Dixon breaks 30-year streak for Den­ver pun­ters

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

nashville, tenn.» Among the first ques­tions is­sued to Ri­ley Dixon when he ar­rived in Colorado in May were about his his­tory of trick plays. The 6-foot-4 punter from Syra­cuse, whom the Bron­cos drafted with their last pick, built a rep­u­ta­tion for his fake punts in col­lege. He looked more like a run­ning back than a punter on oc­ca­sion.

But the ques­tion­ing was more out of amuse­ment.

“I think we ran five this year, maybe, so ev­ery other (game),” he said then. “When­ever Coach (Scott Shafer) saw an op­por­tu­nity, he took ad­van­tage of it. He was al­ways on top of it.”

On Sun­day the Bron­cos coaches added one more trick, the first of Dixon’s pro ca­reer.

On a fourth-and-2 play late in the third quar­ter Dixon faked a punt and threw to the left side­line for a 16-yard com­ple­tion to re­ceiver Cody La­timer.

It was the first pass com­ple­tion by a Bron­cos punter since Nov. 16, 1986, when Chris Nor­man threw a 43-yard touch­down against Kansas City.

“Yeah, we’ve been work­ing on it,” coach Gary Ku­biak said. “We got ex­actly what we wanted (cov­er­age wise), so it was a good ex­e­cu­tion by Ri­ley and Cody. Good ex­e­cu­tion by both of them.”

While the sur­prise play helped jump­start the stag­nant Bron­cos of­fense, the drive ended on downs. Den­ver trailed 13-0 into the fourth quar­ter be­fore it would get on the board.

Bron­cos punter Ri­ley Dixon throws a pass for a first down on a fake punt in the third quar­ter. John Leyba, The Den­ver Post

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