Facing fourth-and-4 in the fourth quarter, Eastern Kentucky’s Jordan Berry dropped into punt formation Saturday at Morehead State.
Rather than kick away, though, the Australian executed a soft rugby-style kick to Trey Thomas, a defensive back who lined up as a wideout. Thomas snagged the kick and ran for a first down.
EKU Coach Dean Hood had researched the play and, yes, it is legal for either team to advance the ball when a punt does not cross the line of scrimmage.
EKU went on to score, increasing its lead to 49-24 en route to a 56-24 win.
Might the Colonels run the same fake again?
“If they don’t cover the wideout,” Hood said with a smile. “That’s the thing. I’ve had a lot of people ask ‘why’d you do that when it was that late in the game?’ I didn’t call that.
“That’s a check for us. If we put two wideouts out there and they only put one guy out there to cover him, our kids check to that. Now, they don’t always check to that because sometimes I’m in control. When I just call a formation and a protection, that’s on them — if they don’t cover the wideout, we check to it.”
Hood said the Colonels have worked on the play for two years, first with Berry throwing the ball. It was Berry’s idea to kick the ball because he was quicker and more accurate that way.
Hood said Berry was timed at 2.4 seconds when throwing the ball, 1.9 when kicking it.
“It had to be the perfect situation,” Hood said. “It had to be they (the players) had control of the call, meaning I just called a protection and a formation, and they check it if they look out and they’ve got it uncovered.”