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Countering from the Wing Bone.

A versatile series that can blunt defensive aggressiveness and run up gains to the weak side

The Wing Bone offense offers a unique combination of wishbone and Wing-T philosophy, with an unbalanced line that strengthens the offense and provides the deception and counterattack effect needed to balance out an option-type attack.

Over the years, we have been able to stretch the defense both horizontally and vertically with our three basic series: option, counter (or misdirection), and power (goal line).

The option and power series helps set up the counter series, which is designed to slow down the fast-flowing LBs and blunt the effectiveness of the defensive line.

The unbalanced line and slid-over backfield facilitate the trap blocks by the strongside guard and tackle, and aid the attack vs the weak side. They also enable the offensive line to slide the nose guard to one side or the other and to make the LBs move over, slowing their flow to the backside.

The quickside plays in the counter series include the fullback counter, Z-back counter, quarterback counter, tailback counter, tailback counter toss, and quarterback counter option.

These plays, with four different ball-carriers, give this attack its versatility. The omnipresent strongside threat affords the deception and counterbalance needed to run up substantial gains back to the quickside.


Next to the fullback dive, this may be the best play in football. It is, first, a quick-developing trap-type play that catches the LBs off guard and doesn't give the defensive line time to react and get into position to stop the play.

Second, it gives a fullback with quick feet a chance to cut back and use misdirection to advantage.

Three, it is simple to teach because it develops in a short span of time and space.

The fullback has to be patient and run with his head up in order to see the blocking develop in front of him. He must then quickly slide into the opening and make a cut-back, if necessary.

The fullback must also read the defender before the snap. But he must be careful not to let his eyes telegraph the direction of the play. Good LBs look for small miscues like that. The fullback must also be careful to protect the ball when he cuts - not change the ball from arm to arm.

Unlike the fullback dive, where he runs straight ahead with the ball covered up in the arms, the fullback must counter-step forward and push off his outside foot on his first cut - meanwhile looking for a blitzing LB.

To sell the play, the quarterback must accelerate toward the DE, as if running the option or QB keep. This will help make the fullback's counter more effective.

This type of quick-hitting counter causes problems because the defense cannot react quickly enough to good fakes, and its over-aggressiveness leads to mistakes.

Coaching tips: On balanced formations, you can pull the strongside guard rather than the tackle, producing a very quick FB counter trap. This works well against fast-flowing LBs, especially middle-LB types.

The fullback must get his helmet on the pulling guard's rear and make his cut off the guard's block.


The old halfback crossbuck works well against a defense that is keying the fullback in the option series, particularly a high school defense with a middle LB.

For this counter to work well, the fullback must fake well and dent the LOS as if he were the ball-carrier. The QB must make a quick but solid fake to the fullback, then pivot and give the ball to the Z-back as deeply as possible - enabling the Z to read the block.

The Z-back must take a lead step, cross-over, and then plant his foot and push off toward the trapping area.

The Z-counter must look just like an option play for it to be effective. The Z should take a step forward, then pivot and take the QB handoff and follow his lead blocker, looking for the first opening over center.

The counter can be very productive, even if you run it only a few times a game. You don't want to run it as frequently as the tailback plays. You have to set the stage for it. But when executed properly and called at the right time, it can give you great results.

Coaching tips: The play takes good timing and lots of repetitions. You can pull the strongside G in the balanced formation or the strongside T in the over formation to make the play more effective.

It works extremely well in the wing formation because the defense will normally be spread, giving the Z a better chance to run to the backside of the formation. You must caution the Z not to stretch the play out wide, but to follow the puller up inside.


This play allows the QB to handle the ball in a solid yet deceptive trap play. It can demoralize any defense that keys the tailback or any other back to the neglect of the QB.

The QB counter is the simplest of the counters because it involves no handoffs which makes it a very good play in inclement weather.

In order to have any chance for success, the Counter Keep must start out like the beginning of the strongside option series. The QB fakes to the fullback, who must again dent the LOS. The QB then reverse-pivots and reads the G or T, depending upon the defensive set.

The QB must follow the puller, looking for a chance to cut outside and down the sideline.

We will run the play wider if we feel it will work better against the defense, though it may need a few minor adjustments in the blocking.

Though the QB counter trap can capitalize on a good running QB, it can, with the use of deception, enable a slower QB to pick up plus yardage in critical situations. The QB must fake well and be patient for the play to work.

Coaching tips: The QB must delay his fake for a split-second to allow the pulling lineman to get into position for his block. The play will work well if it is set up properly and the QB does a good job of faking.

As with all counters, the footwork is very important and requires a lot of repetitions in practice. The better the concealment of the ball, the greater will be the chances of success. You must remind the QB to work on his deception.


A very good misdirection play for the tailback. A good fake to the fullback will help pull in the defense and allow the TB to counter back to the quickside.

With good pulling and trapping techniques, counter trap blocking can exploit the defense. The QB and TB must make the defense believe that an off-tackle TB blast is in progress.

The QB must make a quick jab-step fake to the FB, while the TB counter-steps and follows the trapping strongside guard into the hole. He must turn north and south as quickly as possible in order to gain positive yardage.


This quickside outside option play reverses the assignments of the tailback and Z-back. The TB becomes the lead blocker and the Z-back the pitch man.

The QB counter option helps defeat the DE who starts closing down hard on our quickside plays. The QB uses the same kind of pitch read and basic techniques as he does for our strongside option play.

He makes a quick jab-step fake to the FB, reverse-pivots, and looks quickly for the DE - ready to pitch the ball very quickly to the quickside. The QB counter option helps give us balance to the quickside.


This is our misdirection sweep to the quickside, which again is set up by the counter movement of the FB and QB. It is a quick outside pitch that is very effective to the short side of the formation.

The TB executes a quick jab step and head-shoulder fake toward the strongside and then pushes off with his strongside foot. He looks for the ball immediately as the QB is making a quick fake to the FB.

In one fluid motion, the QB tosses to the TB - leading him with a chest-high toss.

The TB must always look the ball into his hands before fixing his vision upfield.
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Title Annotation:offensive plays of the Baxter Springs Middle School football team
Author:Mallatt, Johnny N.
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Date:Aug 1, 1998
Previous Article:Taking it to the 'Net.
Next Article:A four-in-a-row man-to-man press-breaker.

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