Lead Play with Cross Blocking | Split-back Formation

This play is out of the split-back formation with double tight-ends (7 & 8) and a Wing-back (4). The double tight-end formation will spread the defense out horizontally. The double TEs will forced the defense to defend both sides of the formation. You can run this play to the wing-back side or away from the wing-back.  The play-side cross blocking will generate excellent blocking angles on the defensive linemen. This play is easy to install and works very well in youth football.  This is one of the most underrated and underutilized techniques in football.

Lead Play with Cross Blocking out of the Split-back Formation

Center: Block head up defender. If he is getting double A-gap defenders he blocks backside A-gap defender.

Right Guard: Secure inside gap. If there is no inside or head up defender work to the middle linebacker. You can also double team the (N) with the center if you are having issues with a tough or slanting (N).

Right Tackle: Open right, half step into the backfield, look to kick-out the defensive end (aiming point is inside hip of DE). The (8) crosses in front of the (RG), the (RG) crosses behind the (8) blocking down. You want your guard to gut out the defensive end.

Left Guard: Work onto linebacker, unless he has an inside or over defender.

Left Tackle: Block defensive tackle.

8: Block down on defensive tackle. It is important that the (8) takes a hard step down towards the DT. The (8) cannot take a step-up field, step down and block the DT.

7: Cutoff backside linebacker pursuit. If backers fly out, work to middle safety.

1: Open to the right, hand to the (3) at the 6 holes (or off-tackle). It is the QB’s job to get the RB the ball in the backfield (so he has time to cut) and out at the point of attack. The RB must NEVER come to the QB for the hand-off.

2: Lead block, look to get middle backer scrapping across.

3: Point off attack is the 6 hole, or off-tackle. Get behind the (2)’s lead block.

4: Fold inside, look to block outside backer. The (4) folds inside the (RT)’s kick-out. The cross blockers cross first, then the (4) folds inside the (DE) for linebacker.

Coaching Points

  • You can have the offensive linemen move their splits back a little bit so they can create better angles for themselves. Teams that utilize cross blocking and pulling will always have their offensive linemen line up as far back as legally possible.
  • No false steps from cross blocking linemen. The tackle, steps right at the defensive end and the (8) steps down right at the defensive tackle.
  • It’s very important that the RB stays on his path. He needs to follow the (2)’s lead block. The ball carrier (3) must cut off the butt of the (2) that is blocking the middle linebacker.

(See Also) Cross Blocking in Youth Football 

(See Also) FREE Split-back Playbook for Youth Football 

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