K.C. Fake Doesn't Fool Hawks But Still Works

Kansas City punter Louie Aguiar says he always had wanted to complete a pass in an NFL game. Seahawk fans wish he had waited a week to do it.

"It's a dream come true," Aguiar said of his 35-yard fake-punt pass to Kevin Lockett that set up a 1-yard plunge by Marcus Allen for the opening score in Kansas City's 19-14 victory yesterday.

The fake punt in the first quarter and a blocked punt in the final quarter were pivotal in Kansas City's seventh victory in Seattle in nine years.

The Chiefs have had the fake-punt play in their playbook for years but have worked on it hard only in recent weeks. A Kansas City reporter had seen them practicing it last week but thought Aguiar was throwing instead of punting because the roof of the team's all-weather practice facility isn't very high.

The play is designed to give the illusion of a punt. The Chiefs hope the return man thinks it's a punt and gets out of the way to let the ball go into the end zone for a touchback. Lockett is supposed to swoop in and catch the ball before it hits the ground.

The play also can work if Lockett outmuscles the opponent for the ball. That's what happened yesterday.

"The key is to have a guy like Aguiar, because without Louie and his ability to throw it that way, you lose," Kansas City Coach Marty Schottenheimer said.

Although at least one Seahawk appeared to be deceived, punt returner Ronnie Harris wasn't fooled, but was outplayed for the ball by Lockett.

"I knew they were up to something," Harris said. "He threw it way up to where I had to knock it down. I saw (Lockett), but I lost him. When I jumped and tried to knock it down, he came over the top of me."

Schottenheimer said the play will go back on the shelf for a long time. "We're probably not going to get away with it for a few more years," he said.

The reception was the first in the NFL for Lockett, a rookie from Kansas State. "Louie threw a great pass, and I was fortunate enough to be able to jump over the the guy and make the catch," Lockett said.

The receiver said he was careful not to tip off the play at the line of scrimmage. "The main thing is to stay calm," he said. "I didn't want to give it away. You don't want to come up to the line smiling."

Aguiar is one for two as an NFL passer. In 1993 with the New York Jets, the former high-school quarterback threw an interception on a fake field-goal attempt.

In the fourth quarter, Joe Horn blocked Kyle Richardson's punt for a safety and game's final two points. Horn lined up outside left, moved down the line closer to the tackle and then burst across the line of scrimmage and blocked the punt. The ball went into the end zone, where Seahawk Jay Bellamy swatted it toward the stands to prevent a possible Kansas City touchdown.

Horn said the Seahawk positioned to plug leaks was looking forward at the line, not checking for outside intruders.

"His eyes got big because he was looking at the front line," Horn said. "I figured he wasn't worried about me. I took it upon myself to get faster."

It was the second consecutive week Richardson has had a punt blocked.

"Today, our special teams hurt us again," Seahawk James McKnight said. "Without that blocked punt for a safety, it would have been a whole different ballgame. That obviously changed the momentum of the game."