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October/November 2014

October/November 2014


Five on the Line - The 5-man defensive front is making a comeback – especially against traditional run-first offenses.

by: JohnAllen W. Snyder
Offensive Coordinator • Pequea Valley High School (PA)
© October/November 2014

Before the advent of today’s high-powered spread offenses, it was common for defenses to employ a 5-man front with a nose guard, two tackles and two ends. While many teams have gone away from 5-man fronts, AFM found a surprising number of 2013 state champions that use the front either exclusively or part time.

Here, coaches from four championship programs share their insight and strategies for making the 5-man front effective, especially against the run. They are Matt Crossman, defensive coordinator of New York Class A champion Queensbury high School; Scott Mahoney, head coach of New Jersey North 1-Group 1 champion Pompton Lakes High School; Lorne Ridenour, defensive coordinator of Maryland Class 2A champion Middletown High School; and Cole Meacham, head coach of Utah Class 2A champion Manti High School.

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