Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

8 Man Football

I get e-mails all the time from 8 man teams that want to know how my offense would be modified to fit into the 8 man game. I rarely try and offer advice on subjects that I have not had hands on in-depth experience with. If I haven’t experienced the subject in-depth and actually had to deal with it in real life, how much credibility do I really have? Many people don’t adhere to that philosophy, maybe that’s a “me” problem.

A number of these 8 man coaches went forward with my offensive system and did quite well. The most common alingment was to go with a balanced 5 man line and eliminating the fullback or 2 back. This meant these teams had to run the “Mouse” series instead of the full spin and would run blocking back wedges rather than fullback wedges. They would pull the backside guard rather than playside guard on the plays that require pulling. Other than that they were for the most part able to run the entire playbook. I found invariably that nearly all these teams ended up making nearly the same adjustments to the system and did quite well.

One team in fact won a National Championship with it, here is their story:


National Championship 8 Man Team
Happy New Year Dave:

I bought your system last spring because I knew in order for us to be competitive we had to do something “different.”

We are a little unique in that we are an 8-man football team in Alabama. We did a little adapting and used the wing back and blocking back interchangeably and ran your version of the Single Wing. When the kids bought into the system, we had great success.

Our record was 10-1. We scored 54 TD’s, averaged 45 points per game, and 400 yards rushing per game. We had 14 players carry the ball on a team made up of 23 players. To make an understatement, we were all pleasantly surprised. To top things off, we played in the National Asscociation of Christian Athletes National Championship tournament and won the whole “enchilada.” We beat a team that had not lost a game in over 2 years in an overtime thriller.

Freedom Academy defeated the defending champs, Harvester, 28-26 in overtime in one of the best finals ever at NACA.

Thanks Dave for all your efforts and hard work.

May God bless you.

Trey Gainous

Congrats coach Trey and to your team for a great season.

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  1. Kyle Pennington

    I am preparing to coach an 8Man team this spring and would love to get more specific information about adjusting the single wing for 8 players. In the fall we will begin to implement the single wing/system with our 11 man league. This spring league will be a good opportunity to break some ideas in. Advice will be greatly appreciated.
    Kyle Pennington, Tampa, FL

  2. Dave Cisar


    If you take my base playbook in the book all you have to do is remove the 2 back, the right tackle and power tackle.

    You then run the entire playbook with the exception of the full spinner series.

    On all plays in the playbook that require the playside guard to pull, you now pull the backside guard instead and of course you wont pull the power tackle because you dont have one.

  3. Dave Cisar


    Do a google search on Freedom Academy in Alabama and try and get ahold of coach Trey. I’m sure he would be willing to share ideas with a fellow Single Wing coach.

  4. Ben

    Try contacting and getting info from Clifton-Clyde HS in Clyde, Kansas.

    Russ Steinbrock is one of many coaches to carry on the Single Wing tradition in 8-Man football. This school has been running the offense in 8-Man football for a LONG time. His email address is rsteinbrock@usd224.com from what I could find. He may be of help or may not be, but this is a school that would know.

  5. Justin

    I have ran the single wing for 4 years and done great. I am dropping back down in grades to coach my youngest son. 1st and 2nd grade are 8 man football. My question is about the wedge do you lead it with center or try to run it unbalanced or maybe still run it behind the gusrd and use a wing back in the wedge but then you could not run mouse. Thanks for any help.

    1. davecisar


      I would go balanced and wedge on the center. Go to the SIngle Wing section of this blog and look for the post on balanced line. It will give you the info you need. I would get rid of the 2 back in 8 man and stick with QB, BB, WB

  6. Justin

    Coach Thank you. Had are first scrimage and every thing worked great. Eliminate the 2 back pull the left gaurd, wedge behind the center. 14 power, 18 sweep 33 reverse 22 wedge all work great. Thanks again Dave.


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