Author: Ted Seay
Originally Published: June 28, 2005

The American Boy, 1916

Part 4

Coaches: Note the similarity of the two plays below to the dive option series from the Split T which came along 30 years later.

A Clever Fake Play
By Dr. Paul Withington, of Harvard,
Head Coach University of Wisconsin

“I should say to the captain of a high school football team, if he came to me and asked for the best play I knew, ‘Make your men learn how to tackle. A team whose members are all good tacklers will be a good team.’

“But here are two offensive plays which are good. The first is a simple line play; the second a fake built on the same play. They go well together.

Figure 1

“In the play in Figure 1, the center passes the ball to the quarter, who passes (hands off) to back No. 2, who plunges through between center and guard. No. 3 goes ahead as interference, while 1 makes a bluff to forward pass or run.

Figure 2

“The second play from the same formation starts as in Figure 1, with the quarter receiving the ball and passing it (faking a hand-off) towards 2, but instead of giving him the ball he withdraws it and conceals it by bending low over it. 2 plunges into the line as if he had the ball. 1 and 3 play as before. The quarter hesitates until the opponents are drawn toward the “fake,” then circles the end with 1 as an interferer. This play may also be made by giving the ball to E, the End, and having him skirt the end instead of the quarterback.”

Ted Seay