must be on the inside number of the defender and use your hands and run your feet. If the EMLOS crosses the offensive tackle’s face, work up field and block the outside linebacker.
  • X – Work inside run rules. Drive off ball to sell the fade, come to balance and stalk block defender over you. Be ready to drive the defender in the direction he wants to go. If you are a single receiver run the “Now” or a hand signal route.
  • Y - Drive off ball aiming for the heels of the defensive linemen. Come to balance and cut off the alley player (OLB/SS).
  • Z - Work inside run rules. Drive off ball to sell the fade, come to balance and stalk block defender over you. Be ready to drive the defender in the direction he wants to go. If you are a single receiver run the “Now” or a hand signal route.
  • Play Side Tackle and Play Side Guard - Inside gap, Head up, play side gap or “inside gap to play side combo” (Covered/Uncovered rules). If an immediate threat is to the inside gap, you will down block on that player. If no immediate threat but there is a player head up or immediately in your play side gap, combo block with play side teammate. If no threat, work to the backside linebacker.
  • Center – Similar to play side lineman above with the exception of having a defensive lineman anywhere from the backside A gap (1 technique) to the backside B gap (3 technique) as top priority. Note that we typically do not want to run towards a 1 technique, with a backside 3 technique, but it may happen.
  • Back Side Guard - Skip pull for play side inside linebacker. We use skip pull to keep our shoulders square and get downhill now. We do not log the EMLOS so we do not have to worry about getting out there.
  • Back Side Tackle – Pick and Hinge. Take away any B gap threat first. This could include helping the center on a back side 3 technique. Next, hinge back and check for any back side run through defenders and take inside most threat (c gap) first.

I did not draw it up against a 4-3 Even Front, Under Front, or Over Front, because we do not see those fronts. Against an Even Front, we would take our double team on the 3 technique back to the Will backer and the play side tackle will work to the Mike, while the pulling guard is responsible for the Sam. Against an Under Front we would kick out the Sam with our F and take our pulling guard around to the Mike. In this case, we could not account for the Will. If we knew we were going to get a lot of Under, Cover 3, with a safety rolled down over our #2 WR (Y), we would run weak (discussed later).

As you can see, our rules up front are pretty simple. We try and use quick phrases or terms to help them remember their responsibility (inside gap to play side combo). We want the combos to the linebackers to come to us. We do not want to go chasing linebackers.



Power Tags & Answers to Defensive Techniques/Schemes

“Base” Call


If we get a walked up OLB to the call side of our Power play, our tackle to that side or the F will make a “Base” call. A “Base” call tells our play side tackle to block the defensive end and our F to take the OLB. To attack a walked up / blitzing OLB to the call side, we could also signal bubble to our Y.
All of our tagged Power plays I have drawn up against an Odd Stack defense because it is what we see most. The blocking schemes against each front are above. Realistically, a defense will not force us into a “Base” call out of the Odd Stack because they are leaving the #2 receiver (Y) uncovered. We will see this call mostly with a walked up OLB in a 3-4 and they will play a safety over the #2 receiver (Y). Against an Odd Stack, our numbers and angles are not great in the run game, therefore we would know to throw bubble or just throw to uncovered now. Against a 3-4 we would take our double team on the nose back to the backside ILB (Mike), and pull the guard through to the Sam.

Quick Game


This is another RPO play that we use to control force/alley players. Because we have a great running QB, we use less of these plays but they are certainly still sounds and effective. Our system is flexible in the sense that when we have more of a “pocket passer” in the game, this is our option football. Again, we are reading the force player. If he aggressively steps up to defend our Power, our QB will throw the quick game route behind him.

On this play our quarterbacks are taught to open parallel to the sideline just like he does on regular Power. As the QB sticks out the ball for the mesh, he can throw the designated quick game route at any time. If we get a slight mesh by the QB and RB it will help make the linebackers commit. Our RB has to get out of the way immediately if the QB pulls the ball to allow him to make the throw unimpeded. We tell them to accelerate towards the line of scrimmage and get tackled. If they do not get tackled they must be at the line of scrimmage.

Teaching the Power Package

We use many of Urban Meyer’s “On Edge Coaching” methods. With today’s technology there are many different ways to teach your players how to execute your plays. Keep in mind all of the different ways that players learn best. We use diagrams, video, walk-throughs, articles, etc. The key to teaching them is by using “Direct Teaching: Full-Engagement Teaching.”

When we do installs, we have them study what is going in via our HUDL playbook (video, diagrams, responsibilities, etc.) before the physical install. When it is time to physically install plays, we call on every different player possible and have them tell us, show us, explain to us what their job is. If they know that you will hold them accountable, they are much more likely to know their job. Those that know the system set themselves and our team up for success.

Since we only have two base run concepts, our offensive linemen get all the reps they can handle of power and inside zone. Our skill guys have to do a little more. Much of this is done in our "hose drill" (some people call it backfield action). We always have a read (or two) and we treat it as a game scenario. We start with a walk through the play first to perfect technique and fundamentals, but then we fly through a ton of reps and coach on the fly and on film. As the season progresses we run each of our run plays twice each direction in a 10 min "hose drill" period.

Calling Power and Power Variations

As I talked about earlier, it is not necessarily the front that determines what we like, but instead we focus on the technique of read defender. We like plays to the perimeter against a DE (4 or 5 technique) that squeezes on the down block of the offensive tackle. We like inside plays (Keep, Power Read, Read F, etc.) against a DE that plays wide, up field, or is hesitant in his technique. Against a four man front, we do like to run Power to the 3 technique. It makes it easier to seal/pick and hinge on the backside with the offensive tackle. It is also easier to block back on a 1 tech for the center.

What You’re Missing…

Join X&O Labs’ exclusive membership website, Insiders, and get instant access to the full-length version of Coach Gumm’s clinic report. Here’s a short sample of what you’re missing in the full-length report:

  • Why running the power read scheme to your “numbers” is more beneficial than running it to the field side.
  • Coach Gumm’s “Read F” concept, which he uses against defenses that over shift to the Y-off formation.
  • Coach Gumm’s “Give” tag against defenses that try to squeeze down the 5-technique to play the quarterback in power read concepts.
  • How teaching the angle of the slot in one-back power can affect the perimeter.
  • How Coach Gumm teaches the skip pull of the back side pulling Guard.
  • VIDEO: See real-game application of these concepts.

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As you can see, there are many ways to attack a defense using the same great Power blocking scheme. Power is a fairly easy play to teach and it allows you to have multiple double teams and creates great angles for your Offensive Line. Our read plays where our QB has choice to keep it or get it to our H on the perimeter are our most successful. They are great for us because of our personnel. Our QB is the best pure ball carrier on our team and our H is the fastest kid in the school.

Again, I want to thank X&O labs for the opportunity to present this article to you. All the time, we as coaches are “stealing” concepts from one another to improve our programs. X&O Labs makes the process of “clinicing” so much easier and more efficient. This, in turn, allows us to be more efficient in what we do and that permits us to spend the much more valuable time with the truly important part of our lives, our families.

It is a great pleasure to reach out and help other coaches in our profession become better at what we do. Know that no scheme is going to ever win you a State Championship. It is the relationships you build with your players and the comradery and family atmosphere you build together as a team that will win you State Championships. 

Meet Coach Gumm: Justin Gumm is entering his 2nd season as the Head Football Coach, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator at South Beloit High School (IL). Prior to SBHS, Gumm served as the Offensive Coordinator at Jefferson High School and Hoopeston Area High School in Illinois. He also served on the same of Culver-Stockton College twice in 2011 and 2009 as well as spending a year at Truman State as an assistant.




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