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O'Connell kicker comes so close on 60-yard field goal attempt

If made, three-pointer would have tied a state high-school record
Bishop O'Connell kicker Tyler Fontenot attempted a 60-yard field goal against John Carroll during a Sept. 16 game.

In college and professional football these days, 60 yard or longer field-goal attempts have become more routine during games as the skill of place-kickers on those levels of play has improved.

In high school, such lengthy tries are still rare. So when Bishop O’Connell senior Tyler Fontenot attempted a 60-yarder during the   Knights’ home game against John Carroll on Sept. 16, the moment was unique.

The kick came with 7:35 left in the second period and with a favorable wind at Fontenot’s back.

His attempt at first appeared to have the distance, as he quickly made contact with the ball and got plenty of heights. In the final five yards, though, the ball lost altitude, hitting the cross bar and bouncing away to the left, not clearing the bar for three points.

“Close. I’m sure that would have been a school record,” Fontenot said to teammates when he returned to the sideline.

The attempt was the longest Fontenot has tried in a high-school game. Fontenot said he regularly makes 65-yarders during practice, and is regarded as one of the area’s top high-school place kickers and punters. Fontenot had punts of 42, 42 and 47 yards against John Carroll. His long kickoffs all resulted in touchbacks, and he made a solo tackle on a punt return.

In the Knights’ season opener, Fontenot made a 40-yard field goal that had about 20 extra yards to spare.

Fontenot has committed to play Division I college football at Yale University.

“Tyler has the leg to hit those, so he might get more opportunities,” O’Connell head coach Todd Sabatino said.

If Fontenot had made the 60-yarder, it certainly would have been a school record and even tied a state best.

The longest ever made in Virginia was a 60-yarder in 2011 by Dillon Christopher of Menchville High of Newport News in 2011, according to the Website Max Preps, which keeps close tabs on high-school sports across the country.

Max Preps records have 68 yards as the longest high-school field goal ever made nationally. According to the Website, there have been 27 high-school field goals made nationwide of 60 yards or longer.

Fontenot originally kicked for the McLean High School football team, but transferred to O’Connell after his sophomore season. He made multiple field goals for the Highlanders as a freshman and sophomore.