Setup: Balanced Tight – I Formation

Read: 1. Main Read is the Running Back coming back across the field, however, if either of the two deeper decoy routes are open, throw to them first.


The image is set up for younger kids where arm strength may be an issue. Using this play with older kids, have the Center run his route deeper.

This play is a misdirection play. Several successful plays in flag football use misdirection to get the defense moving in one direction, while your ball carrier goes the opposite. At younger ages, you try to have the runner get the ball and move against the grain. In the passing game, you’ll have the other receivers all running one way while the intended receiver runs the other.

The two receivers and center run an out, deep out, and corner route all to the same side of the field. The Running Back runs an Angle route starting in the same direction as the receivers. Then once he gets to the line of scrimmage, he changes direction and cuts back across the middle of the field.

You can have the Quarterback fake the handoff or just drop back. The key to the timing of the play is having the Running Back run his route at 45-degree angles. When you first put this play in, the RB will want to run right off the Center.  Lay out some cones to reinforce the 45-degree angle.  Once the receivers have cleared off some of the defense, the Running Back cuts back across the middle. The goal is to hit him early so he can catch the ball and run for yards.


Instead of throwing to the running back just as he crosses the middle of the field, have the QB give him a pump fake. This may draw the defense in as they’re trying to get the flag pull. The Running Back does not slow down and continues the route. The QB then throws the ball deeper on what is now a Corner route.

Another variation is to adjust the route that the Tight receiver opposite to the side the Running Back runs. Instead of running across the field with the other receivers, have him run a Corner or Out route to the same side of the field he starts on. This will occupy one or more of the defenders on that side of the field. When the RB catches the ball now, instead of continuing to the opposite side of the field, he should immediately break up the middle of the field.