Over the weekend, Pearland High School's offense used a trick play, referred to by some as "The Dead Man," to win the Texas 5A state championship. In front of 43,000 fans at Cowboys Stadium, in a game against Euless Trinity, Pearland's quarterback, center and wide receiver lined up legally, but the remaining eight players stood around the line of scrimmage or in the backfield, as if confused about what was happening. That's when quarterback Trey Anderson took the snap and threw a touchdown pass to Sam Ukwauchu, en route to a 28-24 win. Amazingly, Ukwauchu's defender appeared to be the only Trinity player who picked up on the trick.
Last month, also in Texas, Driscoll Middle School's football team became an Internet sensation with another trick play - one some observers have hailed as the best of all-time, at any level. In a middle school championship game, Driscoll quarterback Jason Garza drew the Wynn Seale Academy of Fine Arts defense offsides using a long snap count and then waited for the referee to walk off the five-yard penalty. That's when assistant coach John De Los Santos began yelling from the sidelines that the penalty should have been 10 yards and urged Garza to mark off another five years. So Garza took the snap legally from his center, who handed it to the quarterback over his shoulder. Garza casually walked off the additional five yards right up the middle of the field, through his own blockers and Wynn Seale's defensive line, before breaking into an all-out sprint and scoring Driscoll's only touchdown. The game ended in a 6-6 tie, with Wynn Seale getting the win by virtue of a state tiebreaker rule for having the most offensive penetrations inside the opponent's 20-yard line.