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Smashing 8Man
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Smashing in 8man Ball

In the early 90's we began running a play against the 4-2 defense we called 222 Double Flags. It was a very hard play for teams to stop because the LB would have to try and decide if we were going to run the lead or if it was play-action lead. Most times the FB would run right by him and was open on the little three yard flag. Most of the time the Safety would cover the deep flag. To our surprise we noticed that the route worked fairly well against a 3-2 defense as well. Eventually we sent the backside end on a post because the single Safety was rotating so fast with our play-action it was leaving the middle of the field wide open. We started putting our fastest receiver at the left end because he would be the one running this "Back Post" and that is what we called the route when we added it to the "Double Flags" route. This was one killer play and we were able to capitalize on it and counter it all the way to the State Championship. Many of the counters to this play are detailed in the book "The I Formation With A Little Crazy Mixed In." In fact, some of the "Crazy" in that book comes from the counters to this play like the "Hex" and the "Diamond."

We never knew we were basically running a "Smash" play. Later we started running these plays from spread sets which basically forced a man to man coverage on our primary receiver.
Up 222 Back Post
Twins 222 Back Post, Back Diamond
Forcing two of the secondary to stop the Combo or Smash and having our best receiver in a man on man position on the backside of the formation worked extremely well. We could put someone who was not real fast and had average hands at the split end position because he would be running a lot of hitches. The inside twin would be either our FB or TB and we worked with him on flag routes in practice. The single back needed to be able to block the DE and we practiced this because of it's importance to our offense.

By combining these smash routes (and their counter plays) with spread formations you also limit the possible defensive fronts that you will see and have to prepare for. We knew we would see some type of 3-2 or some type of 4-1 and that is what we focused our practice time on.
We started running spread shotgun sets around 1993. However, we didn't develop our motion Jet offense featured in the 8Man Disc as "The Renegade Offense" until the mid 90's. We didn't realize that we were ahead of the times. When you mix play-action motion, the smash route, smash route counters, and extreme spread formations you get a recipe that makes you very lethal and it does not matter how big your linemen are as long as they are fighters. An added advantage is that you know that you will have to block a 3-1 (pyramid) or 2-2 (box) most of the time.

It has been several years now since I coached 8man ball. However, anytime we come up with something that works well for us in 11man my mind always wonders how well it would work in 8man.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post and could get some good ideas from it. Email with any questions you have.

God Bless You,
Robert B. Babcock
IGWT t 2013
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