SALT LAKE STALLIONS

Kicking Woes Have Hurt Stallions

Feb 22, 2019, 6:22 PM
Jamar Summers #26 of Birmingham Iron reacts after Taylor Bertolet #1 of the Salt Lake Stallions mis...
Jamar Summers #26 of Birmingham Iron reacts after Taylor Bertolet #1 of the Salt Lake Stallions misses a field goal during an Alliance of American Football game at Legion Field on February 16, 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/AAF/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/AAF/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Salt Lake Stallions have started their season 0-2 with both losses coming on the road. The kicking woes have played a significant role in the 0-2 start, Taylor Bertolet is 1-4 on his field goals.

He has missed from 50, 55 and 48 yards. His only make came from an impressive 53 yards out.

It has been quite the process from training camp to the season opener in getting the kicking game solidified for the Stallions.

Process Leading Up To Opener

Prior to the season opener against the Arizona Hotshots on February 10, the Stallions cut three different kickers before signing former Oregon kicker Matt Wogan and Tyler Rausa from Boise State as general manager Randy Mueller brought the duo in to compete for the starting job. Wogan was then cut and Rausa seemed to be the guy until he failed to live up to expectations. Enter Jimmy Camacho, who played his college football at Fresno State, Camacho was with the Stallions for all of a week before he was the next to go.

Finally, Mueller and head coach Dennis Erickson decided it was time to hold a tryout. Austin MacGinnis from Kentucky, former West Texas A&M Sergio Castillo, Andy Phillips from Utah and former Texas A&M kicker Taylor Bertolet took part in a workout in San Antonio. Bertolet won the job and had the first crack at kicking for the Stallions in a game.

First Game In Team History

During the first regular season game, against the Hotshots, Bertolet did not attempt a field goal. However, in their Week 2 loss to the Birmingham Iron, he had four attempts at putting three points on the board. Bertolet made just one attempt, he was 1-for-4, that included a game tying attempt from 48 yards with a 1:08 left on the clock that he pulled left by about 20 yards.

Scott Mitchell of KSL Sports spoke with team President Tyler Howell specifically about the kicking woes and whether or not the team will have a new kicker for their home opener.

“You know, that is a far better question for our General Manager, Randy Mueller, and our Head Coach, Dennis Erickson, I trust in what they are doing and they are going to give us the best chance to win. The poor guy [Bertolet] had a bad day and hopefully he rebounds. He started out great, he had I think a 53 yarder, he has it in him we just rang into some bad luck so hopefully he just shakes it up and he can do better.”

Former University of Utah kicker, Andy Phillips talked to KSL Sports about how he tried to rebound from poor kicking games when he was in college.

“I would assess the issue and then look for a cue that I could use that week to bring me back to my alignment, Phillips said. “For example, count arm, breathing or eye and just reset.”

Phillips acknowledges that you cannot “overthink it or else you get yourself in deeper trouble. Typically, a miss happens between the head,” he said.

The Stallions will play their first home game on Saturday in a rematch with the Hotshots at 1 p.m.. It will be critical for the special teams to rebound from their woes and put on a show in front of what will hopefully be a packed Rice-Eccles Stadium.

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Kicking Woes Have Hurt Stallions