The hook and lateral play has been tried and true in all levels of football, both real life and fictional (looking at you, “Varsity Blues” ). By design, it’s usually a one-pitch play, and it is often used in a team’s last-ditch effort to score.
In the closing seconds of Friday night’s game vs. Ozark (Ark.), host Charleston (Ark.) broke out the bag of tricks that many a desperate team has used in many a closing minute.Trailing 19-14, the hosts were facing fourth-and-4 from the opposing 38 yard line with 0:04 to play.
Only this time, rather than a sputtering attempt to keep hope alive, it turned into something beautiful and everlasting.
We counted four laterals there, each one different from the one before it. We have the original hook-and-lateral play, followed a tricky bounce pass. The next change of hands comes via a complete backwards pass that brings to mind the Tennessee Titans’ Music City Miracle of 2000.
And finally, near the goal line, the perfect pitch into the arms of Kaleb Fisher, who had a clear path of 8 yards to pay dirt.
The chances of everything going Charleston’s way on this play were minuscule, the degree of difficulty steep. How about another look?
For one side, pure football beauty. For the other, something else entirely.