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5 Wide Offense Origin

I call the offense the “5 Wide” not because we are always in empty or using 5 wide receivers.  But because we always send 5 receivers out on all pass plays.  This forces the defense to defend our 5 receivers with at least 6 pass defenders if they want to have a minimal numbers advantage which limits them to 5 rushers which we can block with 5 offensive linemen.  

If they want to use 7 pass defenders then they

can only rush 4 players.  This helps our offensive

line in pass protection and allows us to protect

the quarterback more efficiently.


Prior to the 5-wide offense we had lost in our

district title game 3 years in a row to our rival

team that had two state championship

appearances and one title in 4 years.  In those

3 contests, we had scored only 2 touchdowns and had minimal yardage rushing.  Despite the fact that each year we had a running back who had over 1,500 yards and offensive lineman who were moving on to play college football including one year where we had 4 D-1A scholarship lineman.  We were being forced to play at a very high level to compete and could not move the ball on them.

The first year, 2003, of using a modified version of this offense, against our district rival, we scored 26 points and still lost 26-47. That year our rival was the Regional runner-up but we knew we had given ourselves a vision of how we could move the ball against them.  The following year, 2004, we lost 10-35.  Then our region was realigned and they were moved from our district into another district and we did not play them for the next 2 years while we fine tuned the offense.

In 2007, we played them twice, in the regular season and playoffs, and beat them both times, 21-7 and 30-28.  The following year,

2008, we beat them in the regular season 50-27

and established that we now had the upper hand

in our rivalry.  I then moved to another school

and in 2009 we beat them in the regional playoffs

again.  4 wins in three years against the team that

forced me to go to the 5 Wide Offense to

beat them.


The offense has produced a significant amount

of yardage and victories for our program.   We have won back-to-back district titles for the first time in school history, went to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history, reached the final four of a 32-team region back-to-back for the first time in school history, played in the regional final for only the second time in school history and won more games, 10, in one season than any other time in school history.  We have won more regular season and district games than anyone in our district and had more winning seasons than any time period in our 42-year school history.

During the two year playoff run, 2007 and 2008, we broke 10 Regional

playoff offensive records, scored the second most points ever in a Virginia

High School League playoff game, 72, and had a one-game

total offensive yardage output of 758 yards only 12 yards off the

all-time Virginia record.  During the 2008 season we had 8 of 12 games

with over 500 yards of offense and averaged 43.9 points per game.

In a recent publication by our high school league, VHSL, our 2008 offense was rated as the number one offense of the decade and our 2006 offense finished sixth.  Other notables:

Virginia State OFFENSE Rankings                   Virginia State 6AAA TEAM Rankings

2008 – #1                   2006 – #1                               2008 – #9                   2006 – #39

2007 – #4                   2005 – #17                             2007 – #4                   2005 – #30

5 Wide Offense Philosophy Overview

Spread Offense Formations and How They Affect a Defense

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