Extra Points: Brian Spano 11/14
By Brian Spano PrepsKC Senior Writer
Seems like all the rage all of sudden in high school football is the trick play. We've gone way beyond the simple play-action pass. We're talking about what team can outdo the other team in creativity. Style points count here.
Let's go to Sherwood, Ore. for a moment where the Sherwood football team pulled off what they are calling the "Wrecking Ball." Won't Miley Cyrus be proud?
After scoring a touchdown against Putnam High, on the extra point attempt, the holder suddenly began hopping around the field and making monkey noises. With the defense distracted, the kicker took the snap, ran forward and completed a jump pass in the end zone for the two-point conversion.
Here's one that might hit close to home.
People around here might be familiar with Ozark High School. This was the team that upset Lee's Summit West in the Missouri Class 5 quarterfinals and then played Forth Osage in a tough battle in the semifinals. Well, guess what? They trotted out a trick play this season.
Introducing the "Flapjack." The Flapjack uses sleight of hand.
It's basically a game of "Who's got the ball?" culminating in a blind, over-the-shoulder pass to a wide open receiver.
Heading back out west again, an El Camino Real (Woodland Hills, Calif.) junior varsity quarterback Jahlil Pinkett lined up under center to receive the snap and started toward the sideline to request a new football.
The Taft defense stood there dumbfounded thinking an official's timeout had been called while Pinkett walked toward the sideline holding the ball out. As soon as he got close to the sideline, he tucked the ball and sprinted down the sideline for a legal, yet deceptive touchdown.
And who could forget "The Annexation of Puerto Rico" play? Inspired by one of John Madden's plays during Super Bowl XI, it is a variation of the "Fumblerooski."
The play itself is pretty much a center sneak. The quarterback pretends to receive the snap from the center and proceeds to run the play while the center, who actually has the ball, runs toward the end zone. He then tosses the ball back to another player who begins making his way toward touchdown glory.
All right, I kind of cheated on this one. This play is from the movie "Little Giants," and it helped them win the game on their final play against the Cowboys.
So what this goes to show is that trick plays, and their popularity, will continue to be prevalent. It's just right now, they seem to be in vogue.
As you watch your favorite high school football team make its march to the state championship, you never know what it might do to gain that edge. The coach could reach down deep into his bag of tricks, dust off one of those plays from way in the back of the playbook and just pull a fast one on the opponent.
It's that element of surprise that makes the drama of high school football so unpredictable and so much fun.
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