BUFFALO, N.Y. — When Blake Haubeil lined up a 61-yard field goal, nobody involved felt the nerves that would normally accompany such a kick.
Playing against Buffalo South Park in 2015, Buffalo Canisius faced a fourth down barely into opposing territory. Rather than going for it or punting, the Crusaders had another option they could turn to — their junior kicker, who’d already committed to Ohio State.
Furthermore, they had proof Haubeil could execute the kick. He’d done it in fall camp one month prior.
— Canisius HS Football (@CanisiusHSFB) August 17, 2015
“There wasn’t a moment’s hesitation,” said Canisius special teams coach Bryce Hopkins. “He’s shown he can do it in practice. I didn’t have to convince the head coach at all. He looked at me and I said we were in field-goal range, so he said, ‘Send him on out.’
“The work that he puts in during practice is what gives us as a coaching staff the confidence to send him out there. Blake will be the first one to tell you it takes all 11 guys to make a 61-yard field goal, though.”
Watching from the stands, Blake’s mother, Brooke, said she had no worries about watching him attempt a distance almost unheard of in high school.
“What did he have to lose?” she said. “You can’t be afraid to do what you do.”
Haubeil, the No. 2 kicker in the country according to the 247 composite rankings, certainly felt the same. He wards off any feelings of pressure by reminding himself that he loves what he does.
Still, it took a monumental effort to actually execute the kick. In addition to Haubeil booting it from across midfield, he needed a clean snap and no protection breakdowns.
“It was definitely difficult,” he said. “When you get distance like that, everything needs to go right. You need all the guys up front to make sure they’re blocking their assignments. You need the hold to be perfect and obviously the kick needs to be perfect and have the height so it doesn’t get blocked.”
He got the snap, the hold and the protection. Shortly after he put his foot on the ball, he also had three points and a Western New York record for distance.