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By Jay Wilkinson

Offensive Coordinator

Broken Arrow High School

If you are at all like me, after a few weeks of running the base plays of your offense, you have to be itching to add something that can create a big play and bring a little new life to your offense. These concepts can give you a chance to steal points and create mismatches all over the field, but they also can derail your practices and distract your team from what you do well. In order to keep avoid the potential negatives of special plays and formations, consider the following questions.

  • How much teaching / practice time will be needed? Is it worth it?
  • Can it be used against multiple teams or is it only for a specific opponent?
  • Success Rate vs. Turnover Rate.
  • Are you willing to ACTUALLY call it in a game?
  • Does the play come off of something we already do?
  • When / in what situation are we going to call it?

More Than Gimmicks

Too often coaches make trick plays far too difficult. The fact is, you can get the same impact without having to add a whole new concept into your offense. There are a variety of ways that you can throw a curve ball and they don’t all require an entirely new play. One such way is by using formations. Here is why:
  • Defensive rules are based on formations.
  • One small change and the D could be thrown out of position or forced to play vanilla.
  • Formations are easier to install and allow you to still stick with your offensive philosophy.
Here are a few ways we use formations to stress opponents:

Utilizing the Bunch Formation

One formation that is simple but presents real problems for a defense is the bunch formation. Teams that already run 10 or 11 personnel groups can realize the following advantages by adding this formation:
  • Great Strong Side Running Formation.
  • 1 on 1 Passing on the Back Side.
  • Defense has alignment problems.
  • Very little new teaching involved.
  • New Dimension – Shotgun, Empty.

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Here are some of the ways we change our bunch formation to stress defenses.

Trick Plays

Each trick play we use…
  • Is connected to our base plays.
  • Is installed just like any other play.
  • Is complimentary to offensive philosophy.

What is your favorite Mid-Season add?

Share your best trick play or formation adjustment that you use to "steal points" in the comments section below.




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