Millar: 62-yard FGA? Tommy Eyer shows some leg
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media December 31, 2012 7:46PM
Updated: December 31, 2012 10:38PM
As Shepard faced a fourth down just past midfield in its first-round playoff game Oct. 26 against Perspectives Charter-Calumet at Gately Stadium, I wondered if the Astros would punt or take a gamble to try for the first down.
Neither. Kicker Tommy Eyer came running onto the field to try a 62-yard field goal.
I was stunned.
As the SouthtownStar’s soccer beat writer, I know Eyer can boot it — he was an All-Area soccer selection in the fall.
But the longest field goal in NFL history is 63 yards, and this attempt would be three yards longer than the Illinois high school record of 59, set in 1996 by Lockport’s Nick Setta.
This wasn’t a desperation kick at the end of a half, either. Shepard led 23-7 early in the third.
The kick ended up being blocked, the ball returned a long way by Perspectives.
A few weeks later, I saw Eyer at a pair of SouthtownStar events, and we talked about it.
The conversation began like this:
Me: “I’ve got to ask you, did you realize how long that kick was?”
Eyer: “At first I ran out there just like any other kick ... then I looked up and I was like ‘Whoa, this is far.’ ”
That led to some laughs. Shepard, too, was free to laugh about the play. The Astros went on to a 23-7 win, making some history in the process.
It was their first playoff win since 1991 and their first playoff road win ever.
I wonder, though, if we could have seen more history if that kick weren’t blocked.
Realistically? Probably not.
Eyer would have liked to have found out, though.
“I wish it wouldn’t have gotten blocked,” he said. “I felt like I hit it really well. It had that sound that you always want to hear as a kicker. I don’t know if it would have made it, but I think I could have gotten it close.”