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By Dallan Rupp, Head Coach, New Plymouth High School (ID)

With two solid running backs and a quarterback who was a dual threat, it was a no-brainer for New Plymouth High School (ID) head coach Dallan Rupp to design his RPOs out of his 20 personnel grouping. With no pre-determined formation strength, it allows him to utilize run concepts to either side of the formation and always have an answer based on our quarterback’s pre-snap alignment reads of the defense. In this exclusive clinic report, Coach Rupp details the backside pass tags he’ll use to complement his top three run concepts in his RPOs from 20 personnel. Read the report.


By Dallan Rupp
Head Coach
New Plymouth High School (ID)
Twitter: @DallanRupp


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This past year we felt we had two good running backs who could carry the ball and a quarterback who was a dual threat and had the ability to make decisions within the game. We added a 20 personnel shotgun split backs formation to our offense which we call our pro formation. Out of this formation, we developed a run/pass option play in which we could run an outside zone and combine it with some backside receiver option routes. We like this formation because we feel like we can run the outside zone to either side of the formation and have a good run play based on our quarterback’s pre-snap alignment reads, but also have a backside throw possibility off our receiver’s pre-snap alignment read of the defense. We feel as if this play will then open the field even more for our offense because we have several complimentary plays that we can go to off this base play to take advantage of the way the defense plays it.


Outside Zone Post/Go RPO:
The outside zone is not our best run play but the action of the outside zone gets the defense to move horizontally opening up space on the backside of the run play.  The outside receivers (X & Y) are reading the alignment of the cornerback to determine their route. They make the decision on what route they are running, and they communicate their route to the quarterback and the Z receiver. We want to run the post, but if we have a corner who is playing heavy to the inside (2 to 3 yards or more) with off coverage (5 yards or more) then he will run the go route.

It is the same read versus press coverage, which we don’t see much of, but because he is tighter we can now say that if he is playing your inside shoulder run the go/fade otherwise run the post. The receivers must also consider the flow of the game as they make their decision. An example of this would be if a cornerback is continuously playing 3 yards inside and we have ran the go several times already, it would be smart to mix things up and run a post. The importance of good route running comes into play in order to be able to do this. The receiver must be good at setting up his defender.

Defensive Answers:
What we liked most about this formation RPO combo was that we felt like we had good answers for what defenses would throw at us.

The first defensive adjustment that most defenses will throw at us is to blitz. We feel like this allows us to do more rather than less. With back side edge pressure the defense is trying to get to our QB before he can get the throw off.

No Pressure:
The power read and the Q counter are good plays against a defense that hangs back and protects against pass plays. These two plays are our two best running plays so we will run them versus outside blitz pressures as well. If we are getting edge pressure, we will hit it right back up the middle.

Power Read:


Our power blocking assignments/rules are as follows:

PST: If PSG is covered, drive man on down lineman covering PSG. If PSG is uncovered and C and is covered, down block. If PSG and C is covered, down block.

PSG: If PSG is covered, post man on down lineman covering you. If C covered, down block. If PSG and C covered, down block.

C: Block first down lineman back side.

BSG: Skip pull and wrap to PSLB inside number

BST: Protect B gap. No one should run through it. If there is no one then hinge and block next man out.

FB: Leave the EMOLS, lead to the OLB. The TB is reading your block kick him out or reach him.

Q Counter:


Our counter blocking assignments/rules are as follows:

PST: If PSG is covered, drive man on down lineman covering PSG. If PSG is uncovered and C and is covered, down block. If PSG and C is covered, down block.

PSG: If PSG is covered, post man on down lineman covering you. If C covered, down block. If PSG and C covered, down block.

C: Block first down lineman back side.

BSG: Pull and kick EMOLS or the 1st man past double team. Turn up field if no one is there.

BST: Wrap to play side Linebacker’s inside number.

FB: Block the OLB coming off the edge.

TB: Carry out the fake to the back side end. The block on the end is more important than the fake. He cannot allow the end to chase the QB.

Continue to the full-length version of this report…

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  • Which route concepts Coach Rupp is tagging to his outside zone RPO and how he teaches his receivers to adjust their routes based of the alignment of the defensive backs.
  • How receivers will communicate route adjustments with the quarterback against potential weak side pressure.
  • What Coach Rupp does to adjust against potential play side pressure when the outside zone concept is called.
  • Plus game film on all these concepts.

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Running RPOs in high school football does not have to be complicated. We try to keep things simple for our players. When it comes to RPOs, we pick a few concepts to focus on for the year and these concepts use similar reads so that we can spend the necessary practice time to become good at executing them. Probably the most important factor to keeping RPOs simple is not putting too much on our quarterback’s plate. He needs to be confident in his decisions. When we call an RPO play our quarterback gives the play to the line, checks the receiver’s route, and then finds his free safety to read. The only decision he must make is based off reading the free safety. I feel it is an easy read because of the amount of space the free safety plays in. The same goes for our receivers. To keep their decision simple, we tell them that they only base their route off the alignment of the cornerback. The receiver will get the play call from the sideline, line up and check the alignment of the cornerback, clearly communicate the route to the quarterback, and finish with a good route. We want him to be confident in his route choice so that he can focus on executing a good route that gets him open.


Meet Coach Rupp: Dallen Rupp has been the Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator at New Plymouth High School for 4 years. His squad has reached the 2A state playoffs each of his 4 seasons at New Plymouth. They have also won the conference championship 2 of the 4 years, most recently being in 2016. Rupp was born and raised on a small town Idaho farm. He married his high school sweetheart and has 4 daughters who help keep him grounded. 



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