By Steve Hopkins
Basehor Linwood High School (KS)
Editors Note: Steve Hopkins is completing his 36th year of teaching and coaching; the first 22 years as an assistant – at 3 different high schools in Missouri (Warrensburg - 3A - where he coached WR's and DB's; Harrisonville - 3A - where he coached the Offensive Line; and his longest stint as an assistant was at 5A Blue Springs High school (largest high school in Missouri at that time) as the offensive line coach from 1983-1998, winning a state championship in 1992. In 1999 he became a head coach for the first time at Odessa, Mo. (class 3 school), and coached from 1999-2003 and then moved to Basehor-Linwood High school in Kansas (class 4A), where he has been since the fall of 2004. His overall record as a head coach is 92 wins and 52 losses, and as a head coach he has been a part of 6 league and 8 district championships. He and his wife Ann have been married for 35 years and have 4 children aged 18-32.
All throughout my time at Blue Springs High School in Missouri as the offensive line coach, and at Odessa High School in Missouri then Basehor-Linwood High school in Kansas where I have served as the head coach, we have relied on the Stretch/Outside zone to give us a simple but effective run game. We recognize the need to have a consistent running game that allows various players to touch the ball, while keeping the blocking scheme simple for the Offensive Linemen, and for us the "stretch" or outside zone has been the basis of our run game for nearly two decades. In our view, the stretch can look like multiple plays to the defense from the "jet/rocket" sweep to a power off tackle play, and yet, for the front line, one set of techniques and basic rules allow us to block nearly any front and "make 4 yards" each time we touch the ball. For us, the stretch can be all of the following plays:
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