Late field goal lifts Grain Valley past Raytown
By Mike Lavieri PrepsKC senior writer
It is Nate Chaiprathum’s first year playing football, and the Grain Valley junior kicker missed two field goals earlier in the game.
But with less than 40 seconds left in the game and the team trailing 18-17, head coach David Allie elected to play for the field goal instead of the touchdown.
That was a vote of confidence for his kicker.
“You saw the ones he missed, he had the leg,” Allie said. “It’s his first year playing but when he comes out in warmups, he’s good from 45 (yards out). He’s got the leg. We had to keep going to the well. They called a timeout and tried to ice him. I said, ‘They called that for you. You can do this. That’s (setting up for a field goal) for you. We believe in you.’”
Turns out Allie’s judgement was correct.
After running a couple of rushing plays, 6.6 seconds remained on the clock. That set up Chaiprathum with an opportunity to be the hero. He calmly lofted a kick right in the center of the uprights for a 31-yard field goal with 1.6 seconds left and his team went on to improve to 2-1 and take a 20-18 victory over Raytown Friday at Moody Murry Memorial Field.
“In the middle of the game I made a couple of mistakes, missed a field goal,” Chaiprathum said. “I just took a deep breath, calmed myself and did what I do in practice.”
After Chaiprathum made the kick, he sprinted toward the 50-yard line as his team at the Grain Valley fans went into a frenzy. He leaped into the arms of an assistant coach and threw his first in the air.
It was a surreal moment for the junior, whose primary sport is soccer as he took over for his brother Adam as a defender for the Eagles soccer team.
“It was very shocking and exciting because this is my first year,” he said. “But Coach Alllie believed in me and he’s a great coach.”
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