With two seconds left in regulation and the Central Valley Bears trailing by three, Austin Rehkow propelled his team into overtime -- and himself onto the front page -- with a record-setting 67-yard field goal.
Rehkow's field goal as regulation expired helped get CV to overtime, where the Bears were able to outlast the Shadle Park Highlanders 62-55 Thursday night at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane.
Shadle Park trailed 28-7 at one point, but led 48-45 in the fourth quarter when Brandon McClung ran 17 yards to give the CV Bears a 52-48 lead with 1:04 remaining. But Brett Rypien led his boys back. With 21 seconds left in regulation, Rypien found Nick Kiourkas to put the Highlanders up by 3, with the fans prepared to call the game and storm the field.
But CV still had life, thanks to Rehkow. After the Bears were unable to get past the 50 yard line on their ensuing possession, they trotted him out with two seconds left in the game. Rehkow came through, nailing a 67 yard field goal, believed to be the third longest in high school football history. That tied the game at 55, sending it to overtime.
"They kinda asked me if you think you got it, and I said 'Yeah lets go for it,' and going out there you know you're not 100 percent sure, but I thought I had the leg strength, and as soon as I kicked it, I saw it going through the middle. It's just one of those times where it's that time of the day. It's my night," Rehkow said.
On the Bears' first possession in overtime Grayson Sykes struck pay dirt from five yards out, putting the Bears up by 7. Sykes had five touchdowns on the night.
Could the Highlanders respond? If anyone could do it, it would be Rypien, who looked deep into the end zone for Tanner Pauley, but was picked off by CV's Scott Hilpert, sealing the deal for Central Valley 62-55 in overtime.
Central Valley improves to 6-2 with the win, keeping its slim playoff hopes alive while Shadle Park falls to 3-5 on the season.
"I don't know if I've been so happy before. I've had several long field goals, but nothing compared to this. I mean I just heard it was third nationally kicking it basically from a kickoff. My teammates were ecstatic. We tied the game, and it was just overwhelming joy," Rehkow said.
While Rehkow's kick made the top 10 plays of the day on ESPN and propelled him into the spotlight with appearances on "Good Morning America" and the "Today" show, it wasn't the only one breaking records at Joe Albi.
Shadle Park's sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien, nephew of legendary NFL quarterback Mark Rypien, threw for a Greater Spokane League record 577 yards and three touchdowns, the last of which gave the Highlanders a 55-52 lead with just 21 seconds left.
Rypien also set the GSL's single season mark for passing yards eclipsing both Ferris High School's Connor Halliday, who is now a quarterback for Washington State University, as well as another former Shadle High and WSU quarterback, Brett's uncle Mark Rypien.