All of America, it seems, has now seen UNT’s amazing trick play against the University of Arkansas last Saturday, but did you catch the reference to former Lake Highlands High football coach Mike Zoffuto in Dallas Morning News sports guru Kevin Sherrington’s analysis?
Sherrington said Keegan Brewer’s performance pulling off the “Peter Pan play” was so brilliant, so entertaining, it put him in “the pantheon of ‘Kick Six,’ ‘Lateralpalooza,’ the Stanford band and Tyler John Tyler making Mike Zoffuto want to throw up.”
“Peter Pan” was a term coined by UNT Special Teams Coach Marty Biagi’s to reference the universal cry of “Peter! Peter! Peter!” alerting punt return team members to steer clear of a kick. Here’s a refresher on what made Zoffuto want to throw up.
Zoffuto was still LHHS’ head coach in 1994, but the Wildcats were out of the playoffs when he accepted a gig broadcasting a playoff game at Texas Stadium between Plano East and Tyler John Tyler. With just 3:03 left in the game, Plano East trailed 41-17. Most fans headed for the parking lot.
I won’t attempt to describe the improbable events which followed, except to say Zoffuto and broadcasting partners Eddy Clinton and Denny Garver became giddy with glee watching athletes from Plano march toward a comeback.
In the end, Plano East led 44-41 with 24 seconds remaining until Tyler John Tyler returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. Final score 48-44.
“God bless these kids,” said an emotionally overwrought Zoffuto.
A video of the game sold more than 20,000 copies and led to an appearance on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. Zoffuto died in an Amarillo assisted living facility in 2012.