It isn’t often an athlete’s on-field dream comes true twice in the same day.
Unless, of course, you’re University of Arizona kicker Casey Skowron whose 47-yard field goal on the last play not only beat pesky Washington but kept the Wildcats’ (8-2, 5-2) Pac-12 south title chances alive on Saturday. The kick served as a bit of redemption for Skowron who was skewered on social media, even receiving internet death threats, after missing a much shorter attempt on the same field in the waning moments of UofA’s home loss to USC about a month earlier.
Sure, the game-winner was nice, but what he accomplished in the second quarter may have a more lasting personal impact on the former Brophy Prep Bronco who is relatively new to football.
Lining up for a second quarter field goal deep in Huskies’ territory, the junior took the direct snap from center and outraced a host of defenders to the pylon to put Arizona ahead 17-14.
Rare moment for a kicker.
“The touchdown is probably something I’ll never get the chance to do again,” Skowron told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Monday. “That might be a little bit more valuable.”
“We called it ‘Roger,'” Skowron explained. “But it was just a one word call from Drew Riggleman who’s my holder.”
What exactly was the former soccer star thinking moments before his first (and likely last) career touchdown?
“Excited,” he said. “Half of it is I [got] excited because I have to run away from 11 guys who are angry and chasing me down the field.”
Another quirky fact from Saturday was Skowron’s 18 rushing yards were second on the team, only behind leading rusher Nick Wilson’s 104.
Through the 2014 failures and successes he’s taking it all in stride and balances the highs and lows of being a college athlete–playing a position where you’re all too frequently either loved or hated by fans.
“That was definitely something different that people cared so much,” he told Cesmat regarding the social media blasting on twitter and Facebook. “At the same time I knew it was just part of the sport. A lot of it was just from drunk fans right after the game. I didn’t really take it too personally.”
Skworon, who is 17-24 on field goals and has converted all 41 of his PAT’s, probably won’t be running for anymore touchdowns soon but the way the ‘Cardiac Cats’ have kept fans on the edge of their seats in close games he’ll likely have another big kick coming sooner rather than later.