The 5-6th grade team I’m head coaching won 15-14 to move to 9-0 on the season. This was the Division Title game against another undefeated team. They were well coached, very aggressive and had 6 athletes that could play well in space as well as 4 fundamentally sound big linemen. They had filmed and scouted us very well, have the book and DVDs etc
This is the first opponent we had film on this season and it helped. Especially when you use HUDL http://www.winningyouthfootball.com/watch.php and can publish it to your players with drawing and notes over the film. The only things they didn’t show on film was a Jet Series, which wasn’t a big deal- since we also run Jet and practice for it. On offense they ran a nice series based shotgun spread to run, zone read system- and passed well. They had shown a handoff to one of the backs who throws to a tight end downfield. We noticed their stud quarterback could loop backside and be open for a throwback- but they didn’t do it on film. We practiced against both plays. Sure enough they used the throwback during the game when they really needed a play and we stopped it, nearly intercepting. Their big wheel play was 0-3 and we picked one of them off. Film helps, especially if you can simulate it in practice- which our kids and coaches did real well.
Offensively we had to make a couple of on the fly adjustments based on them making a few personnel and alignment changes as the game progressed. Though we never trailed, the game was very tight. We went for the “kill shot” when up 15-6 early in the 4th quarter on a play action pass on 3rd and 1 on their 35 yard line. The pass was wide open, our quarterback threw off his back foot- as he was rushed a bit and their very athletic linebacker to that side raced back to make a Jordanseque leap to tip the sure touchdown pass back into his own hands.
I might add we have been working our PAT kicking game very hard. Our rookie kicker is hitting about 80% of his kicks now and in our league kicked PATs are worth 2 points. But when we went ahead 14-6 I decided to go for the 1 point play and we ran it in. This gave us a 9 point cushion-which we needed since this team kicks PATs well. We noticed on their goal line defense something we felt we could exploit. We scored a 1 point running play with a 4th year player, rather than going for a 2 point play kick with a rookie.
The opposing team scored with 36 seconds left and we recovered a very good onside kick to seal the game. A win in the semi-finals this weekend would put us in the superbowl the following weekend.