Mike Hollis, ex-Jaguars kicker, plays in National Arena League at 504 min read
At 7:11 p.m. on a Florida Friday evening, shoe satisfied leather and Mike Hollis rang in his second specialist soccer career.
A 50-calendar year-old on the football discipline, wearing a uniform other than black and white stripes sported by the refs. Imagine it.
So, how did the Jacksonville Jaguars unique truly feel soon after soccer debut No. 2?
“Really exhausted,” as Hollis place it — but a winner.
“I failed to comprehend how a great deal kicking I would have to do,” he stated. “There was a whole lot of kicking.”
Two many years right after stepping absent from the NFL, the previous Professional Bowl kicker returned to the activity with the Jacksonville Sharks, becoming the oldest participant in the Countrywide Arena League’s five-12 months record.
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Quarterback Arvell Nelson ensured that both Hollis and the Sharks finished the game as winners, dashing about finish for the game-successful 1-lawn touchdown as time expired to down the San Antonio Gunslingers 72-67 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
Nelson scored 10 touchdowns — eight passing, two rushing — to guide the Sharks (3-4) in a roller-coaster, 139-issue night time of football on the indoor field.
Some takeaways from a history-breaking evening:
It’s a rare day when a rookie — as a newcomer to the indoor sport, Hollis technically entered the contest with rookie standing — lines up alongside players 50 % his age. Sharks like wide receiver Nyqwan Murray, who scored 5 touchdowns Friday, were not but born when Hollis created his NFL debut in opposition to the Houston Oilers on Sept. 3, 1995.
The first participant to kick for the Jaguars in regular-year competition, Hollis transformed 175 area plans all through the NFL team’s glory decades from 1995 to 2001, which includes AFC Championship visits in the 1996 and 1999 seasons and a excursion to the Pro Bowl following the 1997 marketing campaign.
But accidents, particularly again difficulties, cut shorter his profession not lengthy thereafter. Right before Friday, he hadn’t played a aggressive sport or tasted the winning sensation in competitiveness considering the fact that Dec. 29, 2002 for the Buffalo Bills in opposition to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Right after developing a job as a kicking instructor, the longtime Jacksonville resident created his to start with shift towards an on-area return by working towards with the Sharks in the spring. But the kicking task originally went to Brandon Behr, adopted by Cody Barber for most of the final thirty day period.
On Wednesday, the Sharks extra Hollis to the energetic roster, offering him his chance for a second football chapter.
“I had to do some mental things, simply because you get yourself caught up in remaining way too anxious,” he explained. “You have to tranquil on your own down and not do everything distinctive. Which is the major matter that I acquired actively playing in the NFL a long time ago.”
The instant he kicked off Friday, Hollis joined the listing of the oldest gamers on history in experienced football record. The history f
or oldest player to line up in an NFL sport belongs to Pro Football Corridor of Famer George Blanda, who was 48 when he kicked for the Oakland Raiders. Previous soccer striker Manfred Burgsmueller, who played for West Germany’s national crew in the 1970s, was older nonetheless — 52 decades previous — when he closed his career as an NFL Europe kicker in 2002.
Chaotic night time for Mike Hollis
On a night wherever neither protection could slow down the scoring, Hollis invested pretty much as significantly time on the subject as on the sideline.
Hollis converted 6 of the additional points that he kicked, though a shaky trade and a block by San Antonio’s Dontae Angus derailed two other endeavours. Yet another extra position was deflected but nonetheless cleared the bar.
He drove a few of his kickoffs out of bounds on the far narrower arena area and went for 4 on onside kicks, three straight recovered by San Antonio and just one touched too early by the Sharks.
But Hollis even ended up with a statistic he could possibly not have bargained for: a tackle on Gunslingers returner Kali Rashaad, some 20 many years more youthful and an undefined sum more quickly in the 40-property dash. Confronted with Rashaad motoring straight down the sideline on a second-quarter return, Hollis nudged him into the surrounding padding to put the brakes on the perform.
Not lousy for a 50-12 months-outdated — even even though it wasn’t quite in the sport strategy.
“I desire I could stay away from tackling entirely,” he said with a chortle immediately after the game.
Arvell Nelson wins back-and-forth battle
These prior deflected kicks might have saved Hollis and the kicking unit on the sidelines for the game’s deciding play.
Just after Nelson and Gunslingers quarterback Robert Kent (14 of 23, 175 yards, 7 TD) matched every single other landing for touchdown for most of the night, San Antonio (-5) held a 67-66 guide in the waning moments. Nelson fired a go to wideout Miles Kelly, who went down at the Gunslingers 1 with five seconds to play.
But instead of handing Hollis a prospect to get his debut with a area objective, Jacksonville coach Siaha Burley held the offense on the field, a gamble that paid out off. After Nelson (22 of 30, 276 yards, 8 TD) threw incomplete to Devin Wilson, leaving two seconds and 1 play to go, the quarterback followed his blockers all over remaining conclude to lunge into the conclusion zone.
Clayton Freeman handles superior faculty sports activities and more for the Florida Times-Union. Abide by him on Twitter at @CFreemanJAX.