4th and 1 in Youth Football, What’s the Right Call?

June 9, 2022 0 Comments

Like many of you I watched my fair share of College Football Bowl games this year. While as a youth football coach, you can’t take what the college kids do and apply it directly to your youth football teams because of the obvious factors, the age and athleticism of the players, practice time etc etc. But what you can do is try to figure out what tactics, strategies, schemes and methods can be applied with the given restraints of youth football.

The Sneak or the Handoff?

One of the things that caught my attention was the number of 4th and short situations in the games I watched, short meaning 1 yard, more or less. The announcers were often battling each other as to what the correct call should be. As announcers often do, they played “pretend coach” and tried to make their case for a play to be run. In the Connecticut-Wake Forest game, UCONN was on the Wake Forest one. One announcer was asking for a quarterback sneak, his premise was that the sneak was the right call since the quarterback could hit it into the line quickly, not theatened by any deep penetration.

The other announcer was saying the quarterback wouldn’t have enough momentum, this announcer was imploring that คาสิโน Connecticut give the ball on an inside handoff to the running back. What this announcer wanted to see was a running back with a full head of steam as the back made his try for endzone glory. The same was the case in the Florida State-Kentucky game, same scenario, FSU is on the Kentucky 1, 4th down. One announcer is pleading for the sneak, the other the tailback run. In both instances, the quarterback gave a deep handoff to a running back that was not only stopped short of the goal line, but short of the original line of scrimmage.

Why Not Combine the Two?

How do you apply this to your football plays when you are coaching youth football? Why not combine the best of both football plays and run neither?

My thoughts:

Pluses and MinusesBoth announcers were right in their analysis, the quarterback sneak gets you to the point of attack quicker and negates penetration due to how quickly it hits, but the quarterback is in so tight he has very little momentum to take him into the endzone. On the other hand, the deep handoff gives the back lots of time to gain momentum, but that same time frame used by him to gain momentum works against him as defenders now use that same time to penetrate, come off blocks and penetrate into the backfield. In the Connecticut game the quarterback reversed out, seated the ball and then gave the ball to a back that was lined up 7 yards from the line of scrim