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Football ‘Bounce Pass’ Leads to a Touchdown [VIDEO]

Believe it or not, it was perfectly legal.

In a unique twist on the wide receiver option pass, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Westminster Academy used the trick play on their first possession against Coral Springs, Florida Charter to score the first points of the game last Friday night.

In case you’re not all that knowledgeable with the rules of football, anytime the ball is pitched or thrown parallel to, or back away from the line of scrimmage, it’s considered a lateral pass. Meaning if the ball touches the ground it is still a live ball, up for grabs by either team. By comparison, a forward pass is just that, an attempt by the offense to advance the ball down the field by throwing it forward to an open receiver down the field. The difference being, if a forward pass touches the ground before a player catches it, it’s ruled an incomplete pass, and a dead ball, meaning the play is over as soon as the ball hits the ground.

In my moonlighting gig as color commentator for Evansville-area high school football on our sister-station, Newstalk 1280AM, I’ve seen the wide receiver option pass several times, but never like this. The play is usually set up with a wide receiver taking a step back from the line of scrimmage and catching the initial pass from the quarterback before turning and stepping into his own throw to another receiver down field.

In this case, the quarterback actually lines up in the receiver position with the starting running back stepping into the quarterback roll. The stars and planets had to be in perfect alignment for this to work. Anybody who has dropped a football on the ground or ever watched a football game in person or on TV knows that the shape of the ball can cause it to go in any direction once it starts to bounce. In this instance, the running/quarterback throws a great pass into the ground (that’s the first time I’ve ever said that) causing the ball to hit just behind the nose and bounce perfectly end-over-end into the hands of the receiver. The whole thing causes just enough confusion among the defense, who thinks it was an incomplete pass, to slow down and buy the receiver time to get off a perfect second pass.


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