Play-Action Passing Play- Counter Pass

Counter Pass-Deceptive-Explosive-Simple

This Play-Action Passing Play- Counter Pass is an effective football play on the youth level. This play is very, very deceptive. Once you see the defense committing to stopping the counter play, hit them with this counter pass. The counter pass will work against man to man and/or  zone coverage. This play seems complicated, but after a couple of reps the kids will be able to learn this play fairly quickly.

Center: Pass block.

Right Guard: Pass block- secure inside gap.

Right Tackle: Pass block- secure inside gap.

Left Guard: Pass block- secure inside gap.

Left Tackle: Pass block- secure inside gap.

(TE): 5-8 yard drag route across the field. The (TE) must continue his route across the field.

(SE): Post Pattern.

(1): Open up towards the (4), fake to the (4), turn and fake to the (2), roll out and go throw to the open receiver. QB is to look for the wheel route first, then the drag, and the post is the last option. If there is no middle safety, the post pattern could be wide open. The ball should be snapped when the (3) is over the right guard.

(2): Fake taking hand-off to the right, block defensive end. The (2) must maintain outside leverage when blocking and has to attack the block.

(3): Full speed jet motion across the formation, continue on the wheel route. You want the (3) to run a wide wheel route, running away from the middle safety.

(4): Fake hand-off to the left, block defensive end. The (4) must protect the QB’s blind side.

Coaching Points

  • Call this play to the wide-side of the field.
  • Motion player cannot go or lean forward until the ball is snapped.
  • QB & RBs must execute good fakes. BUT! You do not want the QB wasting too much time faking. The (3) & (4) must sell the fakes.
  • The QB needs to get a deep drop back and roll out to the right. The QB needs to move his feet and roll out fast!
  • Offensive line must protect their inside gap first. You can have your offensive linemen cheat their splits down to help deter inside penetration.
  • Watch how the defense adjusts to the motion. When the (3) goes in motion if no defender runs with the (3) throw it to the him. 

Here is an article regarding- Receiver Route Running 


  • If the defense sends the house, you will not have enough blockers to pick the blitz up.
  • This play does take a little more time to develop. That is why it is vital that all players execute their responsibilities at full speed.
  • There are multiple targets for the QB. This sometimes creates confusion for a youth football QB.


This play takes a second or two extra  to develop. With that said, if this play is executed properly, it will be a big play for your offense. This counter pass has tremendous big play potential.


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