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Film Study: A rare look at a legal kick-pass for a first down

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

Have you ever seen a legal kick-pass in a football game?

Most people haven’t – until now.

Eastern Kentucky decided to unveil this gem against Morehead State on Saturday, so we decided to break it down in this week’s film study:

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Just a simple little punt play, right? Notice the line of scrimmage.

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The receiver on the right, Trey Thomas, starts to run downfield but then checks back to the punter, Jordan Berry, who has amazing accuracy and kicks it right to Thomas. The two unblocked guys on the left side of the play are totally baffled.

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The key here is that for this to be a legal play, and not downed where Thomas catches it, the kick-pass has to be caught behind the line of scrimmage.

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Look how close Thomas is to the line of scrimmage when he lands. The ball, however, is still on the Eastern Kentucky side of the line of scrimmage making it a legal pass play - just barely.

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When everyone gets wise to the play, Thomas is well on his way to a first down. Eastern Kentucky would ultimately score on this drive and this was scored as an 11-yard passing play. If there's one positive for Morehead State in this photo it's that the team responded well and didn't give up too big of a play.

[Photos: See Philip Rivers kick the football]

This is a fun little trick play, but we have to ask, why the heck would you use it when you're up 18 with 5 minutes remaining in the game? And then, why would you put it on your team website for every one of your opponents to watch? Now everyone knows it exists and teams will be expecting it in closer games.

If you ask us, that's the only thing wrong with this play.

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