Here’s a play from a football game that happened over the weekend.
Only Hal Mumme. Belhaven goes for it on 4th and long and the Blazers move the chains in the weirdest way possible @RedditCFB @edsbs pic.twitter.com/YeM37Tx9TG— Chris Hudgison (@ChrisHudgison) October 29, 2016
Let’s talk about this.
The scene above comes from a Division III game on Saturday, between the Belhaven Blazers and the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys, respectively of Jackson, Miss., and Abilene, Texas. The play resulted in a fourth-and-long conversion for Belhaven.
It was clearly a legal play. Belhaven’s quarterback started the play with a backward pass to a receiver on the edge. Apparently, the receiver then had an option to either throw the ball downfield, run it, or punt it away. It’s a nifty variation of the option.
The receiver clearly thought about throwing, but he was cornered, so he moved to punt the ball. He barely got it away, and the ball made contact with a Hardin-Simmons defender. The Blazers scooped it up for a first down, just like they’d recovered a garden-variety muffed punt. Everything here is within the rules, which don’t say anything about a runner with the ball not being allowed to punt.
From reporter Chris Hudgison:
@e_a_s_y_e @edsbs @RedditCFB After backup QB punted it, Hardin-Simmons defender muffed it, starting QB recovered for 1st down— Chris Hudgison (@ChrisHudgison) October 29, 2016
Belhaven’s head coach is Hal Mumme, the former Kentucky and New Mexico State boss, godfather of the air raid, and an altogether fascinating football person. Spencer Hall interviewed him in 2012.