Video courtesy Waco Live Oak Classical coach Brice Helton; Photos courtesy Kennedy Irwin
Gordon football coach Mike Reed is sure of the fact that Juan Cabrera has a career as a college kicker, and now the junior has a kick that calling it highlight worthy might be a gross understatement.
With the Longhorns leading 34-8 at Waco Live Oak Classical on Friday night, the junior lined up for a routine extra point — his fifth kick of the night.
What happened next was anything but routine.
This extra point was so spectacular that it caught the attention of Dude Perfect.
Cabrera’s kick sailed through the uprights and into the arms of Baylor graduate Kennedy Irwin — who happened to be in a car driving by Falcon Field at the time.
But it also had Reed thinking it was a hoax.
“I thought it was somebody that that’s what they do because there’s no (kicking) net at that end,” Reed said. “I was a skeptic. I went back and watched every kick that was down at that end (of the field). That was the first time that car drove by the school.
“It was not staged, it was not set up. It was just literally the most random act of sports that could have happened.”
If you watch the video close enough, you can see Irwin make a perfect grab.
“It was me and a bunch of my friends that were just in Waco for the Baylor game and we were driving to go eat dinner,” Irwin said. “We were passing the football game and I saw the (extra point team) lining up and thought ‘This would be funny to catch’ and everybody was joking.”
Irwin said that they continued driving and when the ball was kicked, she was surprised that it was headed for them.
“It was a good kick and I just reached out and caught it,” she said. “We knew we needed to return the ball, but it was one of those things that you couldn’t do it again if you tried 100 times.”
As Irwin and her friends were leaving, they discussed amongst themselves how cool it would have been if someone had gotten it on video.
It wasn’t until later when they saw the video pop up on ESPN’s SportsCenter account on Instagram that they knew they had gone viral.
It was a kick so unlikely to happen, one can’t even generate the probability of it, meaning you’d have a greater chance of being struck by lightning, winning the lottery jackpot or creating a perfect March Madness bracket prior to games starting.
“Everything just had to happen perfectly for that to happen,” Irwin said. “People thought it was planned, but it was just the most random, spur-of-the-moment thing and it’s so crazy. We were all laughing about it and have had a fun time with it.”
Falcon Field, where Live Oak Classical plays, has a pair of uniquities at either end of the field — both of which impacted the Longhorns.
At the southwest end of the stadium are the Magnolia Silos, the shopping center owned by HGTV superstars Chip and Joanna Gaines. Falcon Field has a kicking net at that end of the field to prevent balls from being lost to the tourist getaway.
The northeast end of the field, where Cabrera’s kick took place in the second quarter, barely had enough room to put in goalposts, according to Live Oak coach Brice Helton.
“There are power lines overhead that were there when we put the field in,” he said. “The bigger reason is there’s a natural gas line buried there that we would be drilling into to put those two poles for (a net).”
Helton said that in the time the Falcons have played there, he can only remember a parked car being hit one time as there are safeguards in place to protect ballboys catching the kicks and to avoid situations like what popped up on Friday.
It’s a setup that had Reed stressed all night.
“Cabrera kept booting it over the net, across the road and into Magnolia Silos,” Reed said. “I was extremely stressed the entire game about losing game balls and so I was mad about the four balls that had gone over there.”
When the action flipped to the northeast end, Reed started to feel relieved because it meant no more lost footballs.
“So when a football goes in the window of a car driving by, I’m thinking, ‘We just lost our fifth football,’ and I was pretty perturbed by then,” he said while laughing about the events via phone on Sunday. “I thought we were finally going to get to keep our footballs and then here comes a car and they catch it through the window.”
Reed said while he has not met or talked to Irwin, her vehicle did stop immediately and returned the Gordon football. He also confirmed that the Longhorns did not lose any footballs on Friday.