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Founder and Owner of the Flexbone Association. Since 2007 we have provided the tools necessary for teams to succeed running the Flexbone Association System. Over the last ten years over 200 teams have been instructed by the Flexbone Association. I've consulted with teams and or run camps everywhere from Belfair, WA to Key West, FL. The Flexbone Association strives daily to help coaches succeed with this time tested offense, I have been a football coach for 16 seasons, currently at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, GA I played at St. Mary's Springs High School in Fond du Lac, WI under legendary head coach Bob Hyland. I've been fortunate to be part of five state championship teams (1997,1998,2002,2011,2012). In 2011-2012 St. Mary's Springs led the state of Wisconsin in scoring and set consecutive school records for points scored, Psalm 27

Navy Breakdown Against Notre Dame: Third Quarter


Navy fought Notre Dame tooth and nail for four quarters on Saturday. They came up on the short end of a 38-34 contest as their final drive stalled in Notre Dame territory. Navy’s offense proved to be efficient in the first half. Their two first quarter drives (analysis here) produced a touchdown and a punt. Their second quarter drives (analysis here) netted two touchdowns and a turnover on downs as the half ended. Navy’s offense produced points on three of five first half drives. The Mids entered the locker room with a 20-17 lead.

Navy First Half Drive Chart

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Fortunately the Mids were also the recipients of the kickoff to start the second half. Navy quickly found itself with a 3rd and 7 at their own 27 yard line. Navy lined up in Double Flex and ran Triple Option to the field. 

Triple Option to the Field on 3rd and 7

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Navy unleashed yet another blocking scheme on the Navy defense. In order to ensure the Mike-Backer is blocked they had the receiver, in this case Matt Aiken, load the Mike, over the read. The offensive tackle Bradyn Heap veer released for the Mike under the read. No matter the reaction of the Mike-Backer he was going to be blocked. Ensuring defenders are blocked by using the over/under concept is crucial for understanding the offense. Everyone else’s blocking assignments remained the same. 

WR Loads the Mike – Reynolds Correctly Pitches Off #2

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Aiken was able to block the Mike-Backer, Reynolds correctly reads the play and gets the ball pitched to Demond Brown for a 13 yard gain and a first down on the 40 yard line. This drive faltered on the next set of downs as Navy got themselves behind the sticks with a loss of six on first down. Navy was forced to punt the ball away. 

Navy went back on offense again with 6:18 left in the 3rd quarter, now trailing Notre Dame 24-20. After a quick 13-yard gain Navy moved the ball to their own 38 yard line. Navy lined up in Double Flex again. 

Aligned in Double Flex on Their Own 38 Yard Line (Triple Option Count in Red)

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Navy once again used a load scheme with the receiver on triple option. The playside A-Back blocked #3. The load scheme was required and used at this point in the game against Notre Dame’s 4-3 defense because the Mike-Backer was playing triple option inside out. In other words he was playing B-Back to Quarterback. If Navy’s tackles were unsuccessful veer releasing the 4/5, the Mike-Backer would be unblocked to the Quarterback. They couldn’t use the SLIP call because the Mike was a B-gap threat. He wasn’t running over the top for the Quarterback; therefore the guard would not be able to base the 2-technique and thus allow the tackle to loop release the 4-technique. Consequently the load scheme has to be used. The play resulted in an 8 yard gain to the 46 yard line.

Reynolds Accurately Parallel Pitches Off #2

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On Navy’s next snap they lined up again in Double Flex. Notre Dame moved their safeties up to 7 yards and slid their corners in. Navy had leverage on the outside to run Rocket Toss. The key coaching point on Toss is that the ball has to be pitched wide enough. We aim for three yards outside the slot. Anything tighter will allow the defense to easily chase the ball down.

Navy Aligned to Double Flex To (Runs Rocket Toss)

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If you notice where the kickoff circle is in the center of the field, that circle is roughly 1-2 yards outside the playside slot. For Reynolds to pitch the ball wide enough the ball should be pitched outside that circle on this particular play.

Pitch Width on Rocket Toss

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The above picture shows that the ball was indeed pitched wide enough. Rocket Toss fails if the ball is pitched too tight. Wide Receiver #81 Brandon Dudeck turned the outside linebacker out who flowed quickly to contain the toss. The playside A-Back Marcus Thomas and playside tackle Brandon Greene accurately blocked level two and level three defenders. The play resulted in an 8 yard gain and a first down in Notre Dame territory.

Three plays later Navy’s offense encountered a 4th and 4 situation on Notre Dame’s 40 yard line. Would you have the courage to run midline on 4th and 4? Navy lined up in Heavy Left, likely to try to get Notre Dame to put a three technique on the heavy side, and called 11 (Midline Left). 

Navy Ran Midline Out of Heavy on 4th and 4

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Notre Dame aligned in a defensive front that allowed Navy to stick with the play called. A good read by Reynolds and a great individual effort by B-Back Chris Swain gave Navy a 10 yard gain and a first down at the Notre Dame 30. This is the first time Navy aligned in Heavy since the goaline play in the second quarter. Lining up in Heavy against a 4-down front will almost always give you a 3-technique to the Heavy side unless they line up 1-5-9 to Heavy and 3-5 to the weak side.

Following the first down run on 4th and 4, Navy proceeded to run five straight plays out of Heavy. Three of those five plays were Triple Option back to the short side. As the quarter ended Navy was left with a 3rd and Goal situation at the Notre Dame 4 yard line.

Triple Option to Short Side of Heavy

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There are numerous advantages for Navy to run Triple Option to the short side of Heavy in this situation. First it breaks the tendency to run to the Heavy side. It also keeps the Notre Dame defense honest back to the short side, thus likely setting up the ability to run back to the Heavy side on the goalline or on their next series. It also gives them a very short edge to get the ball pitched. The play can’t really get strung out if the reads are happening quickly to the short side. 

Triple Option Blocking to Short Side of Heavy

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Although Navy didn’t technically score in the 3rd quarter, they did drive the ball over 6:00 minutes on their final drive and put themselves in a position to score on the first play of the 4th quarter. In the quarter they ran 18 plays and covered 93 yards. Navy continued to change blocking assignments on Triple Option keeping Notre Dame on their heels. They aligned in Heavy and ran to both sides of the formation, which didn’t give Notre Dame a indicative key to their intentions. Navy put themselves in the position they wanted to be in going into the 4th quarter; they had a chance to win.

The Flexbone Association is here to guide you to your goals as a football coach. You will begin to see the Flexbone Offense as a system based attack that will give you a chance to move the ball on anyone. To serve our clients going forward, our products (Flexbone Association Academy, and Flexbone Association Camps) are now more accessible than ever. Don’t be held back by what-ifs. Contact The Flexbone Association today! Check back for the 4th quarter analysis tomorrow.

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