Gavin Currier now a weapon for Knights

Gavin Currier kicks off against Boaz, as Patrick Lawler (32) begins his sprint downfield.

Arab senior kicker Gavin Currier is officially an offensive weapon for the playoff-bound Knights.

He’s been a defensive weapon since adding football to his soccer duties at Arab High School three years ago. His high kicks often cause the receiving team to call for a fair catch.

Against Boaz last Friday, all the hard work by Currier and his special teams teammates came to fruition in spectacular fashion. After Arab had taken a 7-0 lead, Currier’s high but relatively short kickoff down the right sideline – just in front of the Knights’ bench and fans – bounced once in front of a Boaz return man.

That’s all it took. A diving Jacob Cobb scooped the ball up in midair, setting the Knights up at the Boaz 28. Two plays later, Arab scored again, and the rout was on, finally ending with Arab ahead 45-15.

“I got it back for us,” Cobb said during the second half, as most of the Knights’ starters celebrated while watching a lot of youngsters get valuable playing time.

“We all have specific roles,” Cobb continued. “I’m a bullet. I run down and see the ball and get the ball.”

Head coach Lee Ozmint later explained there are also framers and edge guys on the coverage team. Before the kick, Ozmint tells Currier where to try to place the ball. The coverage guys know where to go and what to do.

“Our coverage team did great,” Ozmint said. “We’ve worked on it a lot.

“Cobb got the ball but there were four other guys around the ball when it bounced.

“(Coach) Josh Etheredge has done a great job with the special teams.”

On kickoffs, it all starts with the kicker, obviously.

“He did a great job,” Ozmint said of Currier. “The kickoffs were beautiful tonight. He was the special teams player of the week for sure.”

Currier was recruited from the soccer team three years ago for just that purpose – to handle kickoffs. That’s all he did his sophomore season but last year as a junior, he became the placekicker as well.

He consistently made extra points but kicked just one field goal. This season has been different. He’s made 5-of-7 field goal attempts. One of the misses came later in the Boaz game, when the Knights were comfortably ahead.

But it’s Currier’s pooch-like kickoffs – and the intense coverage – that Arab fans will long remember. Arab recovered one against Brewer last season. The Knights did it again against Boaz.

Currier said he’s had some help on such kickoffs – mostly from Ozmint – but for the most part, “I’ve neen teaching myseld basically.”

Currier kind of knows when he’s kicked the ball perfectly.

On the kick against Boaz, a game-changer, according to Ozmint, Currier said: “I started jumping up and down and running down the field.”

So did his teammates.

“It’s a lot of fun, especially on a play like that,” said Cobb, who later had a QB hurry that resulted in the pick-six for teammate Josh Roe. “You have all that energy and blood pumping, it’s great.”

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