Split-back 36 Counter Football Play

Split-back 36 Counter Football Play

The split-back 36 counter football play is an excellent play in youth football because it is very deceptive. Deceptive plays work very well in youth football. Plays like counters, traps, reverses, and play-action passing work very well on any level of football. This counter play is very effective and can be installed in one practice.

Center: Block head up defender. If there is no head up defender the center is to block any backside A-gap defender.

Right Guard: Down block or work onto a linebacker.

Right Tackle: Inside-over- free.

Left Guard: Pull and kick out the defensive end. Aiming point is the inside hip of the defender.

Left Tackle: Inside-over-free.

8: Down block or work onto a linebacker.

7: Secure inside gap- release onto backside linebacker.

1: Open up left fake to the 3 and then turn and hand the football to the 3 back coming across.

3: Short jab step left; make sure the 4 crosses then look to cut behind the guards kick-out block.

4: Fake to the left, fill the pulling guard’s gap. It is important that the 4 executes a good fake.

SE: Run off cornerback. Keep an eye on the corner and see if he is respecting the SE. If the corner isn’t running with the SE you can fake this play and throw to the split-end. When the SE runs off the CB he must do so at full speed.

The “Go” off of the Split-back 36 counter football play (G90):

Play-action Pass Go Route


Coaching Points:

  • Watch the cornerback covering the SE. If he does not respect the SE run off, throw this go route. You will notice that after a while the corner will stop running with the SE.
  • The QB doesn’t have to worry about faking too much. We want him to go through his normal counter play steps then do a quick 3 step drop and throw.  The foot work and timing will need to be adjusted based on your teams ability and age.
  • The throw needs to be high, in-front, and outside. If the QB under throws the ball it can get intercepted and returned for a touchdown.  This is really a high risk/reward play.
  • Another option is to have the offensive linemen cut block. This will slow the rush down and give the QB a clear sight line to the SE.  If the defense gets inside pressure this play will be a disaster.
  • This “G90” is worth having and should be practiced daily during the practice week. We will have our split-end and QB practice this play everyday before practice even starts.
  • This play also works well off of a power play fake.


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