[Masthead] Fair ~ 66°F  
High: 72°F ~ Low: 47°F
Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Breaking down the punt

Monday, December 7, 2009

I imagine that from now on, when you say "The punt," everyone will know what you mean in the same way that "The Immaculate Reception" refers to Franco Harris' miracle touchdown off a deflected pass in a 1972 AFC divisional playoff game.

What the punter, Matt Wheeler, was supposed to do on that play may never really be known although Fort Scott head coach Jeff Sims said in the Citizens Bank Bowl's post-game press conference that the call was entirely on him.

"For the record, I made a mistake," Sims said.

Here's an ironic thing about the play: Blinn made mistakes in setting up the punt return.

The Greyhounds had fourth-and-11 with under a minute to go, leading 26-24. Sims said he saw Blinn having trouble setting up its punt return and ordered his team to rush the punt and catch the Buccaneers off guard.

The Greyhounds actually did catch Blinn off guard, according to Buccaneer running back Mike Hayes.

"How we run it, I was supposed to come up and fake (a reverse)," Hayes said. "And when he caught it, I just got stuck and I just looked at him. I didn't know what he's doing and he just ran past me. I didn't touch anybody. And he ran past me and I saw him make the cut and then all I had to do was put my hands up."

Chad Froechtenicht, the man who ran it back 84 yards for the score, said he felt that he had figured out the Greyhounds' tendencies on their punt coverage.

"The first two punt returns, I ran over to the right," Froechtenicht said. "And I saw them overpursuing. On the touchdown, they went to the right and I cut it back. Next thing I know, I'm saying 'I'm not going to stop until I reach the end zone.'"

The video of the play is posted on the NJCAA's Web site. When Froechtenicht catches the ball, you can see Hayes (No. 5) about 12 yards downfield. He was supposed to be getting back even with Froechtenicht.

Froechtenicht starts to his right about four steps, stops and cuts back toward the middle. Hayes is looking around, not sure what to do as Froechtenicht runs by.

And he was right, he never touched anyone.

Froechtenicht cuts back to the right at the Blinn 35-yard line and from that point on, it takes just two blocks to allow him to run to the end zone. Over the last 50 yards, there are only two Blinn players in front of him.

"Chad's had good returns all season," Blinn head coach Brad Franchione said. "When we force team to punt, I don't think we had but one other touchdown."

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on fstribune.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

This team has NOTHING to hang their heads about. These young men left theirs HEARTS out there on the field. Hounds keep your heads up! Its been a great season and Fort Scott should be proud of these young men. Your still the #1 team in the Nation and no one will be able to take that away from you guys.


-- Posted by HD roadking on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 6:03 AM

You are allowed to be #1 in your own little world but I bet the record books will show Blinn as the NATIONAL CHAMPIONS OF RECORD. You are right that the Ft. Scott team has nothing to hang their heads about. They too are a great football team. Your own coach said about Blinn quote.. "They are a great football team, but you can only control what you can control," Sims said. "If they beat us, it is because they are a better team."

Hmmm I guess Blinn Bucs are the better team.

-- Posted by newmang on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 1:43 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: