September 19, 2011
By now, nearly everyone knows that Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski tied an NFL record by kicking a 63-yard field goal in his team's season opening victory in Denver during Oakland's 23-20 victory. Since he tied an NFL record, Janikowski's kick is necessarily the longest of the season at any level of football. Most football fans would hardly be surprised by that fact, either.
However, what they might be startled to find is the identity of the kicker of the second longest field goal of the 2011 season. He's not a pro, and he doesn't even play for a major college program. Rather, Garrett Owens nailed an improbable 57-yarder during his Arroyo Grande (Calif.) High squad's 45-17 victory against Templeton (Calif.) High. According to Prep Rally's research, that's the longest high school kick this year, and the second longest at any level since the 2011 season began.
Owens' powerful boot came during the fourth quarter of Arroyo Grande's rout of a Templeton team which had no answer for Arroyo Grande's balance offense. It also had no answer for Owens himself, who put up the kind of combined statistics that can make a player's season. On top of his booming 57 yard kick, he was also a perfect 5-for-5 on extra points and crushed all his team's kickoffs.
Did we mention that Owens is also a starting wide receiver? He is, and he caught 10 passes for 123 yards and one touchdown, an exhausting effort that makes the distance he reached on his field goal all the more impressive.
The Arroyo Grande senior isn't a newcomer to distances beyond 50 yards, however. As a junior in 2010, Owens hit one 51-yarder, not to mention another kick from 47 yards. His kickoffs went for touchbacks an equally impressive 81 percent of the time.
However, the scariest factor Owens has going for him at the moment may be the school where he's chosen to kick in college: the Air Force Academy. Considering the fact that he hits field goals from 57 yards at sea level, what are the odds he might shoot for the record books in thin mountain air?
Hear that Janikowski? You might have company on the way from down the coast in Southern California.
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