Let’s face it, very little practice and preparation precede most Turkey Bowl games. Teams show up and let it fly on Thanksgiving morning. This is especially true on the defensive side of the ball. Knowing this, intelligent offenses take advantage of the lack of defensive organization. The Cranberry Cross is an ideal play to exploit confusion and lack of preparation within an opposing defense.
In this play, the offense attacks dynamically across three levels of the defense—short, middle and deep. The simultaneous crossings also allow for incidental picks or “rubbing” between receivers and defenders or between the defenders themselves.
To execute the play, line up in a twins left formation with a third receiver split to the right. The outside left receiver runs a deep cross at 15 yards; the inside left receiver runs a short cross at 5 yards; and the right receiver crosses at 10 yards.
All receivers should make sure they don’t drift up or down field. They should run straight across the field at the specified depth to avoid bunching and to prevent one defender from covering two receivers. That said, the receivers should adjust their speed to exploit gaps in the coverage, slowing down and “sitting” in open areas and allowing the QB to choose his target. They should accelerate past covered spots to find such windows.
The QB should make sure to look off defenders before picking his receiver.
This play can be used on virtually any down and distance because of its multi-depth options.