When traditional power Colquitt County topped then Super 25 No. 20 Archer in a Georgia AAAAAAA quarterfinal, the attention focused on Colquitt kicker Ryan Fitzgerald, for good reason. The junior delivered all 12 of the Packers’ points in a 12-7 upset, making his defense’s stout work stand up.
Buried in the overarching storyline, however, are the details of the kicks, because one of them is truly remarkable: A 60-yard free kick on the final play of the first half. The attempt was made possible when Colquitt used a fair catch to field an Archer punt, and legendary Colquitt coach Rush Propst then trotted Fitzgerald out on the field to boot the ball as far as he could off a tee.
The attempt sailed right through, as you can see above and below from different angles, and it cut the Archer lead at the time to 7-6.
It’s not every year that someone at any level of football hits a 60-yarder, let alone a high school kicker. Add in the pressure from the state playoffs and Fitzgerald’s kick is even more remarkable.
Will the junior’s strong leg be enough to get the Packers to a state final? We’ll have to stay tuned to find out. Few would have guessed it would be sufficient against a team like Archer. Then again, few would have guessed a high school kicker would nail a 60-yard free kick, either.