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By Dan Ellis

X&O Labs Columnist

Dan Ellis, X&O Labs Columnist and Head Coach at West Chester East High School (PA)

Editor’s Note: Please welcome Dan Ellis to the X&O Labs team. Coach Ellis will serve as our monthly columnist focusing on offensive schemes that just flat out move the ball.  We are excited to have Coach Ellis on board.  His previous reports featured on www.xandolabs.com have been some of the most read and commented articles in X&O Labs history.  Ellis is the former record-setting quarterback at Virginia and currently serves as the Head Football Coach at West Chester East High School (PA).  And one of the best things about Coach Ellis is that he takes the time to answer any and all questions asked. So, if you have any questions after reading his column, just post it in the comments section below this report and Coach will respond shortly.

When playing against odd front teams, we want to attack the guard bubbles.  We will run our zone schemes as our bread and butter, but our big chunk running play against the odd front is our Georgia scheme that attacks the alley.  Georgia is a scheme similar to Wing-T Buck Sweep that we run out of a 3x1 set.  We can motion to it, shift to it, line up in it; we need to be in some form of 3x1.  Our basic rules are as follows:

PST: Gap, LB

PSG: 1st LB outside the box

C: Zone to call

BSG: Zone to call

BST: Zone to call

F: First LB inside the box. If he disappears, continue to the next LB

Y: Pin first lineman outside the PST, do not let penetration up field

X/Z: Stalk

H: Lateral step, 2nd step to the center. Flatten out and read the block of pulling guard. Pistol – lateral step, press B gap, then bounce and follow guard.

Out of the gun we ask our H to take his inside zone steps for his first two steps (lateral step to QB, then step to the butt of the center).  He will then flatten out and follow the guard, reading his block.  The QB will read the back-side defensive end (diagram 1)

On the back-side, we chose to run it like a zone scheme since we are a predominantly zone team and because we liked zoning the nose in the odd front, rather than singling the center (our weakest lineman) on him.

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We will also run this play out of pistol and it will get more of a power look from the H.  We ask him to press the hole and make it look like power, which we will run a lot against an odd front look.  Pressing the B gap keeps the LB’s from flying out of the box (diagram 2).

I commonly get asked some questions about the scheme.  A few of which I answered below.

Question 1: What Type of Personnel Do We Use?

We are largely a four wide offense.  Our Y is the biggest of our receivers – he is a tight end/fullback type of player.  For us, we have few players who fit the mold of a true tight end/fullback.  Some of our younger players will develop into that, and we will adjust accordingly.  We did use a personnel grouping where we put the Y in the backfield as a fullback and ran the play with success as well (diagram 5).  In this set, the Y will work to capture the outside shoulder of the defensive end.  This also marries up with our version of power, except the Y would be kicking out the defensive end. 

Coach Ellis' Column Continues Below...

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Continued From Above...

Question 2: How Often Do We Run This Play?

As I stated earlier, our bread and butter is our inside and outside zone schemes.  We also have run a good amount of power.  This scheme has been good for us anywhere from 3-5 times a game.  We do not rely on this play to get us down the field, but we run it as a big play in our running game.  We set it up with inside zone and power and then we try to sneak it in there for big yards.

We have also tried to run it in short yardage as an occasional change up, depending on the front that we get.  Power is a big short yardage play for us out of a tight formation, so again, setting this play up in short yardage is key.  The key coaching point in short yardage is for the Y and F to block the first player inside of them (diagram 6).  Also, the center must try to reach an A gap defender to cut him off. 

Our Georgia scheme has been a tremendous asset and a big hitter for us.  If you set it up with either inside zone or power, you can sneak it in as a big play in the running game.  This scheme also has the added benefit of an additional running play with little new in the way of teaching because back-side we are zoning and front side it is essentially our power play except for the pulling guard.  It’s can be a great addition to your playbook!

Questions or Comments? Post your questions or comments below and Coach Ellis will respond shortly.

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