Fourth and Inches

I went to another high school football game Friday night and was able to capture on video one of the most exciting plays in football – a touchdown run on a fourth and inches play.

Early in the first quarter the McArthur High School team was about 5 inches short of a first down after three plays, and with the ball at about the 35 yard line elected to try to gain those inches rather than try a long field goal.

The defending Plantation High School  team  had all eleven players right up next to the line to stop what was obviously going to be a run.  Normally on such a play the ball carrier rushes into the mass of bodies and disappears – and when the officials unravel the pile they have to bring the chains out to determine whether the runner was successful.

But sometimes, very rarely, an offensive line gets off at the snap of the ball and while pushing back the defenders is able to open up a narrow seam through which the runner can squeeze – and once through that seam the runner sees nothing but air between him and the end zone.  By the time the defenders realize what has happened and can turn around and start pursuing, the runner has a ten to fifteen yard lead and is running full speed.

Friday night McArthur’s line actually opened up a very wide lane and the runner zoomed through untouched to the goal line.

In the video you can see that there aren’t a lot of people there.  I don’t understand South Florida people – they’re always late to sporting events.  For years I’ve been attending baseball games, basketball games and now football games – and always the stands are almost deserted when the games start.  Eventually people show up and the stands fill up.  In each football game I’ve attended this year the stands on the home side of the field have eventually filled up before halftime.  When I go to a game I want to see the whole game.  If a game is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM I’m in my seat before 6:30.  It just doesn’t make sense to me.


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