55-yard FG stuns Mount Hebron kicker


Saturday, Mount Hebron senior Nathan Kealey missed his first field-goal attempt. One of his extra-point attempts was blocked. And his onside kick attempt was unsuccessful.

But he made up for those mistakes in a big way -- with a 55-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of the Vikings' 16-0 win over Perryville.

Earlier in the game, Kealey missed a 26-yard field-goal attempt with the wind blowing in. In the fourth quarter, the wind was at his back. Still, no one was more surprised by the long field goal than Kealey.

"I looked up and saw it had a lot of leg in it," said Kealey, who had kicked 45-yard field goals in practice. "Then it hit the crossbar, and I thought, 'I kicked it this far and it's going to hit off the crossbar,' but it bounced over. Then I saw the ref's arms go up, and I just turned around and walked away in amazement. It didn't hit me until about two hours later while I was sitting around the house with some friends."

Mount Hebron coach Steve Benninghove said he felt the time was right for the 55-yard attempt.

"We were leading, 13-0, in the fourth quarter, and the wind was blowing the right way," he said. "He [Kealey] does everything for us. He is our quarterback, safety, punter, kicker and punt returner. As a reward for him, I asked him if he wanted to try it, and he said he'd love to."

Kealey's field goal exceeded the school record of 43 yards, set by Jason Jaecks in 1986. No official Howard County or state records are kept for field goals, although Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association football chairman John Cox said he has been involved in state high school football since 1969, and Kealey's kick is the longest he has heard of.

Kealey was not close to the national record, however. According to the "1990 National High School Sports Record Book," Dirk Borgognone of Reno, Nev., kicked a 68-yard field goal in 1985.

Cardinal Gibbons, North Harford and Hereford ended lengthy losing streaks over the weekend, but Gibbons' 16-12 victory over No. 4 City on Friday night -- which ended the Crusaders' 12-game losing streak -- was the most surprising.

Gibbons shut out City in the second half to overcome a 12-3 halftime deficit.

"I think we're a little tougher than most people give us credit for," Cardinal Gibbons coach Frank Trcka said. "Once City gets a lead, it usually pours it on. It took a good defensive effort."

The Crusaders, who went 0-11 last season as a member of the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference, have had more swings in fortune than any other area team during the past several years. They also were winless as a member of the A Conference in 1987, then moved down to the B Conference the following season and won the conference championship.

North Harford's 50-14 win over Havre de Grace on Friday ended the area's longest losing streak at 13 games. Archbishop Spalding, which lost to Douglass, 6-0, Friday, owns the area's longest losing streak, 13 games.

Hereford ended an eight-game losing streak Friday with a 22-6 victory over Patapsco. Hereford, 1-9 a year ago, will visit Pikesville Saturday at 1 p.m. Pikesville, which also finished 1-9 last season, raised its record to 2-0 with a 12-6 victory over Loch Raven on Friday.

Anne Arundel County's two traditional football powers -- Annapolis and Severna Park -- fell to 0-2 over the weekend.

No. 9 Annapolis -- which lost its first two games last season before finishing 7-4 -- was beaten by No. 2 Randallstown, 14-6, Saturday, and No. 15 Severna Park was routed by High Point, 40-19, Friday. Severna Park's 0-2 start is its worst since losing its first three games in 1977.

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