Utilizing the H-Back in Zone Schemes

Jan 20, 2013 | Run Game Mechanics, Tight Ends, Position Groups

By Stephen Rice Head Coach Richton High School (MS)

Editor’s Note:  Coach Rice is entering his fourth season as head coach at Richton High School.  Richton is currently coming off an 8-4 season, which was its first winning season since before 2004.  Coach Rice had completed a five game swing from last season, when Richton finished 3-8.

We are a run first pass second concept team. We run the ball almost twice as much as we pass it yet we do throw it enough to keep teams honest. We run the spread formation with a Nasty Slot or H-Back. I feel this gives us a chance to spread people out but at the same time gives us an extra blocker in the Box. Most nights we are playing teams that have better athletes when we step on the field, but believe this formation gives us the best chance to be competitive. We use multiple shifts and motions to try and gain an edge.

 Like most spread teams we use the inside and outside zone as our base run plays. As with most of us, the simplicity of running the zone and the lanes created by being in the spread formation are very conducive for us. The key for us is the H-Back. Most times this kid would be a fullback in traditional offense such as the I or Wing. He must be physical at the point of contact, but also must be able to move because he will be pulling and used in our play action and passing game.



H-Back Lead Zone

This is a basic zone concept but we use the H-Back to Zone up on the play side Linebacker We have two foot splits and our H-Back lines up splitting the stance of the Guard and Tackle. On the snap of the ball he leads up into the play side gap to the first second level linebacker that shows up. Our offensive linemen block the normal and traditional zone concept. They are responsible for the gap to the playside. (Diagram 1):