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CDM's Amies comes within yard of field goal record
By BRANTLEY WATSON



What a difference a yard and ½ can make.

Corona del Mar senior kicker Griff Amies narrowly missed a 57-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of the Sea Kings CIF Southern Division championship victory over Garden Grove on Saturday, leaving him one field goal shy of breaking the CIF single season record for most field goals in a season.

Instead, he is tied atop the list with former Sherman Oaks Notre Dame kicker, Chris Sailer, both of whom converted 22 field goals in one season.

"I didn't hit it perfectly solid but I thought it had the distance," Amies said of the 57-yard try. "It just came up short."

Still, Amies is grateful to have even tied the record.

"After I kicked it, I knew it was going to go through," said Amies of his record-tying 43-yarder that came in the fourth quarter. "It's a great feeling knowing all my hard work paid off. Right away, I congratulated my holder Cole Collins and my snapper, Giovanni Gentosi."

Amies, 18, was born with a heart defect that required him to have surgery days after he was born and remain in the hospital for four months. At age 7, Amies had a pacemaker placed in his upper chest that would support his heart through the night and shut off during the day.

In the fifth grade, after doctors suggested that Amies avoid being tackled, his father recommended he take up kicking.

Today, the pacemaker, according to Amies, is no longer necessary due to his activity level, but it remains in his chest and is examined every six months.

As for Saturday's game, unfortunately, Amies' chance to tie the record earlier in the contest was wiped away to the benefit of his own team.

Toward the end of the first half, with the Sea Kings leading 16-3, Amies drilled a 25-yard field goal that would have tied the record. However, Garden Grove was flagged for a roughing the kicker penalty.

Instead of taking the points and a 19-3 lead, Sea Kings coach Scott Meyer opted for the first down.

CDM went on to score a touchdown before the half and led, 23-3.

"We were going there to win the game first," Meyer said. "I normally don't do it, but I took the points off the board and we got a touchdown."

Amies admits that in the moment, he wasn't happy with the decision, but lightened up once the Sea Kings scored a touchdown.

"That would have tied the record," he said. "I was kind of mad but I was also happy we got the touchdown."

Amies' father, who goes by 'Grif,' said he fully understood Meyer's decision to go for the touchdown.

"I wanted him to make the kick and break the record but I wanted him to win the game," Amies' father said. "I understood completely what coach Meyer did and wanting to get the score. That's the way it goes."

Still, both Amies and Meyer believed that there would be ample opportunity to break the record later in the contest, and there was.

But it certainly would not be easy.

After kicking the record-tying field goal at the beginning of the final quarter, Amies heard his number called again in the game's final minutes.

This time, he'd have to connect from 57 yards, five yards further than his career-long.

"When I went to kick, the crowd was cheering," Amies said. "I got a big adrenaline rush from that."

Amies says that before the kick, his longtime kicking coach Brad Bohn told him to focus on technique and not to kick the ball too hard.

Meyer said Monday that when Amies went into his motion, he thought he saw his senior kicker loose his footing.

"I watched his plant foot and it looked like he slipped a bit," Meyer said. "It didn't sound like a normal Griff kick. I felt like he didn't get all of it and it came up short. To break the record from 57, that would have been a huge way to do it."

Of the kick, which Amies' father said would have been good from 55 yards, Amies said, "I didn't hit the sweet spot."

Still, the Sea Kings got the ball once again toward the game's conclusion, but after an unexpected first down, it was clear that Amies would not get another shot at the record.

"When we got the ball late in the game, we had a third down and we ran the ball and we got the first down," Meyer said. "I didn't think we'd get it but we did and then just took a knee."

One thing that Amies can be proud of is that according to MaxPreps.com, his 22 field goals during the season are the most in the nation.

"I definitely wanted another chance to get the record, but it's an honor to share the record with Chris Sailer," Amies said.

Contact the writer: bwatson@ocregister.com






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