Best Middle School Football Trick Play Ever
When middle school quarterback Jason Garza took to this field this past weekend, his opponents had no idea that he and his teammates were going to pull a fast one.
Actually, it was more like a slow one. The Texas eighth grader took the snap in the fourth quarter and then began a leisurely walk toward the goal line. To help pull off the bait-and-switch move, his teammates acted as if he had no idea what he was doing.
Just as planned, the football fake-out completely baffled the opposing team, leaving them standing still, as 14-year-old Garza dashed to the end zone when he was well out of striking distance.
"This was the coolest trick we had," John De Los Santos, assistant coach of the Driscoll Middle School in Corpus Christi, tells ParentDish. "We hadn't really needed it until the last game of the season and it benefited us in the long run."
The mischievous maneuver tied up the score. But, because of University Interscholastic League rules, middle school football cannot go into overtime, so the game ended with a 6-6 score. Despite the tie, the win went to the opposing team, Wynn Seale Academy of Fine Arts, also in Corpus Christi, because they had two penetrations at the 20-yard line, as compared to Driscoll's single penetration.
De Los Santos says that there's general discontent with the ruling.
"A lot of coaches don't agree [with the league rule]," he says. "Overtime should be allowed in playoffs."
De Los Santos says there were some tears from a few of his players after losing the game, but the kids quickly recovered when the video of the illusion play went viral. The team's efforts -- a month of practicing the clever deception -- certainly paid off, garnering the school kudos from newscasters nationwide.
But where did De Los Santos come up with such a smart play?
"I remember running it when I was in seventh grade," says the first-year football coach. "The other team saw what was going on and hit me. But I always had it in my mind."
Now, years later, when it was time for the 26-year-old coach to teach his young team the trick, he designed the play with the other players acting as if they had no idea what was going on either. What made it even better, says De Los Santos, was that the opposing line backer asked the walking Garza, no. 14, what he was doing and the Ranger quarterback answered, "I'm marking off yards," which completely threw off the opposing team even further.
So, now that football season is over, what's next for the crafty coach?
"If I told you, they wouldn't be tricks up my sleeve," he wisecracked. "But tryouts are today for basketball. I joke with the kids that someone will do cartwheels down one sideline and someone else will do back flips down the other. Then we'll run the ball down the middle."
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.