“Does anyone know the plays at left tackle?” Like many small high schools, our junior varsity team often consists of whatever bodies are available. So, we play many junior varsity games with several starters playing ‘new’ positions. And more than a few of these guys are the same ones running laps for not paying attention during practice. So for obvious reasons our junior varsity playbook is pretty slim and most games we have to try to make our living running power and wedge. And while we aren’t exactly blessed with huge numbers in our program, we make up for it by not being blessed with an abundance of talent, speed or size.
So we usually find it tough to just line up and run right at the defense over and over and over each game. The truth is there are very few football teams at any level who can get away with just lining up and running right at the defense every down. You need to get creative and use some smoke and mirrors. You need to run some form of counter.
Whether you choose counter, counter criss-cross or reverse you are going to need quite a bit of practice time to perfect what is essentially a completely different scheme with completely different techniques. If you do not have the time, or perhaps the experience, then running ‘Power Opposite Motion’ may be the counter play for you. Or if you already have one or more counter plays installed this might allow you to add yet another counter play with minimal effort.
Running power opposite motion was an evolutionary process. We were a Wyatt terminology team using gap-down-backer as our main blocking scheme. When we first began running the Double Wing in 2004 we started with the basic power play (Rip 66 Super Power, above). Rip motion refers to the left wingback (A back) would go in orbit motion to the right, while the right wingback’s motion was referred to as LIZ motion.
Next we started running power without motion. The path of the A back changed a bit, as did the timing of the pitch by the quarterback, but neither proved problematic.
Then in time running a play opposite of motion seemed to be a good idea. I remember from my wing-t days wanting to run a play with the offensive guards pulling opposite the play. That play was a power sweep to the right where the C back would motion opposite the play and (Z131 Guards Opposite) both guards pulled left.
So that play was the inspiration that took us down the path toward our ‘Power Opposite Motion’. But, the first play we tried that went opposite motion was not actually power, but belly down (Liz 6G).
That play became a huge play for the junior varsity and the varsity soon thereafter. The success of our ‘Belly Opposite Motion’ eventually led us to try running a power play opposite of motion as well (Liz 66 Super Power). And of course, that would also become a staple play at both levels.
The hidden genius of this play is that you have NOTHING new to learn. The blocking scheme is the same as Power. The backfield action is the same as ‘no motion’ Power. Just the play side wing changes his job from sealing the 1st backer inside to showing motion away from the actual play. This makes it ideal for our junior varsity playbook and should make it a staple for anyone (youth or high school) who can use a counter play that installs instantly with no ‘learning curve’.
This play became so good for us that “No huddle” at the junior varsity games would be three plays called in the huddle: Rip 66 Super Power, Rip 66 Super Power, Rip 77 Super Power. The result was almost always the same: 5-6 yards, 5-6 yards, long touchdown run.
If you think you might like that play, here is another way we run ‘Power Opposite Motion’. In 2011 I joined a coaching staff at midseason to install the double wing. We ran very little on offense, making a living off of rocket toss (28 Rocket) and power.
A couple of weeks in and we started running power opposite of rocket motion (Rocket 47 Power).
The combination of the two plays worked better than I could have ever imagined. So well, in fact, that by the last game we ran nothing but rocket toss to the right and power opposite to the left. No need for mirroring as the defense was in conflict before the ball was snapped. As soon as they started cheating to take away one, the other went for a touchdown.
My current school, Somerset Berkley, is the only double wing team I have seen in my area running power opposite motion. All season long it was a big hitter for us as the highlights will show. We ran it on the first play of the season and it went 59 yards for a touchdown.
The main argument against running the play some coaches have brought to me is that you are losing the block by sending the wing back in motion away from the play. Well, you will see for yourself that usually three or more defenders will react to the motioning back. I don’t know about you, but I will happily exchange three defenders for my one back.
I would like to thank Coach JJ for giving me the opportunity to write yet another article. If anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit my website at www.coachesturf.com.