Passing Out of the Single Wing Offense

Written by Dave on May 7th, 2007

The Single Wing Offense is known by many as a very powerful and deceptive run based offense. It can be just as effective as a passing offense as well if you have the personnel.


Many Single Wing teams throw the ball well and often. Osborne High School in Virginia won its first State Title in 2006 with a Single Wing offense that was about 50% run and 50% pass and since they had quite a bit of speed, they ran some jet series based plays out of their Single Wing. Ken Hofer�s Menominee Michigan High School won a State Title in 2006 with an attack that often relied on the pass to open games up and threw about 35% of the time.

My youth teams throw when we have the players that can consistently throw and catch well. We have often had very good throwers and poor receivers, we on occasion have had a good receiver and a poor thrower, and rarely did we have a team that had consistent players at both positions. When we did like in 2003, the combination was very effective. We threw 4 different pass plays and on just one of these plays we were 15-20 for 11 TDs, a quite enviable percentage for any team. While we may have not thrown as much as some teams, we led the league in COMPLETIONS and TDs. Attempts should mean nothing to your team, completions and TDs are the measuring stick. In 2005 we again led our league in COMPLETIONS and TDs in spite of having spotty receiving strength. We even put in a spread set with a “Coverdale” mesh passing series to take advantage of some speed we had at QB/Tailback and to get a few more throws in. In 2006 we added in our �waggle� pass off of our “mouse” or tailback ” spin”, “T” series, this is the best play from the Wing T offense that is now at our disposal. We had excellent success with that play; it was open every time we ran it.

In the Single Wing your “QB” is already away from the line of scrimmage, he has 2-3 steps on the defense from his “shotgun” position. You can throw lots of play action passes out of the base set, with a very effective running game, the defenders will tire of seeing your offense get its 5-6 yards every snap and start crowding the line of scrimmage or start reacting very aggressively to run plays. This makes for very wide open receivers when you do decide to pass. Our passing attack includes the waggle and the mainstay of many Single Wing teams, the sweep pass option. Is it a sweep or is it a pass? Only the “QB/TB” knows for sure. In 2006 we scored 5 times on that play and our WB dropped another 8 sure wide open TDs, it was very frustrating to say the least. All of these plays and series are in your book.

If you want to isolate receivers to get one on one matchups, it’s very simple to do, split receivers to both sides or go twins or trips or do like we do on our “Mesh” series and motion the weakside wing to trips on the strong side. We like to throw a few times out of this set then come back with a few of our base running plays like the trap, wedge, power or sweep. It keeps the defense off balance. As you can see, the Single Wing is flexible enough to take advantage of whatever personnel strengths your team has. The mesh series in in your book also.

Again, only do this if you definitely have the players to execute these plays, don’t do it just to say you did. With 6 teams, I had 2 that had the talent to execute the spread mesh part of this offense and they went a combined 23-0 and averaged right at 40 points a game. I had 3 teams that would have failed miserably had we attempted to put the spread mesh stuff in and another that we got minimal payback on our time investment, we just didn’t have the players for it on that team.

But the base Single Wing, the “Sainted Six”, Spinner and Tailback 1/2 Spin “Mouse” series can be run by anyone.

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