BENTONVILLE -- Bennett Moehring now makes it a point to end every offseason workout in the same fashion.
The former Bentonville standout, now approaching his senior season as Navy's starting placekicker, walks out to the middle of the field and tees up the football 48 yards away from the goalpost. He then takes his necessary steps and proceeds to kick the ball through the uprights.
At A Glance
SCHOOL United States Naval Academy
NOTABLE Returning for his third season as Navy’s starting placekicker. … Hit 8 of 15 field-goal attempts and 42 of 43 extra-point tries. … His longest field goal came from 48 yards in a November game against Temple in Philadelphia. … Set a school record in 2016 when he kicked 65 extra points … Enters his senior season needing six extra points to surpass Nick Sloan as the career record-holder for that category. … Has a younger brother, Hayden, who is also a kicker for the Midshipmen.
It's the same location where he missed a field-goal attempt as time expired, and rival Army escaped with a 14-13 win in a nationally televised game last December at snow-covered Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
"It's probably the first thing that runs through my mind," Moehring said during a workout last week at Tiger Stadium. "I think about it every time I'm out here practicing, every time I hit the weight room and stuff. It's been a great motivator this offseason. It's what gets me going and makes me want to work hard and do what I can for the team."
Interestingly enough, Moehring's longest field goal of the season was a 48-yarder he kicked against Temple, and it had come five weeks earlier in the same stadium. This time, however, he had to kick it in a game that featured below-freezing temperatures, a swirling wind and heavy snow that fell throughout the game.
Moehring, who had kicked field goals of 29 and 24 yards earlier in the game, said he was determined to kick the ball as hard as he could, and the kick had more than enough distance. However, the ball slid too far to the left before it reached the goalpost -- a continuation of things that didn't go Navy's way as the Midshipmen fell to 6-6 before they blew out Virginia in the Military Bowl.
"Bennett missing that kick by a foot symbolized how our season went," Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "It was a matter of we knew what to do, but things didn't happen to go our way while we did them. Take away a missed block here, a missed assignment there and a turnover or two in other games, and we might have had a 10-win season.
"I know at the time Bennett felt like he cost us the game, but his teammates rallied around him. They felt just as bad about losing the game as he did, and a lot of players felt responsible for it."
Navy was fortunate to give Moehring a chance to kick a field goal for the win. The Midshipmen had a bad snap on a fourth-and-3 play from the Army 37, but quarterback Malcolm Perry picked up the loose ball and raced 12 yards to keep the drive alive, then had a 2-yard run to the Army 23 on the next play.
That's when Navy's luck ran out as the Midshipmen was called twice for false starts, then Perry's third-down run gained nothing. That left Moehring having to try the 48-yarder instead of kicking from possibly 40 yards out or even closer.
"Honestly, I didn't feel any pressure when I was out there," Moehring said. "We were driving down the field and time was running out. I knew it was going to come down to me, and I was ready for it.
"I don't put the blame on the team at all. At the end of the day, it's my job to make the kick, regardless of where the ball is on the field. I just didn't get the job done."
Moehring said he was ready to find retribution the next day, but there wasn't much to find during Navy's 49-7 rout of Virginia during the Military Bowl. He believes there will not be a kicking situation that he can't handle as he prepares for his final season of college football.
"There shouldn't be any pressure this year," he said. "I've kicked in a blizzard. I've kicked in the rain against Houston. I've kicked some short field goals, some long field goals. I think I've been through the fire and battle-tested, and that speaks for the whole team.
"At Navy, football is all about adversity and overcoming. They teach it to you at a young age coming in, so I think everybody on the team is strong because of all the adversity we've been through as a class. I think it's going to be a good year."
Moehring said his goal this year is to simply make every kick and help his team in the best way he knows, and Niumatalolo is confident he will get nothing but the best out of his starting kicker this season.
"There will be no difference in Bennett this season," he said. "He's a hard worker and always one that has his foot on the pedal, and we want him to be the best kicker he can be.
"He's going to continue to work and grind it out, and he's always pushing others to do the same. There's not a point where he won't back down from a challenge. If anything, we're having to tell him to back off when he's working in the weight room."
Preps Basketball on 08/12/2018
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