Kicker is secret weapon for Watertown Red & Black
WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A player that usually doesn’t garner much attention on a football team is the kicker, a position that can make or break a game.
Fortunately for the Watertown Red & Black, they have one of the best in the Empire Football League.
For the past two seasons, the Red & Black have been blessed with a kicker they can rely on in clutch situations.
Eric Beyler has been Mr. Consistent for Watertown on extra points and field goals, missing only three of his 22 extra points attempts.
He’s a talented player who never had any intention of kicking when he joined the team.
“I came her as starting out as a consistent coach trying to help out the special teams because they had a good kicker that year,” Beyler said. “The only reason I suited back up again, came out of retirement, was because he was going to be out of town and there was nobody else to fill his shoes. So, I stepped up and did it and that bug got planted back again and now I don’t see stopping until something makes me.”
Last season Beyler converted on six of eight field goals and 13 of 14 extra points.
He’s kept up his consistency this season banging home nine of 11 extra-point attempts.
His hard work both on and off the field is paying off.
“Try and get here early so I get the field to myself,” he said. “It’s a very misunderstood position. I’ve been doing it for a long time, I enjoy it, I hope to keep on doing it for years to come, but it’s definitely something most people will probably never understand.”
At age 37 Beyler is showing no signs of slowing down and Red & Black head coach George Ashcraft hopes that’s the case for the foreseeable future.
“You can’t say enough,” Ashcraft said. “He’s pretty near perfect on his extra points for the last two years. He’s probably one of the highest scorers that we have got no matter what because he doesn’t miss. He’s a great guy, he’s a great teammate and for as far as the game goes you know if you’re inside the 30 you know you’re going to get points.”
Kickoffs are also a specialty for Beyler. In 2021 he had 24 kickoffs for a 45-yard average and this season he has 10 kickoffs for a 52-yard average, something that can change a game script rather quickly.
“Kicking off, he puts it inside the 10-yard line a lot of times and if they don’t catch it, it goes through the end zone,” Ashcraft said. “Even on the kickoffs there’s nothing like having a great kicker and he’s becoming one of the best.”
Eric Beyler, a player who’s become clutch for the Red & Black and has been a silent key to their success the past two seasons.
Key matchup this weekend
Meanwhile, the Red & Black face a key early season matchup on Saturday night as they travel to Broome County to face the Stallions in a battle of unbeatens.
The winner will take over sole possession of first place in the EFL as both teams enter the contest with perfect 3-0 marks.
And the players know there could be a lot more on the line as well on Saturday, including homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
“It’s going to be a really big game,” wide receiver Kalon Jeter said. “A lot is on the line for both teams and I truly think that they’re coming into this and they’re underestimating the actual firepower that the Watertown Red & Black has. At this point, it’s make it happen or nothing. There’s really not a whole bunch to talk about. Game time, we’re going to come down, going to lace ‘em up and we’re going to play our type of football.”
“It’s going to be a fight,” quarterback Jason Williams said. “They’re not going to let us win easy. Just got to get out there and get after it. It’s going to be tough.”
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