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Matt Drinkall, Head Coach, Kansas Wesleyan University (KS)

THaving coached in multiple systems in multiple years, Kansas Wesleyan University Head Coach Matt Drinkall continually struggled with correlating concepts with communication. So he developed his own method that allows his gap scheme system to operate seamlessly between plays, players, and defensive fronts. It’s a communication system that utilizes one-word assignments and teaches defensive alignment by theory and has built-in answers for any front and pressure. In using this system, the KWU offense averaged 440 yards per game and 37 points per game last season and this gap series accounted for 13 of its 19 rushing TDs.


Matt Drinkall
Head Coach
Kansas Wesleyan University (KS)
Twitter: @DrinkallKWU



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Every offense is looking for effective and efficient ways to run the ball. A good gap system is a tremendous concept to carry because it facilities an offensive system in many ways. This report will detail the value and details of carrying a gap series, our base gap concepts, variations, and complimentary plays.

Why Gap Runs?

Our gap system is one of the most critical components to our offense. The reason I have chosen this package to detail in this article is because I believe any offense can incorporate this series and benefit from it. My favorite aspect of this play series is it is completely quantifiable. Each component of the play has easy measurements to determine correct vs incorrect. Our gap system facilitates an offense in a number of different ways:

  • Multiple personnel groups
  • Multiple formations
  • Easy to shift & motion to
  • Flexible to personnel
  • Fits most down & distance
  • Useful in any field zone
  • Excellent against movement
  • Easy to add variation to scheme
  • Outstanding for complimentary plays

Unique Teaching System

We have come up with a simple and all-encompassing way to teach our gap system to our players. I have coached in multiple systems and this is, far and away, the most effective and efficient means of communication and learning style. Our communication system totally simplifies assignments and removes the need for defensive recognition. Our system utilizes one-word assignments and teaches defensive alignment by theory. By coaching the system our way, we have built-in answers for any front we face. It has helped the most against 3-4 defenses that pressure and replace by dropping safeties into the box. It is an airtight, clean; concise manner of teaching that I am certain will be beneficial to your program.

There is a chain of events that takes place on these plays that happens like a domino effect. The Wham occurs, followed by the Wrap, followed by the ball carrier. "Wham-Wrap-Ball".

The Wham makes the block as perfect as possible. The Wrap makes the Wham correct. The ball carrier makes the Wrap correct.

This is the part I love most about this play series. Coaches have quantifiable data to provide feedback to the players every single time any Gap play is called. The players can then easily and rapidly apply their understanding of the chain of events as they relate to the coaching points.

As a result, there are only three scenarios that can occur each time a Gap play is run. The ball can go inside the Wham, and inside the Wrap. The ball can go outside the Wham and inside the Wrap. The ball can go outside the Wham and outside the Wrap. These three scenarios are illustrated below.

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  • The four base gap terms that Coach Drinkall uses which define every block in his gap scheme menu.
  • How these terms are tied into the play side double teams at the point of attack.
  • How these terms are tied into the back block of the Center.
  • How these terms are tied into the singe block of the backside Tackle
  • How these terms are tied into the kick out block and the wrap block at the point of attack.
  • Plus, game film on KWU’s gap schemes.

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This gap system is low-maintenance, and efficient ways to run the ball. This run concept is all-purpose and easily adjustable to any personnel, formation, and situation. The series gives every offense excellent complimentary plays needed to keep defenses honest while adding to the effectiveness of the base plays. It is my hope that you found some component of this information useful or thought provoking. I would like to thank X&O Labs for the opportunity to contribute to their mission. 

Meet Coach Drinkall: Coach Matt Drinkall just completed his fourth season as the Head Coach at Kansas Wesleyan University. He has guided the Coyotes to the three most successful seasons in school history (2015-2017), going 27-6 over the last three regular seasons.



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