Randy Satterfield knows what it is like to travel the length of the field in short order.
He scored from 99 yards away — the longest possible play from scrimmage in American football — for the Lyon College Fighting Scots on Sept. 28, 2019.
“It’s actually pretty funny,” Satterfield said after practising with the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Tuesday, “because the reason we were backed up that far was because I was back on a punt return and I let the ball roll.”
All the way to the one-yard line.
“It was my fault,” Satterfield continued. “When the ball rolled, the coach looked at me and said, ‘You should have fair-caught it!’
“I was like, ‘My bad. I’ll make it up to you.’ ”
Oh, did he ever!
After Isaiah Bradford threw back-to-back incompletions, Satterfield looked at the Fighting Scots’ quarterback and said, “Just give me a chance.”
On third-and-10, Satterfield sprinted down the right sideline. From eight yards deep in the end zone, Bradford launched a bomb that Satterfield caught in stride on his team’s 39-yard line after breezing past two Texas Wesleyan Rams defenders.
“When he threw the ball, I looked at it in the air and said, ‘To the house we go,’ ” he said.
By then, Satterfield was so accustomed to the house that he should have applied for a mortgage.
Earlier in the Fighting Scots’ NAIA home game — played at Pioneer Stadium in Batesville, Ark. — Satterfield had caught TD passes of 70 and 40 yards.
His final numbers for the day: Three catches, 209 yards and three touchdowns in a 53-45 Fighting Scots victory.
A nice day’s work.
Over 10 games that season, Satterfield caught 11 touchdown passes. He also scored on an 87-yard kickoff return and a 44-yard punt return.
He led the Sooner Athletic Conference in receiving yards, with 867, as a senior.
The Roughriders took notice, signing the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder to a contract on Dec. 23, 2019.
Unfortunately, the 2020 CFL season was cancelled due to COVID-19.
When play resumed in 2021, Satterfield attended the Roughriders’ training camp and clearly left a lasting impression on the team’s football-operations personnel.
That explains why he is back with the Green and White, having signed a contract on the weekend. He made his debut at this year’s Coors Light Riders Training Camp on Monday at Griffiths Stadium.
Between visits to Saskatchewan, Satterfield has continued to make history.
It was one thing to score a touchdown from an unsurpassable distance.
He added another flourish by registering the first touchdown in USFL history —a three-yard scoring reception for the New Jersey Generals against the Birmingham Stallions on April 16, 2022.
The ball was soon ticketed for Canton, Ohio — home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“As soon as I scored, you can see them run up and grab the ball, put it in a container, and ship it right off,” Satterfield noted.
As nice as it is to be part of the Canton shrine, Satterfield is preoccupied with maximizing his second opportunity in Saskatchewan.
“It was a new experience the first time, because I had never seen a waggle for a day in my life,” he said, focusing on the inside receivers’ pre-snap running start at the line of scrimmage.
“The route concepts and the depths on routes and what they’re called, it was all new for me.
“Coming back, I was like, ‘I’m technically not a rookie anymore,’ because I was a groin injury away from making the team that first year. I made it all the way to the end, but that injury kind of put me out of the loop.
“But apparently I showed enough then for them to bring me back now, so I’m just excited, man. I’m happy.”
Especially in light of the fact that the expansive CFL field allows for a TD reception of up to 109 yards. So, yes, the 99-yarder can be topped!
“I’ve been working my lungs up for this and working on my conditioning,” Satterfield concluded with a smile, “because I feel like I’m going to have me a long one this season.”