Quickly for those who don’t know this, it refers to when a bashing team does a drive in each half of the game scoring in the last possible turn, with the other team scoring first in the half they received the ball in. In the cases where the bashing team start the game kicking off this gives them an effective 15 turns of caging towards the opposing end zone and as such has coined the term “15 turn drive”. This is typically against the weaker more agile teams rather than other bashing teams. It is a key and very common tactic so it pays to understand both sides of it. This article also tied in with the kicking or receiving article I posted recently so I suggest reading that as well.
This works best when they start the game kicking off, you will be starting by kicking the ball to the agility team and it is quite likely that they will score quickly. As mentioned in the comments of the kicking or receiving article they will get an extra chance to get back and KO players. This is somewhat irrelevant though as the bashing team hasn’t had “their drive” yet, which is where these KOs are most likely to occur. The bashing team then scores in their turn 8 which ends the half and there is then only one KO roll to be had. For the bashing team the more opponents that stay KOed the easier their second half 8 turn drive will be when the ball is kicked to them. They then aim to score in the last turn to take a 2-1 lead, leaving the agility team with one turn left to respond, if they have any players left at this point. As such the bashing team doesn’t really mind the agility team scoring quicky in their second turn at the start of the match. Both teams are likely to have the full 11 players on the pitch when the ball is then kicked off again, though the bashing team now gets typically 6 or 7 turns to grind down the agility team. They can then go into half time with the score at 1-1, leaving only one chance for opposing KOs to come back and they will have the initiative of receiving the ball in the second half as well.
So forcing the agility team to score quickly is optimum for the bashing team, the longer the opposition take to score the less turns they will have to to grind down the opposition. If you are left with 4 turns to equalise they will have a much harder time doing so, especially if the ball gets kicked deep which is usually what will happen. So for both sides of this coin, the agility team and the bashing team would both prefer to kick the ball on the opening kick off. The agility team will get more chances to get any KOs back and have their full team to start their defence against the bashing team. The bashing team would prefer to kick to limit the amount of KOs return for the agility team and and then face a weakened side in the second half when they receive.
If the Agility Team Receives:
So if you do find yourself playing an agility team and either choose to receive, or lose the toss and are receiving anyway you have to be aware that the 2-1 grind is coming. Of course this doesn’t mean you have to just roll over and accept it. The main thing you should be aiming for is to try and get to half time with a 1-0 lead. To achieve this you want to delay scoring as long as you can to give the bashing team as few turns as possible to try and equalise. So either hang back deep with the ball forcing the bashing team to waste turns coming after the ball carrier. You should be careful though not to end up losing the ball and conceding a touchdown, should this happen you are going to have to go all out to get an equaliser before half time. You will still face the standard 2-1 grind second half from the bashing team though, so getting turned over when you receive would be a disaster, likewise should you not score and it is 0-0 at half time.
The other thing to look towards doing it running around the bashing teams defence and holding the ball up near their own endzone. One of the mistakes some coaches make with a slower bashing team is not leaving any defence deep enough enabling you to do this. If you do manage to run around behind them and get the ball caged up nice and safe, then take advantage of this situation and try to waste as many turns as possible before scoring.
When you then kick off again after scoring ideally you want to have someone with the Kick skill so you can put the ball nice and deep and make the bashing team have to move the ball as far as possible in order for them to score. If you have left them in a situation where they need to rush the ball down the pitch there is a good chance they may either drop the ball trying to move it, or you can possibly get at the ball carrier and get the ball off them. The best situation is that you get the turnover and manage to get in a second touchdown taking in a 2-0 lead. If you manage this then the bashing team will need to score twice in the second half which is a tall order for them, especially as they kick the ball to you if they manage to get the first touchdown back.
The fact they will be going for two touchdowns may again make it easier for you to turn the ball over and run the score up even further! What they may try though is scoring in perhaps 5 or 6 turns aiming to do as much damage to your team as possible. Then when they kick off to you again being very aggressive as you have less players and trying to get the ball off you to grab the equaliser. If they look like they are going to try a slightly slower and safer but violent grinding play against you, then look to protect your players rather than going all out to stop them scoring. You have a two touchdown lead so them scoring one back is far better for you than losing your players.
Read Page 2 for when a bashing team receives…