Power, Trap or Counter?

We’re a small-school team that doesn’t have a whole lot of time to dedicate to any one aspect of the game. Last season we attempted to run trap and power but hit road blocks every time the front changed or didn’t look right (lots of bastard fronts at the indy level), someone showed blitz, or we had a starter go down.

To alleviate these issues, we decided to go with an all-zone scheme. It’s very simple for our players and if our OT has to move inside to OG or vice versa, there aren’t any new rules for him to learn. We run IZ, OZ, Dive-option, Speed option and a counter play. But you might ask why we don’t run power or trap like most other teams in America…

A true power play, to me, involves a FB taking on the DE, an OG wrapping from the backside, and a counter step from the RB who takes the ball and sneaks in behind the big OG. The issue for us with power is that our OG has to be reminded not to pull if a man lines up on or inside of him, our FB has to be able to take on a DE, and thus we have to have a true FB in, and depending on the front everything can change re our combo blocks.

The reason we didn’t go with trap is allowing a 3-tech to come in and make penetration is deadly for us if our OG misses the trap block. When the teams we play line up wrong and we get someone in the A and B gap, who do we trap? We often wound up not being able to trap at all when we saw ‘jailhouse’ blitzes (common) and had to be able to audible out of the play- another issue for our boys.

So we decided to go with a QB-Counter play. It looks like IZ or OZ in the sense that it’s a nice mesh-fake to the S-back, our OG will pull but he’s only responsible for kicking the DE, not wrapping and running up field, and the rest of our OL can combo which makes life easier. The OG should be able to pull because if there’s someone lined up over him, the S will replace and cut anyway. Thus, making QB Counter our preferred play. In the clip below, it’s not ran perfect because our PSOT walls off the DE instead of leaving him for the OG to kick but you can see the type of spacing it gives the QB against a far superior team athletically.