SEATTLE – The football clanged off the upright, but it made a larger noise.
It signaled Washington State might have found its next placekicker. And he hails from Clark County.
Erik Powell made his debut as Washington State’s placekicker Thursday against Rutgers.
The Seton Catholic graduate made a 22-yard field goal and all five of his extra points.
His best kick, however, didn’t result in points. On the last play before halftime, Powell attempted a 50-yard field goal.
The redshirt freshman’s kick hit nearly halfway up the right upright. But it was drilled with a power that shows the Cougars might have found a successor to Andrew Furney, who ended his career with the third most field goals in school history.
A former soccer player, Powell didn’t play football until his junior year when friends convinced him to try out.
A few days into practice, Powell started kicking field goals. As Seton’s coaches kept moving him back, he kept making kicks. He eventually nailed a 60-yarder.
Powell was a two-time all-Trico League kicker. As a junior he made 8 of 9 field goals, including three from outside 40 yards.
He walked on at WSU, then red-shirted last season. His cause was helped by making 25 of 28 kicks in spring.
He won the starting job in fall camp, despite struggling with the long grass a Sacajawea Junior High in Lewiston, Idaho, where the Cougs started camp.
Powell is one of two Clark County athletes kicking for Washington teams. Camas graduate Roldan Alcobendas, also a redshirt freshman, made all seven of his extra points in his Eastern Washington debut Saturday.
Pac-12 commissioner holds court
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott met with the media during halftime Thursday.
Among the highlights:
• There is no progress on the impasse between the conference and DirecTV to carry the Pac-12 Network.
• Scott predicts a period of calm after a flurry of conference realignment in the past decade.
• Scott is wary of potential changes in the NCAA’s amateurism model. “I hope we don’t cross that line into semi-pro, where all the money goes toward football and men’s basketball.”