the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, October 23, 2014

High School Long Kicks - Oklahoma

Our series exploring the longest field goals at the high school level in each state continues with Oklahoma.
  • 65 (free kick after fair catch) Luke Roberts for Deer Creek High (Edmund) during 10-14 loss to Seminole High on November 24, 2001 (Class 3A Playoff semi-finals)
"It was awesome. I didn't realize it was a state record at the time. I knew I could make one, but I had never kicked one like that before."
  • 63 (free kick after fair catch) Tim Sydnes for Putnam City West Prep during 9-6 win over Moore High on October 14, 1994
"We know that Tim is a very potent weapon for us, and in high school football or any level, three points can make a difference in a game,' coach Dennis Millican said. 'It's a little-known rule that if you fair catch a punt - and we told the officials beforehand what we were going to do - you can ask for a free kick. The defense has to line up 10 yards away just like a kickoff, and you can tee it up any way you like. Our kicking game coordinator, Grant Gower, suggested that we do it, and I'm sure glad he did. I'm happy for Tim'."
  • 61 Josh Brown (currently the kicker for the New York Giants) for Foyil High during state playoff game in 1996 (8 man football)
"The youngest of four children, Josh was in eighth grade when the family moved, and he didn't waste time before introducing himself to football coach Rick Antle, now the Foyil High principal. 'The first thing he said to me was, 'I'm a kicker. When are you having kicker tryouts?'  Antle said. 'I said, 'Son, this is eight-man football. We don't kick PATs and field goals, and junior-high kicker tryouts are on the day of the game.'' Antle was going over his game plan before the season opener when his assistant coach came in to tell him what the kid they'd named varsity manager and cameraman was doing. He says, 'Antle, have you seen the new kicker, the Brown kid? He's out there kicking,' said Antle, who played linebacker at Oklahoma State. 'I said, 'Dad-gum, I told him not to be jacking around, horse-playing.' I stepped outside and the first thing I noticed was it sounded different. I heard that 'boom' when his foot hit the ball. He was hitting 30- and 35-yarders as an eighth-grader and kept moving the tee back. I watched five or six kicks and I said, 'I think we're going to start kicking field goals and PATs.

With the scores often lopsided, there's a mercy rule: The game ends if either team gets a 45-point lead. When Brown was playing -- starring at running back, defensive back and kick returner as well -- Antle became versed in the art of not blowing out a team too quickly. 'You never want to 'run-rule' anybody before halftime. It doesn't allow you to make much on concessions,' he said. It was during one of those blowouts that Brown kicked a now-legendary 61-yard field goal, ending a game in the fourth quarter Antle figured he could extend. He let Brown try a 57-yarder just for kicks, and Brown made it, but an illegal procedure call nullified it and moved the ball back five yards. 'My assistant said, 'Don't you want to punt now?' Antle said. 'And I said, 'Naw, he barely made that one. He's not going to make it.' His adrenaline pumping after making the first kick, Brown moved back only four yards and cleared the cross bar by 10 feet, giving Foyil a 45-point margin. 'I told the other coach, 'I want to apologize. I didn't think he'd hit that field goal and end the game,' Antle said. 'He said, 'No problem. When we see him playing on Sundays, I'll be able to tell my grandkids he hit a 61-yarder against us'."
  • 61 Cort Moffitt for Washington High (Tulsa) in 1998

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