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By Coach Matt Burleson, Head Football Coach, Telfair County HS (GA)

The viability of a running QB produces a numbers advantage for offenses and using them from Empty sets helps to produce vanilla-like run boxes presented by the defense. Matt Burleson, the head coach at Telfair County High School (GA), details the QB trap and QB dive schemes he’ll use against five and six man boxes. Last season, Telfair’s QBs ran for nearly 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns just on these two concepts alone. Both are inexpensive concepts that are already part of his offensive play menu in other personnel groupings. Read the report here.


By Coach Matt Burleson
Head Football Coach
Telfair County HS (GA)

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At Telfair County High School we are a shotgun, no-huddle offense. We will run a good amount of inside zone and jet sweep with the various passes off of each concept. Our personal philosophy about being in the shotgun is our quarterbacks have to be able to run the ball. They don’t have to be game breakers, but they do need to make the defense account for them in the run game.  This past season our quarterback, who runs in the high 4.7s, rushed for nearly 700 yards and 12 touchdowns.

One of our favorite ways to get our quarterback the ball is in our Empty formations. We have several different ways to get to an empty formation, but we feel this is a great way to thin out the middle of the defense. We can do this with our without our jet action, but we have two main variations that we use to run the quarterback up the middle to keep the linebackers honest and keep those chains moving: the dive and the trap. As you will see it is essentially the same play for our quarterback and it doesn’t cost us anything extra with our lineman as we already run these variations with our running back.  This approach is simple, but effective.

When we arrived here four years ago we were a Hybrid Double Wing offense primarily under center. Everything was built around the Jet and Rocket Sweep. Just as in every offense, you have complimentary run and pass plays off your bread and butter; ours at the time were play action pass, fullback dive and trap. As we have moved more towards exclusive shotgun formations we felt our complimentary run plays needed to change a bit for our jet sweep. In turn, we added the quarterback dive and trap. Year two, our quarterback was more of a pocket passer, but we would run him 3-5 times a game off of our jet sweep just to keep the defense honest. The young man was actually fairly successful when his number was called (averaging 6.8 yards a carry) and it made our jet sweep more effective. Years 3 and 4, we have been fortunate to have more athletic quarterbacks so we have been able to be more frequent with the QB Dive and Trap and with much success. In fact, our two quarterbacks combined for nearly 1000 yards this year off these two plays. In our playoff game, we rushed for over 300 yards with 200 coming from our quarterbacks.

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• Details of Coach Burleson’s QB Trap concept, including blocking rules vs. five and six man run boxes.
• Details of Coach Burleson’s QB Dive concept, including blocking rules vs. five and six man run boxes.
• Plus game film on both these concepts

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No matter what type of offense you employ to fit your program, don’t forget to utilize your quarterback, especially if you utilize the shotgun formation. He doesn’t even have to be a burner, but he can get you those tough yards on 3rd down or even put you into a more manageable 3rd down situation. As we have found through experience it will improve your bread and butter plays by forcing the defense to account for that 6th skill guy. Keep those chains moving!

Meet Coach Matt Burleson: Coach Burleson has been the Head Coach at Telfair County High school for 4 seasons.  In the three years prior to his arrival, Telfair was 1-19 averaging 4pts per game.  The past four seasons they have been 21-20 with the first playoff trip in 11 years while averaging 28pts per game in Class A Region 2 which features a State Finalist or Champion nearly every season. 



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