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Fryer: Like father, like son for Chargers
HUNTINGTON BEACH – Talk about following in a father's footsteps.
When Markus Boyer caught a touchdown pass for Edison in its CIF-SS championship game victory last week, he was at the same latitude and longitude coordinates, practically down to the seconds, where his father did the same for Edison in a CIF championship game victory in 1979.
"It was precisely the same corner where Markus went into the end zone," said Mark Boyer, Markus' father. Mark Boyer went on to star at USC and had an eight-year career in the NFL.
"Then," Mark said, "they told me this was the first time a father and son had been on CIF championship teams at Edison. So it was a very special moment."
It was a very special moment for Markus, too. It was the first varsity touchdown for the 6-foot-2, 230-pound junior, and it came in the Chargers' 28-10 victory over Villa Park in the Southwest Division championship game.
Boyer is a blocking tight end and not much of a pass-receiving option in Edison's run-oriented offense. And he's fine with that.
"But I hope next year to be a big receiving threat, and continue being a good blocking tight end as well," said Markus, who has seven receptions for 86 yards and that one touchdown.
After graduating from Edison, Class of '80, Mark Boyer was a blocking tight end at USC and in the NFL. He was a four-year letterman with the Trojans and a key part of their 1984 team that won a Pac-10 championship and defeated Ohio State in the '85 Rose Bowl.
Boyer was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts, where he blocked for Eric Dickerson, then moved on to the New York Jets. Boyer's best statistical season was 1990 with the Jets, for whom he had 40 receptions for 334 yards. He finished with 179 NFL catches for 1,534 yards and six touchdowns.
There is another family connection with Edison football. Mark's son-in-law, Adam Goodman, also an Edison alum who played football at USC, is Edison's tight ends coach. Goodman is Orange County director of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and organizes Bible study groups with Edison athletes, including Markus.
Markus did not play tackle football until he got to Edison. Until his freshman year, Markus played flag football and his father was the coach.
Mark Boyer was a quarterback at Edison until Chargers coach Bill Workman slid Boyer permanently to tight end. Markus, too, was a quarterback in his early football days.
"When I stared playing freshman football here," Markus said, "they gave me good chances to play quarterback, but I just kept getting bigger, so I was moved to tight end and that's where I've been."
Mark shares as much of his knowledge and experience with his son as his son can absorb.
"We watch a lot of film together," Mark said, "and he wants me to show him what I know, like how his stance can be and things like that. We know he's getting plenty of good coaching at Edison, and with Adam helping him, too. He's already learned a lot of things most 16-year-olds don't know."
It's not like Markus needs to get away from football and would prefer his father leave him be. Markus, a personable young man quick to smile, appreciates the resource.
"He knows everything," Markus said of his father. "He's got all that experience, and in life in general he's taught me everything, too, how to love Jesus, stay focused and do what you're suppose to do."
Mark did all he could to not push his only son, who has four older sisters, into football.
"I told Markus a thousand times, 'Don't play if you don't want to play, and know I'll always love you no matter what,'" Mark said. "But he said, 'No, Dad, I love playing.'"
Edison coach Dave White considers Markus to be one of the team's quicker learners.
"He's really smart," White said. "His dad has worked with him a lot in the offseason, on blocking and running routes. Markus also plays backup defensive end for us this year, and he'll probably be a two-way starter next year when he's a senior."
So far, it's been a memorable junior year with the chance to create more special moments in the CIF State Regionals Division 2 game Saturday at Orange Coast College against Serra of Gardena, and perhaps next week, too, if Edison wins to advance to the CIF State Championship Bowl Games.
It might be impossible to surpass that moment of last week, when, with 7:43 remaining in the third quarter Boyer caught the touchdown pass that pushed Edison's lead to 12 points.
"When I got that touchdown," Markus said, "I knew where my dad was, and I pointed up at him."
And his dad knew exactly what Markus was feeling, at that exact moment and at that precise location.