There was a very notable inclusion in Hudl’s Top 5 plays from Week 1 of the high school football season from California: Oak Park left tackle Hunter Lee took in a critica touchdown in his school’s 21-16 victory against Peninsula (Calif.) High. The play was notable not just for Lee being the man who took the pitch to the end zone, but particularly for how smooth it unfolded.
In fact, it was almost as if the Eagles had practiced the play before. As it turns out, there’s a good reason for that: They have. Every day.
“We practice it about once a day,” Oak Park coach Casey Webb told USA TODAY. “So about 10 times total so far this year. Hunter (Lee) was super excited. He had been wanting to run the play so badly. Our offensive line coach is Kevin Mosley, and he thought it would be a great time to run it. We’re gonna be running that play multiple times now.”
Webb’s enthusiasm for the play is understandable given it’s results. As one might expect, the Eagles plan to employ the offensive lineman-focused trick play on other slots on the line in the future, though Webb could receive another attempt or two as well. Part of that is due to his own athleticism and talent — the lineman has drawn recruiting attention from schools across the Ivy League as well as the University of San Diego and Azusa Pacific — and Lee’s innate leadership on the field.
That leadership includes being ready for anything on any play, precisely as Lee was in his ultimate moment of opportunity.
“I saw Fresno State run that play for a touchdown a few years ago and have always wanted to run it,” Webb said. “It was 4th-and-6 in the game. As exciting of a play as it is … (Lee) prepared for that play and that’s why we were able to execute it.
“I build trick plays into our offense to run them. I have 3-5 every game that I want to run. We don’t consider them trick plays but more of plays that we run to keep defenses honest. We have a very high success rate of scoring on those plays. That’s why we run them.”
Given the success of the team’s first run-through in targeting one of its biggest players, we can all remain excited about future Oak Park games, just to see who gets the ball in a big moment next time.