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Mountaineer Shot Named NFL 2019 Play Of The Year

For the second consecutive season, the Miami Dolphins had the play of the year in the NFL.

"Mountaineer Shot" was announced Saturday at the Bridgestone Clutch Performance Play of the Year at NFL Honors.

As all Dolphins fans know, "Mountaineer Shot" was the name of the play that resulted in punter Matt Haack throwing a touchdown pass to kicker Jason Sanders — the first time in NFL history a true punter had thrown a touchdown pass to a kicker.

"It means a lot," Haack said Saturday. "It's not every day a punter and a kicker get to be a part of something like that. It's just special for the organization, for us and for the team and for all the fans, really, to have that memory."

The touchdown came in the second quarter of the 37-31 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles at Hard Rock Stadium on Dec. 1.

"I loved it," Sanders said after that game. "How often do you get to see a kicker get a touchdown or even a punter throwing to the kicker? I think that's the unique part of it."

Three days after the game, Sanders was honored as the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

The last time a kicker had caught a touchdown pass was 1977 when Denver's Jim Turner was on the receiving end of a 25-yard touchdown from Norris Weese, who was a punter but also a backup quarterback.

"It's awesome," Haack said. "It's not something you get to see every day. It's not something you're going to practice every day and stuff like that. Whenever it's something called like that, you just hope it works out how you practice it and how it's drawn up, and it did."

Punter Matt Haack (2) throws the ball for a touchdown during a NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL on Sunday December 1st, 2019. (Miami Dolphins)

The Dolphins were trailing 13-7 and facing a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line when they sent Sanders and Haack onto the field for an apparent chip-shot field goal attempt.

Instead, center Daniel Kilgore stayed in the game instead of long-snapper Taybor Pepper and Haack lined up in shotgun formation as the quarterback.

There was nobody else close to Haack.

Five Dolphins players, including Sanders, were lined up wide to the left and four lined up to the right.

The Eagles matched up the Dolphins players outside and had two rushers on either side of Kilgore ready to go at the snap.

After taking the snap, Haack started going to his left while Sanders pretended to block before slipping behind a couple of Eagles defenders into an open spot in the end zone.

Haack then flipped the ball to a wide open Sanders, who caught while on his knee and rolled back to complete the catch.


"It's all based on what they're going to do," Sanders said. "We're just banking on them doing 'this' so we can do 'that.' Matt did a good job. He held on to the ball as long as he could. And once I got off, he dumped it off and I let it come in.

"The play is designed to be how it was, just a nice little bunny throw. If I'm open, I'm going to be wide open. That's how the play was designed."

The play was called "Moutaineer Shot" after Kilgore for the nickname of his college, Appalachian State.

The 2018 Play of the Year was the "Miami Miracle," the 69-yard pass play from Ryan Tannehill to Kenny Stills followed by laterals to DeVante Parker and Kenyan Drake, who finished the touchdown on the last play of the game to give the Dolphins a 34-33 victory against the New England Patriots.

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