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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: Fourth Quarter


The Navy offense played exactly the type of game they needed to play last Saturday to come away with the win in South Bend. They controlled the ball, controlled the clock and the pace of play. They also had zero turnovers and zero penalties.

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Including the first play of the 4th quarter Navy converted four of seven drives for touchdowns. They were also a very efficient 4-4 on red zone possessions, coming away with touchdowns each time inside the red zone.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. Their third quarter drives (analysis here) produced one touchdown and one punt. Navy entered the 4th quarter trailing 24-20, but had the ball 3rd and Goal on the Notre Dame 4-yard line. Navy’s offense put themselves in a position to win the game in the 4th quarter.

3rd and Goal at the Notre Dame 4

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On their third down play Navy once again used a formational adjustment and aligned in Double Flex. Notre Dame compressed their defense to defend the play. Navy ran Zone Option, but blocked #1,#2 and #3 in the option count. The touchdown and resultant extra point gave Navy a 27-24 lead just four seconds into the 4th quarter.

Reynolds Kept the Zone Option for a Touchdown

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Navy’s next possession began with 12:51 remaining in the game and the Mids trailing 31-27. After a gain of five on first down and a loss of two on second down Navy faced a 3rd and 7 from their own 33 yard line. What Navy did here is run the one must in the play-action game, which was one of the first articles written once I got my site back.

Navy Ran the Post-Wheel Combination to the Short Side From Heavy Right on 3rd and 7

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So why was it successful? Recall the third quarter breakdown and play calling sequence. Navy ran six straight plays out of Heavy, and three of those five were Triple Option back to the short side. The quarterback read the 4-technique and inside linebacker for dive and pitch. The corner was being read as #3 (see below). 

Navy’s Triple Option Blocking Scheme to the Short Side of Heavy in the 3rd Quarter

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The play calling sequence from Ivin Jasper and resultant reactions from the defense adequately set up the play-action pass back to the short side of the formation; which includes identifying the corner as the defender responsible for pitch (see above).

Now scroll back up to view the diagram of the defensive alignment. Notice how tight the Cornerback is to the offensive formation. Can he play pitch and be responsible for pass? Once Keenan Reynolds snapped the ball, the Corner froze; reading the play. Exploiting dual responsibilities of secondary players is a vital component of understanding the Flexbone System

The Navy Receiving Threats Created a 2 on 1 Situation in the Secondary

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The Safety Stayed Deep with the Post, Leaving the Wheel Wide Open

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The pass was completed to Marcus Thomas for an 18 yard gain and a first down in Notre Dame territory. I’ve often called the play-action pass the 4th phase of the triple option. If your team can adequately exploit secondary players getting displaced to play the run game, your offense will become that much more effective as well as explosive.

Following the completion, a strong run on Midline by B-Back Chris Swain gave Navy a 2nd and 1 at the Notre Dame 40 yard line on the left hash. Navy lined up Double Flex and ran Zone Option to the field. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds was tackled in the backfield by the safety #28 Austin Collinsworth. After this play I sent the following tweet.

When is Play-Action Coming Again?

After a 3rd and 2 conversion by B-Back Quinton Singleton, the chains were moved and Navy had a 1st down at the Notre Dame 34 yard line. Ivin Jasper once again went play-action. 

Double Flex Alignment on 1st and 10 at the Notre Dame 34

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Notre Dame Secondary Reaction on the Triple Option Fake

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The Navy coaches once again manipulated the dual responsibilities of the secondary players. In this case they ran a corner route by the receiver and  flat route by the A-Back. Nobody covered the deep third, so Matt Aiken’s route was wide open. The throw and catch gave Navy a 34-31 lead with 8:55 to go.

Notre Dame drove 76 yards to take the lead once again at 38-34. After a tremendous kick return by Marcus Thomas, the Navy offense took the field with the ball at midfield with 3:38 to play. The high water mark for Navy on their final drive was the 31 yard line. A pair of miscues on the final plays ultimately ended Navy’s chances. What their execution and supreme utilization of the entire offense, they put themselves in a position to beat a Notre Dame team with better overall talent. What the Flexbone Offense does for you, is it gives your team a chance to compete. If you already have a good team, it gives you a chance to dominate.

The Flexbone Association is here to guide you to your goals as a football coach. Whether you are just starting out and looking to build your program, or you are an average team looking to take the next step to the playoffs, or perhaps you are a playoff contender who is looking for a chance to win the state championship; The Flexbone Association can help you get there.  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 Academyand Flexbone Association Campsare now more accessible than ever. Don’t be held back by what-ifs. Take control of your offense and your coaching future. Be a step ahead of the defense every week. Contact The Flexbone Association today! 

Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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One Comment on “Navy Breakdown Against Notre Dame: Fourth Quarter”

  1. Joe January 15, 2015 at 9:36 AM #

    Spent over 15+ hours scouring through your website and reading the various articles on the intricacies of the Flexbone. Absoutely love and enjoy the content put out. Amazing job!

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