It was a night for records in Spokane as Central Valley and Shadle Park played to a huge crowd in a Thursday night game.. And while many in attendance at Joe Albi Stadium had come to see Super Sophomore Brett Rypien break the school and league records it was another kid who would steal the show.
Senior CV Kicker Austin Rehkow's 67 yard field goal as regular play ended was the catalyst that got Central Valley to overtime where the Bears were able to hold on to beat Shadle Park 62-55.
Rypien threw for a GSL record 577 yards and three touchdowns and he set the single season League record too which was held by now WSU QB Connor Halliday (Ferris HS). In fact his epic showing had his Highlanders sitting pretty with a 55-52 lead with just 21 seconds left.
With his team struggling to move the ball and the clock at 2 seconds it was either throw a hail marry bomb and hope for the best or try an impossible kick. So after some consultation with his Coaches Rehkow came onto the field to line up for the 67 yard boot.
And he nailed it. A 67 yard field goal which is 3rd All time in High school, longer then any NFL Field Goal ever, and tied for second all time if compared to the NCAA records. However they did it the guys at Wikipedia already have him up there. Check it out right here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_goal_(American_and_Canadian_football)
That historical kick tied the game at 55, sending it to overtime where Central Valley's Grayson Sykes got his fifth touchdown of the game. Shade Park had a shot at the tie in OT but Rypien's pass was picked off in the end zone to end the game.
In the wake of all of this we reached out to Rehkow as we have had some discussions in the past. That led to a nice mid night phone interview and a Q and A Exchange which we have for you right here. Get to know the Miracle Man, Austin Rehkow, a little bit better.
Washington Preps.com: Take us out onto that field just before the decision was made to try the kick. What happened?
Austin: So we had 2 seconds left. And there was not much chance we were going to hit a hail Mary. Coach G was saying that if we go for this kick it is going to be a long one. And I remember telling him I could make it. And he told me to go for it but just put it through.
Washington Preps.com: So was your blood just pumping out there like crazy?
Austin: You could say that. But I just focused and hit it hard off a good snap. It looked pretty good and I watched it curve from left to right. Then you know there is that moment where you realize it was good. And I did not even have anytime to react before I was mobbed under. It was really an amazing thing to be a part of.
WashingtonPreps.com: So was that an emotional lift for the guys to win it all do you think?
Austin: Yes. We marched that ball right up their throat in OT and scored. The line and our backs were so solid tonight. It was great to make that kick and even better to win.
WashingtonPreps.com: So have you ever hit a 67 yard kick before?
Austin: Funny you should say that. In practice the other night we had a wind storm blowing through the stadium. And I said let's kick some long balls. So I nailed a couple Field Goals from 55. So I moved back to 66 or 67 yards. And even with the wind I was short on 6 in a row. So no. I don't think I have made one that long.
WashingtonPreps.com: Ok now the Million Dollar question. How much wind was there pushing that ball tonight?
Austin: None. Honestly it was a dead calm. That was all leg. If you watch the film the flags are dead still.
WashingtonPreps.com: Good enough for us. So what other kicks are you doing?
Austin: All of them. I am 90 % on kickoffs at least 5 yards deep into the end zone. My PAT's are solid. And my punts are averaging 49 yards.
WashingtonPreps.com: Now this made the ESPN Play of the Night, Wikipedia, all the blogs and tweets and Networks you know are over this. So what would a good outcome be for you out of this?
Austin: I hope people see that my skills are worth having on their team. Right now I am hoping people see that kick and want to know more about me and the other things I bring to the table. This is a real weapon I believe. And so for me I hope they see and take seriously that a kicker like that could make a difference for them and that I could maybe have an opportunity for a scholarship.
WashingtonPreps.com: What level or schools are you thinking about?
Austin: Well Cornell has been in touch quite a lot. And I would love to play in the Ivy League. I am a 3.95 student and would love that degree and prestige. But there is the other side of me that wants to compete with the best and the most successful programs in the Nation. So if a football school (Oregon, USC, Etc) gave me a chance I would have to take that. I am more then a kicker. I am a competitor you know. So I want to be able to do this at the highest level.
WashingtonPreps.com: And for those not in the know it is tough for kickers to get a scholarship isn't it?
Austin: Yes. They seem to want to have you walk on and prove that you can succeed before they honor you with a scholarship.
WashingtonPreps.com: So you want to go big and believe this weapon you call a leg is worthy of a scholarship.
Austin: I think so. It would be pretty cool you know. But obviously I am open to anyone and any ways to get on to college.
WashingtonPreps.com: What about the NFL? Have you allowed yourself that dream?
Austin: A little. But it's high school and then College and then we will see. But I think about it a little.
WashingtonPreps.com: What other sports do you play?
Austin: Basketball and Track. Our Hoop squad lost the final last year in the playoffs and that hurt. So we are looking to get back there this year if we can.
WashingtonPreps.com: Have you trained with any kicking gurus like Chris Sailer?
Austin: No. I have not. I have kicked with the arena league kicker and my coaches here but that is it.
WashingtonPreps.com: Thanks for your time Austin. You made history today. Great job!
Austin: Thanks to you too. I want to make sure and make the most of this opportunity and try and get interest and this is a huge help to talk to a Network like yours. Thanks again.