Southern alum Hatfield returns kickoff for ECU touchdown; Stanford kicker Karty named finalist for nation’s top kicker honor
By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
Southern Alamance alum Jsi Hatfield returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown during East Carolina’s 49-46 victory against Temple on Saturday at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field.
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Hatfield, a fourth-year junior, also had a game-opening 43-yard kickoff return. He caught two passes for 34 yards. All that resulted in a career-high 174 all-purpose yards for Hatfield.
He was named the Special Teams Player of the Week in the American Athletic Conference on Monday.
East Carolina (7-5) is awaiting a potential bowl bid.
Karty keeps kicking
Western Alamance alum Josh Karty was named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award, which goes to the country’s top kicker.
Tuesday’s announcement also listed North Carolina State’s Christopher Dunn and Michigan State’s Jake Moody as finalists. The winner will be announced December 8 at the College Football Awards show on ESPN.
Karty finished 18-for-18 on field goals, with three of the kicks from at least 50 yards (and 13 from 40 or more yards). He kicked a school-record 61-yard field goal on the last play of a 27-20 loss Nov. 19 loss at rival California. That’s the longest field goal in the Football Bowl Subdivision this year.
Karty booted 34- and 54-yard field goals in the season-ending 35-26 loss to Brigham Young on Saturday. His lone missed extra-point kick among 25 attempts this season also came in that game.
Karty, a junior, is the country’s only kicker without a miss on a field goal this season after Dunn was wide left on a 43-yard attempt Friday in the Wolfpacks game against North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Dunn ended the regular season 24-for-25 on field goals after making two in overtime against the Tar Heels.
Karty accounted for 78 points this year. Next-best for the Cardinal was running back Casey Filkins with 30.
On kickoffs, 40 of Karty’s 55 boots went for touchbacks.
Stanford posted a 3-9 record. Coach David Shaw resigned after the last game.
See earlier story about Karty’s game-winning kick at Notre Dame: https://alamancenews.com/he-tries-to-treat-every-kick-as-a-potentially-game-winning-kick-saturday-night-it-was/
Elon’s season ends
At Greenville, South Carolina, Elon struggled to convert offensively in a 31-6 loss at Furman in the first round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs Saturday.
Skyler Davis made field goals from 52 and 51 yards for Elon’s points.
The first field goal gave the Phoenix a first-quarter lead and was set up after defensive lineman Torrence Williams, a Williams High School alum, had a 2-yard run on a fake punt to keep the possession alive.
Elon is 0-4 all-time in FCS playoff games.
Furman (10-2) advances to visit No. 7 seed Incarnate Word this Saturday in San Antonio.