In high school football, can an offensive lineman legally catch a lateral pass? Does it make any difference if a receiver is covering him from the snap?
As far as I understand, from reading the most recent NHFS rulebook I can find online, there is no specific difference here between high school and any other level of play. As such, any player may receive a lateral or backward pass, regardless of position or number; only passes deemed forward passes are restricted to eligible recievers.
Article 1... During any down, any player in possession may make a backward pass [...]
Article 2... If a fumble or backward pass is caught or recovered by any player, he may advance.
T, wearing #75, lines up in the left tackle position. After the snap, T fakes blocking and then takes a few steps back and to his left. QB fakes a hand off to RB and, while rolling right, stops, turns around, and throws the ball backwards(from the original line of scrimmage) to T. T proceeds to run it in for a touchdown.
Ruling: Touchdown. Although T does not have a jersey number permitting him to catch a forward pass, he (and any other player on the offense) may catch a backward lateral pass.