Joining the Outside the Huddle in 2021 as a contributor in is former Manchester University head football coach Shannon Griffith. A product of Northrop High School where he started three years at quarterback, Griffith brings a wealth of coaching and playing experience to OTH. Prior to being a head coach, Griffith served as an assistant at Northwood University and Ball State University, where he was a three-year letter winner for the Cardinals. Griffith now serves as Manchester’s director of development and you can hear him on Friday nights as part of 1380 The Fan’s coverage of high school football.
The inside zone and outside zone plays have dominated the playbooks of high school, college, and pro teams over the last decade.
While I am in favor of these run plays, there comes a time where you need to have something in your playbook that you can “hang your hat on.”
For me this is the “Power” play, a safe call that can be run against any defense in any situation.
Among those situations are short yardage and goal line. I have seen too many teams try to run the inside zone play in these situations and lose yardage because they expose gaps that linebackers can run through.
The basic philosophy of the power play is to block down and kick out. Blocking down is essentially securing the gap near and inside. It also creates a “double team” at the point of attack. I feel two teams run this play perfectly and are a stable in their offenses – Homestead and Snider. They both rely on Power in their offenses to get the tough yards in any situation.
Thanks to Homestead for providing a couple of clips to illustrate the effectiveness of this run play.
In this first clip, Homestead arcs the left tackle for the outside linebacker and the H-back kicks out the defensive end, thus creating perfect angles for the blockers. The double team is between the left guard and center, with the right guard pulling for the inside linebacker. The key to this play is the patience of the running back with his primary rule to stay behind the pulling guard and making his path between the frontside and backside A gap.
Clip 2 shows this play with a single-back approach with a built in RPO (Run Pass Option). The quarterback will read the defensive end to the side the play is going. The defensive end is over the tight end, who arc blocks. The same double-team principal is then used by the right guard and tackle on the defensive tackle while the left guard is the puller looking for the inside linebacker or free safety.
As shown, the Power play can be run out of a variety of formations and personnel groupings, making it a favorite of spread offenses. When you need the tough yards or simply want a play to get you five yards, the Power play was my go to as a coach.
Coach’s Corner appears every week during the prep football season. These opinions represent those of the writer. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers.