As the clock ticked to zero, Daniel Eidson watched a football sail the length of the playing field and squeeze between narrow goalposts just seconds after the ball boomed from his right foot. The 55-yard boot highlighted a stellar night in Johnstown, Pa. for the former Camdenton quarterback. Football took Eidson to an NFL stadium and a 2005 state championship with the Lakers. His career continued for four years at Westminster College in Fulton, where he won all-conference honors as a quarterback and punter. He next had a stint in Denmark as a quarterback/offensive coordinator, teaching the Danes the sport of American football. His latest stop is in Pikeville, Ky. with the Eastern Kentucky Drillers of the upstart Ultimate Indoor Football League.


As the clock ticked to zero, Daniel Eidson watched a football sail the length of the playing field and squeeze between narrow goalposts just seconds after the ball boomed from his right foot. The 55-yard boot highlighted a stellar night in Johnstown, Pa. for the former Camdenton quarterback.

Football took Eidson to an NFL stadium and a 2005 state championship with the Lakers. His career continued for four years at Westminster College in Fulton, where he won all-conference honors as a quarterback and punter. He next had a stint in Denmark as a quarterback/offensive coordinator, teaching the Danes the sport of American football. His latest stop is in Pikeville, Ky. with the Eastern Kentucky Drillers of the upstart Ultimate Indoor Football League.

Eidson was one of six quarterbacks invited to the team training camp. He adjusted to the 8-on-8 formations and smaller field of arena football and made Eastern Kentucky's roster as a backup quarterback. Three weeks ago, he began taking snaps as a wide receiver and took over placekicking duties.

"My overall experience... has been an experience. I've never been a position where I've had to be the backup quarterback. It's a little hard to swallow sometimes," Eidson said.

Eidson made the most of backing up hometown favorite Allan Holland. His athleticism and quick adjustment to the sport makes him the go-to guy when the Drillers need help off the bench. In the UIFL, fields are only 50 yards long and the rules promote high scoring. The ex-Laker says the differences are stark.

"I didn't know what to expect, I didn't think it would be a whole lot different, but it is a lot different," Eidson said. "It's 200 times faster, the field is smaller, the speed of the game is a lot quicker. For offense it's always high scoring because you're passing the ball all the time."

Instead of sidelines, UIFL fields have padded walls surrounding them.

"There's always big hits. Obviously, arena ball has got the walls and they don't give very much," Eidson said.

On April 22, Eidson grabbed Edge Sportswear Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his game against the Johnstown Generals.

He went 4-for-4 on extra points and 3-for-3 on field goals of 47, 29, and 55 yards. He also sustained a separated shoulder.

Fighting through injury is just part of a day at the office in the regional league. Players and coaches are added and dropped from teams with almost no warning.

"We have guys get cut every single week and we have new guys come in every single week. I'm very lucky to still be here," Eidson said.

The Drillers cut the kicker they started the season with, which made room for Eidson to take over. He initially struggled because of the accuracy needed in indoor football, where the gap between the goal posts is almost half the size as it is in the NFL and in the college game.

"At first, I had no confidence in myself kicking into a narrow goal because I'd been away from kicking field goals for a while," Eidson said. "I finally just relaxed. Instead of trying to kick the heck out of it I'm just sweet stroking it."

In three games, Eidson is 24-of-25 on PAT's. He has scored 32 points for the 4-5 Drillers who are undefeated at home and winless on the road.

His monster night in Johnstown kept his team in the hunt in a 41-37 loss.

The move indoors also brought some off-field adjustments for the state championship signal caller. UIFL teams constantly attempt to sell their sport to their communities. Before and during games, hype men, t-shirt tosses, mascots, motorcycles and celebrity guests are all part of the show. Over 3,000 fans attend games in Pikeville, and the sideshows can be distracting to the players.

"They're trying to hype it up. Whenever you are on the road you are not allowed to celebrate after a touchdown, but when you are at home you are encouraged to celebrate," Eidson laughed. "We definitely have the biggest crowd of anybody else in the league."

Eidson says he tries to take his games in the UIFL one at a time with a goal of staying on the 18-player active roster every week.

The Drillers are fourth in the standings in the six-team league with five games remaining on the schedule.

This week, the team let go of head coach Lance Brown, so the on-field product is expected to change.

About the UIFL

The field
• 50 yards long with 10-yard endzones, 28 yards wide
• goalposts are 10 feet wide as opposed to 18 feet, 6 inches wide in the NFL or 23 feet, 4 inches wide in high school
• field surrounded by 4-foot high walls

The teams
• 8 men on the field at a time
• 5 skill position players and 3 linemen on offense
• 3-2-3 defensive formation
• 18 players on active rosters