When Spokane (Wash.) Central Valley kicker Austin Rehkow lined up to kick a 67-yard field goal on Thursday, he only wanted to extend the game.
Little did he know what making that field goal -- forcing an overtime that would allow Central Valley to win -- would bring to him in the following days.
In fact, moments before the kick, Rehkow thought his coaches might be throwing.
“I’m a receiver, and our coaches weren’t sure if we wanted to do a Hail Mary or a kick,” said Rehkow. “I was fine with either one, because I was either going to kick it or be down there for the Hail Mary.”
The coaches opted for a kick, and Rehkow told the coaches it was the right move.
“I told my coaches, if you put me out there, I’ll make it. Now granted, it was me wanting my shot, but I definitely wanted to have a chance to put it into overtime,” Rehkow said.
Rehkow (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) headed out for the kick, and eyed the goalposts.
“It actually seems a little closer when you’re out there,” said Rehkow. “I hit it well and I kind of thought, it might have the distance. It started off like it was going to hit the left upright. But it spent a long time in the air and it drifted back in. I couldn’t tell though, so I had to wait for the officials to signal. My first thought was ‘I think I got it,’ and sure enough it fell through.”
Still, Rehkow and Central Valley had to go out for overtime, and they ultimately pulled out a 62-55 win over Shadle Park.
Then came the flurry of attention.
“First and foremost, my coaches were like ‘You’ve got the league record,’ but it wasn’t until the camera people said what kind of record it was that I knew it was a big kick,” Rehkow said.
The 67-yarder broke a Washington state record that had stood since 1929. The kick is tied for the second-longest field goal in national high school history, behind only a 68-yarder by a Nevada kicker in 1985.
NOT TO BE OUTDONE ...
Rehkow's kick wasn't the only monster individual performance of the weekend. A California high school running back scored eight TDs in a little over two quarters on Friday.
“Pretty soon, I had people on my team, people from school saying all these people on Twitter were talking about it and my Facebook blew up,” said Rehkow. “It was pretty awesome, and it’s been crazy just with people’s response around school.”
Rehkow said that he heard from a couple of schools following the game.
“I got follow up calls from BYU and Washington State right after the game, and a couple of other schools that I had been in contact with before have gotten in touch with me. It hasn’t been too crazy, but it’s been nice to see a couple more colleges show interest,” said Rehkow.
Eastern Washington has given Rehkow a partial offer, but he’s hoping that more schools show interest, and a full offer presents itself, either from Eastern Washington, or someone else.
“I’ve had some talks with coaches but being a kicker, you’re more towards the bottom of the list,” Rehkow said. “You can’t miss out on a quarterback but you can take your time on kickers, so we’ll see how it plays out.”
Rehkow said he can do all three facets of kicking in college -- field goals/PATs, punting and kickoffs -- which he said has intrigued college coaches.
“Being able to do all three definitely helps me bring a little more to the table,” Rehkow said.
|Rehkow's schools of interest:|
Rehkow is 30-for-32 on PAT’s, 9-for-16 on field goals and has put 35 of his 40 kickoffs in the end zone.
Prior to the 67-yard kick, his long in a game was more than 10 yards shorter, and Rehkow was uncertain if he’ll get to attempt anymore from midfield, or beyond.
“I’d kicked a 56-yarder in a game, and I kicked a 60-yarder in practice,” said Rehkow. “I’m not sure how many more times we’ll try that, but typically from inside 60 yards this year, we’d opted to go for three, because the likelihood of us putting up three was as good as pinning them inside the five on a punt. In high school, the ball goes to the 20, unlike in college or the NFL, where it’s where we kicked from, so we tried more field goals.”
After a whirlwind weekend, which has basically been full of interviews and a lot of attention, Rehkow was just happy to get back out on the field to practice on Monday.
“Honestly, the attention was cool, but it’s been nice to get out there and play football again,” Rehkow said. “We’ve got two more games, so I just want to enjoy the next couple of games and have some more fun out there.”
Watch Rehkow's 67-yard field goal: