Culture

Stanford’s can’t-miss kicker: Karty perfect heading into Cardinal’s season finale vs. BYU


Stanford place-kicker Joshua Karty, right, celebrates with punter Ryan Sanborn after an extra point during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

It was at Stanford Stadium that Valerie Karty told her husband Joel that she was pregnant with their first child. Two decades later, they will be in the stands on Saturday night as Joshua Karty concludes what may be the best season for a kicker in Stanford history when the Cardinal hosts BYU.

Karty is 40-for-40 on kick attempts this season, with 24 extra points and 16 field goals. That includes a school-record 61-yard field goal on the final play of Stanford’s 27-20 Big Game loss last week – the second-longest field goal in Pac-12 history, and the longest by an FBS kicker this season by five yards.

Stanford place-kicker Joshua Karty, right, celebrates with punter Ryan Sanborn after an extra point during the first half of the team’s NCAA college football game against Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) 

Warming up at Cal, Karty made a 58-yarder against the wind, so he told the coaches his range was 63-65 in the other direction, where Stanford would be going in the second half.

Even when the outcome was no longer in doubt, he continued warming up on the sidelines. So with five seconds left, he was prepared when Stanford chose to kick a long field goal down 10 points — even if it meant ending his perfect season.

“You think about the what ifs and you fear what could go wrong, that’s normal for anyone who has a streak going,” Karty said. “But I saw it more as an opportunity. Because those kicks are low-risk, high-reward, just let it fly, let it rip, and see what happens.”

The kick went through as time expired and Cal immediately started celebrating, so Karty initially thought he missed.

“The entire stadium started cheering, so I was like, ‘Shoot, it’s short,’” Karty said. “But then I saw the ref’s signal. It was weird for sure. Really wished it could be under different circumstances to help impact the game a little more. It was definitely awkward.”

The kick tied for the sixth-longest in FBS in the last 25 years. The school record had been 59 yards, set by Rod Garcia in 1973 and matched by Mark Harmon in 1981.

Joshua’s origin story might make it seem like he was preordained to play football at Stanford. But growing up, his dream was to play soccer. Two weeks before entering Western Alamance High School in Burlington, North Carolina, he agreed to help train with a friend who wanted to try out for football.

On a lark, Karty attempted – and made – a 30-yard field goal on his first try. Then a 40-yarder, and a 45-yarder. His 50-yarder was just short, but it was enough for his friend to suggest playing football as well.

Karty made the varsity football team as a freshman, but he still preferred soccer – he even showed up at halftime to a few football games because of soccer conflicts. But he focused solely on football after his sophomore season and was eventually …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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