N.J. kicker with autism boots game-winning FG to land big upset

Cameron Smith

On Friday night, Brick (N.J.) Township High's football squad knocked off state power Toms River (N.J.), 24-21, thanks to a chip shot 21-yard field goal with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game.

While the length of the game-winning field goal might not be remarkable, the kicker himself was: Brick Township senior Anthony Starego is a football player who happens to be autistic.

As reported by MaxPreps and seen in the video above, Starego nailed the game-winning kick on Friday and immediately began celebrating with his teammates, incorporating a mid-air back bump and an impromptu sideline fiesta that spoke to just how important a role he plays on the Brick Township team.

Starego's coach seconded that sentiment, all while Toms River could do little but reflect on how its own missed chances set the stage for a costly loss for a school fighting for a strong playoff place.

"The kids kind of have taken him under their wings," Brick Township football coach Robert Dahl told MaxPreps. "When he kicks a kick, it's really inspirational for our kids. It lifts up our entire team."

Sometimes, his kick even leads to a victory, something which is even more notable for a team which has won just two games during the 2012 season.

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