What do you get when a math teacher who is also a HOF coach is responsible for your field goal unit? Your get an unblockable extra point and field goal formation that is based on science. See what he did...
By Terry Kent
Offensive Coordinator & Offensive Line
Downers Grove South High School (IL)
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One of the great joys of watching the college bowl season every year is to see what new and innovative ideas college coaches come up with during the time leading up to their games. The unbalanced extra point is one of these ideas. As a retired math teacher, I was intrigued by the angles and distances the formation creates and how difficult a block would be, assuming the snap, hold, and kick are on time. If the fastest 10 yd time in the NFL Combine is 1.4 seconds, then no one should be able to block our kick, if everyone does their job correctly.
We have been very fortunate at Downers Grove South to have had many talented long snappers. In the event of a mishandled snap, the holder yells “Fire.” This tells the line to stay on their blocks. Both wings and the WE release as shown in the diagram. The SE does not release, but the defense still has to account for him with their man coverage.
The Holder will roll to his right and attempt to either run the ball in or throw to a receiver. Often times, the backside receiver (WE) is uncovered due to the flow of the defense. We tell the Holder to always try to throw the ball on a PAT, since the defense cannot advance an interception on the PAT. He is coached to be more careful on a Field Goal. The Kicker will attempt to lead the Holder.
By using the Pythagorean Theorem, anyone with some knowledge of geometry can calculate the distance that a rusher needs to cover to block a kick. This varies between 8.6 and 9 yards, as compared with 8 yards in the traditional balanced alignment.
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- How Coach Kent correlates the footwork of the offensive line and wings to prevent any leakage in interior gaps.
- How using a “swinging gate” block progression helps against block teams that will rush from the unbalanced side.
- How the alignment changes when the ball is on the hash
- Plus game film on this concept.
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The options available for the PAT team are up to the imagination of the coaching staff. We did convert three 2- point conversions off of the swinging gate last year. The unbalanced Extra Point is a sound way to attack a defense and convert points. It is virtually unstoppable, if everyone on the unit does their job.
Meet Coach Kent: Terry Kent is a 1974 graduate of Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. Upon graduation, he became the Head Football Coach at Fall River H.S. in Fall River, WI. Since then he has coached football at Westmont H.S., Downers Grove North H.S., North Central College, and Downers Grove South H.S., winning the first 8A Illinois State Championship in football in 2001. He was inducted into the Illinois High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010. He is currently the Offensive Coordinator / O-Line Coach at Downers Grove South and is responsible for the Field Goal / Extra Point Team.