Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

2016 Season Wrap Up

Game 5 Week and Results

Our game 5 week was a difficult week. While we had taken a step up in our passing game, our blocking and tackling suffered greatly. This weeks opponent is a spread team that does a lot of shifting and motions. They throw well and have very good team speed, defensively no one has scored on them in these first 4 games. We are 3-1 but in need of improvement.

We started the game on offense, drove down to their 10 yard line in 11 plays before getting behind the chains thanks to a penalty and missing a first down by 2 yards. They scored on a 4 play drive. While we had practiced against their various formations, we had a tough time adjusting to the speed of their shifts. We were out of position, something that rarely happens to us and they got on top quickly.

We moved the ball again before giving it up on downs on their 22 yard line. Our quarterback bobbled a very good snap to put us behind the chains and we couldn’t convert. This time it took them 6 plays to score, after putting them into favorable 3rd down yardage 2 times, we let them off the hook thanks to a very well executed deep fly to their receiver who was a head taller than our tallest player.

To make a long story short we ended up scoring to make it a game at 14-6 before falling 34-6. While we had moved the ball on offense, we had failed to come up with just 1 play longer than 15 yards. We put them into some bad spots defensively, but they would either connect on a long pass or their wiggly little speedster of a quarterback would scramble for big plays once we had their receivers covered.

We invested a lot of time doing open field tackling this week. Unfortunately we just don’t have the athletes at our linebacker spots without compromising our ability to defend the open spaces on the edge. We have diligently tried to work our linebackers and even went to a forward read step to get them moving, but most plays they are either late to or cut back on. Their lack of speed and body control makes them overcompensate and vulnerable to the cut back.

We have our work cut out for ourselves playing a team that is 5-0 this week and no film. We have some intel from a pretty good coaching friend who knows his stuff, but this team is 90 minutes away and there were no opportunities to film them. No one that has film is willing to trade it, so this one will be a challenge.


Game 6 Week and Results

Our game 6 prep week went well. We went back to the basics, really working hard on our basic blocking and execution on offense. It’s easier to disguise your weaknesses on offense than defense because we are calling where we are going to attack and with whom. That isn’t the case as much on defense.

The team we are playing has 2 running backs right at the ball carrier weight of 100. We weigh at the beginning of the season just one time so I’m very sure they are closer to 110 now. None of my linebackers or defensive backs weight more than 72 lbs, so this one is going to be a challenge. With no film, but a good scouting report we just repped against some of the basic plays one might expect from a shotgun 2 back offense with one flanker and one wideout.

We started on offense and executed a nice 10 play 65 yard drive for a score. We got a nice onside kick back and put up another score on a well-executed wham play to go up 14-0 with less than 6 minutes to go in the game. They counter punched right back with an 8 play touchdown drive off of a crossfire action buck play under jet motion. They kicked an almost indefensible onside kick to get the ball back and subsequently scored on a well blocked 7 series play drive to tie it up.

This was a back and forth game that no one ever had the clear advantage. Offensively we couldn’t be stopped, our wedge, trap, wham and power game were money. We even threw for 2 touchdowns. We unveiled our Spread Single Wing Jet Series and our meshes were pretty tight.

Defensively we just couldn’t stop their 2 big running backs. Our linebackers continued to struggle to the point we just called stack stunts and hoped they would run into the ball carrier by accident. The only options we had to replace them were very small defensive backs or tall and slow defensive ends, we just didn’t have any middle sized kids with any body control or explosiveness.

With 2:30 minutes left we got the ball on our own 40 down 39-38. We moved the ball to their 20 with about 30 seconds left and no timeouts and threw a pic to end the game. Offensively this was our best game against an undefeated team. Our kids had played hard but we continued to struggle getting into position and tackling at the linebacker spots.


Game 7 Week and Results

After a heartbreaking loss where we played really well we stayed positive and serious. Our opponent was a 2 win team that had struggled but had played well in spurts. We had game film and we had a couple of adjustments that should help. Our jet series was in full tilt now, but we couldn’t overuse it because our primary jet back was also starting at corner and on all the special teams.

We were very consistent with the base off tackle and counter so the play action off both allowed us to throw for 2 scores as we bolted to a 26-0 halftime lead. We win this one 32-7.

Everyone got lots of playing time and our Monster adjustment on defense allowed us to get another player closer to the box with his eyes on the football. Our quarterback was making some nice strides both on offense and at the monster spot. Thanks to the running game being so consistent we were able to rest him some which allowed him to play better on defense.

Game 8 Week and Results

This would be our last week of practice and last game in what had turned out to be less than stellar season. The leagues super bowl winner won the championship game 7-0 over the team we lost to in game six 39-38. So we weren’t that far off, losing two 1 point games and having one melt down game sandwiched between some games where we slowly made progress.

Our last game would be against a team very similar to us. Very competitive, with a couple of heart breaking losses. I liked how we practiced this week, the kids were still having fun and they were motivated to play well.

This one was never in doubt even though the final score was just 38-19. We took several early 3 touchdown leads thanks to a very efficient running game. They just had no answer for our wham and trap plays once we got them leaning on the power and wedge. The play action passing game continued to roll as our rookie quarterback had found his mojo starting in game 6. To stay fresh on defense we stayed off our Jet series as this was an unusually warm day in October of all times.

By seasons end we were able to retain every player on the team, we had no drops. We finished a respectable 5-3 and had just one player lose playing time due to injury. Unfortunately he was our best and biggest 2 way starting lineman, but we made due and finished strong. Thanks to those last 2 blowout games, every player was able to touch the ball at least once and we showed some very good progress.


About The Author

Dave Cisar- CEO of winningyouthfootball.com. With over 25 years of hands-on experience as a youth coach, Dave has developed a detailed systematic approach to developing youth players and teams. He was named in the HUDL 100 as the fourth biggest influencer in the game, right behind Pete Carroll. He is a six time Nike Coach of the Year Designate and has spoken at over 230 team and Youth Football Coaches clinics in 38 US States and 5 foreign countries. He is a sought after consultant and speaker and has worked with Esquire Network as a panelist for their show “Friday Night Tykes”. His book “Winning Youth Football a Step by Step Plan” was endorsed by Tom Osborne and Dave Rimington. His DVDs and book have been used by youth teams to win over 1,000 league championships as well as National Championships in Pop Warner, UYF, AAU and AYF. There are over 500 “Worst to First” testimonials on his web site of teams. He was founder and President of two youth football programs in the Lincoln and Omaha Nebraska that have served over 3,000 kids. Using this approach his personal teams have gone 185-28 in 5 Different Leagues at all levels and age groups from ages 6-15 while retaining over 95% of his kids

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