Watch out NFL, it looks like we have the second coming of Lou Groza.
Straight out of a scene from Friday Night Lights, with 27 seconds left on the clock, high school place-kicker Austin Pacheco nailed a 64-yard field goal to clinch a 27-24 victory over Bishop Manogue High School in Carson City, Nev. on a Saturday afternoon.
Pacheco’s goal not only marked a dramatic win for Carson High School, but also was kicked from farther than any NFL kicker has hit from in a professional game, the Nevada Appeal reports. This season Oakland Raiders place-kicker Sebastian Janikowski’s 63-yard goal against the Denver Broncos tied the record for longest in league history, but still falls short of Pacheco’s game-winning kick.
“I knew it was good as soon as I hit it. The snap was perfect and the hold was perfect. The wind was blowing to the right and I played it perfectly,” Pacheco said, noting the wind’s key role.
During the showdown, fans and coaches were stunned by the team’s bold play. “I don’t know what to say,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “You might have to wait a minute.”
Bishop Manogue coach Paul Mills said he was shocked by the decision. “One of the kids on the sideline said the tee’s out there and I was thinking the tee from the previous kick. Then I’m looking out there and they’re lining up for a field goal,” he said.
“The kid nailed it. My hat’s off to him. That’s a great job in a very pressure-filled situation,” Mills continued. “Wind-aided or not, he got the job done and there’s a lot of variables when you’re kicking that far.”
Though NFL-record worthy, the kick stands as the second-longest in state history. Reno High School’s Dirk Borgognone drilled one from 68 yards in 1985.
Pacheco said he wasn’t as surprised as his fans that Roman allowed the kick. “He told me before the game that anything 65 and under we had a chance. We did what we could do.”
Coach Taylor would be proud.