The Drop-Kick Kid
As the time winded down in Saturday’s contest between the Power and visiting Milwaukee Mustangs, Bryan Randall raced to the left side for a one-yard touchdown score that put Pittsburgh up by five with 23 ticks left on the clock.
Looking to go up by a score and an extra point, instead of going for a traditional two-point conversion, Power Head Coach Derek Stingley decided to go with a method that had rarely been converted in the Arena Football League: the drop-kick.
He sent first-year AFL kicker Geoff Boyer out onto the field as Randall and the offense double checked that they weren’t supposed to be out there doing the dirty work.
“We know we needed to go for two,” Stingley said. “Geoff felt good about it. I figured as much as he’s been practicing and he’s known as a drop kick kicker, then why not?
Boyer lined up in the drop-kick formation, which is similar to a punt formation, and readied himself for a simple play that he had practiced over and over again to try to give his team a chance to win the game.
As the snap came, it was a little high causing Boyer to have to jump throwing off his rhythm and timing. He checked the pressure, realized he had the time and dropped the ball.
“I wasn’t panicky or anything like that,” Boyer said. “Once the snap had come, it was a little high. So that’s already off to a rocky start. I just set my feet and kicked the ball.”
The ball bounced off the ground, then off Boyer’s foot and flew through the narrow uprights to give the Power a seven-point lead.
“I thought coming up here I’d be given the opportunity to drop-kick,” Boyer said. “I’ve done it before so I’m comfortable doing it. In that situation, we had to go for two and it just happened to be the call he happened to go with.”
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, Milwaukee was able to get a touchdown and a two-point conversion with three seconds left to steal the victory despite Boyer’s late game kicking heroics.
Playing goalie as a young soccer player growing up, Boyer said that drop-kicks came naturally to him as he developed his kicking game for football.
“Once I started trying out for indoor teams and arena teams, I realized that was a rule and started practicing it,” he said.
All of his practice paid off, and now that he’s done it, he hopes that the play will be utilized more often after Power scores throughout the remainder of the season.
“With as simple as it is for me to drop kick a ball for two points, I’d like to do it every time,” Boyer said.
In a season where the kicking game has been a damper on games at times, since Boyer’s arrival to the team on Week 11 hasn’t been much of a problem. Boyer has been almost automatic on extra points and has also knocked through four field goals.
Boyer has also been one of the most energetic players on the field, which is not average for a kicker.
“I’m not your typical kicker,” Boyer said. “In Arena Football it’s a lot more exciting. It’s more of a fan-player experience.”
You can expect Boyer to continue to show his energy on the field after his field goals and extra points and if his wish to continue to drop-kick comes true, you’ll see him more pumped up than ever before.