Hitch (route)

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A hitch route

A hitch route is a pattern run by a receiver in American football, where the receiver will act as if he is running a pattern down field, taking possibly one or two steps forward before quickly stopping and looking for a quick pass before the defender has a chance to react and try to deflect the pass.

This route can also be used in what is called a screen, where while the receiver is receiving the pass, one or more lineman, tight ends, or running backs will run in the direction of the receiver in order to block the initial pursuing defenders so that the receiver has time and space to be able to run after the catch.