Game 3 Preview: Team Power & Team Grit

March 11, 2019

By Your Call Football



It’s Game 3 of Your Call Football, and after one training camp and now two game weeks, Team Power’s running game has continued to be a strength on offense, and their play action will continue to be a focus of their game plan.


Lead by head coach Merrill Hoge and offensive coordinator Ray Sherman, the Power offense looks to get over the hump in Game 3 and secure a win in the 2019 Your Call Football series.



Strategy to Follow:


The Power offense wans to establish the run. Despite being forced to pass the ball more often due to being down in the game, they actually posted almost identical yards per rush as Team Grit. Especially early in the game, keep the defense off balance with unique run game calls, working inside and out and not being shy about running the ball on second down and medium (4-7 yards) or long (7+ yards) to set yourself up for easier third downs.


The Power offense has added more plays to already existing formations, which should give you, the play caller, added comfort with personnel groups and players, and the defense less idea about what the offense actually will run. That’s especially true for their “Bunch” formation (three receivers, packed tightly to the line of scrimmage) and “Empty” formation (no players lined up at running back or tight end, and all positioned as receivers). On a given drive, mix up your formations early in the game and set up bigger, more creative plays later.



Players to Look For:



  • After giving quarterback Patrick O’Brien the starting nod and playing much of the game, coach Merrill Hoge is putting KD Humphries in as the team’s starting quarterback. Humphries thrives as a rhythm passer, and work to get him some quicker throws early on before setting up perimeter and downfield targets. He’s benn at his best in practice in redzone drills as well.



  • Fellow quarterback Patrick O’Brien (#14) will still get his opporutnties in Game 3, and he’s still best in the mid-field as shown by his late first-half pass to Blake Mack to set up a field goal. Setting him up with a strong run game and quick passes will open up one on one vertical throws for him later.



  • The team wants to get tight ends Blake Mack and Brandon Cottom involved, and has designed multiple plays at inline tight end, split wide and in the backfield, and used practice reps, to get them comfortable, one-on-one opportunities. If Power is going to win the game, don’t be surprised if Mack and Cottom are a big reason why.



  • Running Back Silas Redd (#24) will get the start for Team Power, rushing 9 times for 30 yards and a goal line touchdown in Game 2. But they’ll continue to get all their running backs involved, with Josh Robinson (#23) and La’Vance Taylor (#21) both close to big plays in Week 2.


  • Tight ends Blake Mack (#84) and Brandon Cottom (#88) will be actively involved in the gameplan, but the team targeted receiver Karel Hamilton frequently in redzone drills, and he should be the target from the outside or slot receiver spot.


(For more players to watch, check out Grit’s Roster Preview)


Plays to Call:


  1. “Texas” Concept

A key and continued addition to the Power offense is more uses of the “Texas” concept, which is when a receiver (or a running back) works towards the sideline in a route for multiple steps, and then quickly works back to the middle of the field (looking like > when running to the right and a < when running to the left). With a receiver running vertical near the “Texas Route” running player, zone coverage struggles to account for the quickly changing route. The Power offense values this concept a lot, and should be used


  1. “X Reverse Orbit”

As stated earlier, the Power team values the “Bunch” formation heavily in their scheme, and has included multiple new plays in this week’s playbook. One of their staples is getting the outside receiver involved in the running game, using receiver Chuck Jacobs as the runner to work across the field and create a big play opportunity on the perimeter.


Play Breakdown:



  1. “Fake Jet Halfback Screen

Working along with the X Reverse Orbit, the Power team uses that play fake to set up multiple other plays, including a half back screen. While the offense has built in multiple new plays off that reverse play action and out of this formation much of this week, this play could be a great opportunity to get the running back involved in the receiving game while also putting him in position to get free in space and at the second level.


Play Breakdown:





It’s Game 3 of Your Call Football, and after one training camp and now two games, Team Grit has their offensive line in synch and their offense ready to explode in Game 3


Lead by head coach Solomon Wilcots and offensive coordinator Tom Rossley, the Grit offense looks to extend their record to 3-0 with offensive creativity.



Strategy to Follow:


The Grit offense wants to use similar formations and personnel groupings to execute multiple concepts in their offense. They’ll utilize two receivers on one side, one on the other, with a tight end inline and a running back in the backfield often, and run heavy run plays as well as five-man protection (meaning five players going out in routes and only five blockers, the offensive linemen, to protect the quarterback), which keeps the defense off balance.


Additionally, the offense has worked to master certain concepts, in particular the “Mesh” concept, which is when two receivers starting out on opposite sides of the offensive line cross, which creates confusion by linebackers in both man and zone defense. It takes time and reps to get the positioning and timing down, but Grit’s offense has started to really work it well.



Players to Look For:



  • Last week, quarterback Vad Lee (#15) went 4-for-7or 81 yards and a long passing touchdown, to receiver KJ Maye, and the offense’s explosiveness seems to uptick when he’s in the game. Continue to get him in downfield passing plays and don’t be worried when he improvises: it’s what he does best.



  • The team’s other starting quarterback, Trenton Norvell (#6) is not expected to start in Game 3, but he’ll still be a key part of the Grit offense. As the offensive line continues to mesh together, the talented pocket passer should feel more comfortable attacking the middle of the field.



  • KJ Maye was the star of Game 2, burst off with a 41 yard touchdown reception from quarterback Vad Lee, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they linked up again. The offense has some creative ways to utilize running back Kendial Lawrence, and don’t be afraid to have him be a multi-use player in the Grit backfield.


(For more players to watch, check out Grit’s Roster Preview)


Plays to Call:


  1. Mesh Concept Plays

As stated earlier, team Grit values mesh concepts and timing on routes at a very high level, focusing on few players but perfection throughout. During the team’s game week practices, their timing and positioning of these crossing and mesh routes looked fantastic, and is poised to create issues for linebackers and defensive backs all game long.


  1. “El Paso Seam”

While the team relies heavily on their receivers and running backs to be receivers and work in space, but they are active in using their tight ends, especially to catch defenses off guard. In El Paso Seam, it allows the team’s two tight ends (one split wide) to work in the middle of the field.

Play Breakdown:



  1. “Cannonball Stutters”

With explosive receivers like KJ Maye on the field, the defense can’t help but react aggressively based on the receiver’s first movement. When a guy like Maye reacts in a comeback or hitch routes, defenders will over-pursue, allowing for a Double Move like the one below to be a touchdown play.


Play Breakdown: