Big bucks a big kick

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

It is one thing to kick a 50-yard field goal for $1 million.

Yet it is quite another to do it in a game for nothing more than three points.

Brian Diesbourg, a 26-year-old mechanical engineer and an avid soccer player, will attempt a series of field goals ranging from 20 to 50 yards tomorrow night at halftime of the Argos' game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

All part of a contest sponsored by Wendy's, if Diesbourg makes the 50-yarder he will receive $1 million.

Diesbourg will receive some tutoring today from Argos kicker Noel Prefontaine, who played soccer for 14 years and knows all about 50-yarders. He nailed one in last Saturday's 49-23 victory over the Montreal Alouettes. Prefontaine narrowly missed a 50-yard attempt earlier in the game, but was otherwise good on four of five from various distances.

"He needs to hit the ball well enough to even make a 50," Prefontaine said yesterday. "I think the worst thing he can do is go out there and try to guide the football with his leg instead of just going out there and kicking it. If he hasn't done a lot of field-goal kicking it will be tough on him. If he has then, obviously it will benefit him. I will say this: There is a big difference between kicking a soccer ball and a football."

While Prefontaine got his kicks against the Als, his counterpart, Damon Duval, missed from 38 yards, 29 and 44.

"There are so many more intangibles that come into play than just going out there and kicking a field goal in practice, and obviously the average person needs to take those things into consideration," Prefontaine said.

"When they're looking at a guy line up to kick a 30-yarder and he misses it, it's a totally different environment from a game to a practice situation."

Duval's inability to convert his chances and Prefontaine's success had psychological effects on their respective teams.

"With the way the game was laying out, making the 50-yarder and hitting the previous two, it can be demoralizing, not only for the other kicker but the other team," Prefontaine said. "When you see another guy and he's making everything and you're struggling, it does have an effect on you."

ALLEN HONOURED

Quarterback Damon Allen won the league's offensive player of the week honours after completing 32 of 40 passes for 414 yards and four touchdowns against Montreal. Allen has thrown for 4,754 yards, the most in a single season in his 21-year career.


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