You’re down by 7 or less, with just enough time to run one more play. There is no way your quarterback has the arm strength to get the ball to the end zone. What do you do, Coach?
Today we’ll take a very quick look at a simple play that can get you out of this situation and help your team pull a victory from the jaws of defeat: The Hook and Lateral Option.
This play has the best chance of success when the defense is playing prevent. They will likely rush 3 defenders and drop the rest deep, very deep. This should make the pass to the curl route easy to complete. As the defenders converge to tackle the receiver, he tosses the ball to another receiver running a crossing route from the other side of the field. As this receiver works towards the goal line it is important he keeps some space between himself and the sideline. The slot receiver to the playside is trailing the new ball carrier, keeping pitch relationship. As the final defenders converge on the ball carrier to make the tackle, he pitches to the trailing slot receiver who runs the ball in for the touchdown.
In the 2017 Fiesta Bowl, the Washington Huskies found themselves in this exact situation against Penn State and ran this play. Unfortunately, for the Huskies, the receiver got too close to the sideline, eliminated the pitch as a potential option, and made a time management error that cost them shot to tie the game.
Hopefully, you won’t find yourself in this situation. But chances are you will. Have an answer, and be prepared.