Tyler Roberts had never attempted a field goal in a varsity football game in his life.
But when Hopewell football coach Chris Rust called on him during overtime against West Charlotte with first-place in the I-Meck in the balance, he was ready for the opportunity.
Roberts, 17, split the uprights to score the game-winning field goal that gave his Titans a 30-27 victory, their first over the Lions in school history.
"West Charlotte was a huge game for us with great play after great play, back and forth," said Roberts. "It all came down to me. It was all on my shoulders to win the game with a kick. I've never had a game-winner in any sport, so when it went through, it was one of the greatest moments in my life."
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Roberts has an impressive resume at Hopewell, where he's not only the kicker on the football team, but also a starting center midfielder on the soccer team and the reigning I-Meck singles' champion on the Titans' tennis squad.
"Tyler has been in pressure situations in a lot of different sports," said Rust. "I knew he could handle the pressure. It was great to see him kick the game-winner on his first field goal."
While Roberts had never kicked a field goal in a game, he has done it many times before on the practice field and even at home with his dad, Neil Roberts.
The elder Roberts, who is North Mecklenburg's head girls' soccer coach, was also a high school and college kicker, finishing his career at the University of Delaware. That experience has give Roberts plenty of words of advice to pass on to his son.
"The hardest thing to do as a parent is to sit and watch your son play under pressure," he said. "I think it's been great for me to be able to try and help Tyler learn how to kick and then how to improve each week."
The younger Roberts says his father is key to his success.
"My dad was the first one I turned to because of his experience," he said. "He understands the mind-set of a kicker and knows what it takes to handle the pressure."
After playing football on the Hopewell JV team as a freshman, Roberts decided to concentrate on soccer and didn't play for the Titans on the gridiron during his sophomore and junior seasons.
But this summer, Rust and his son, Ben, also a senior on the Titans' football team, talked him into coming back out for football. Ben Rust plays an integral part in each extra point and field goal attempt, as he's the team's long snapper.
"Ben and Tyler have been good friends for a long time," said Rust, who's also good friends with Neil Roberts. "(Neil) and I kind of looked at each other after the game and gave each other a big thumbs up. It was a special moment."
While Roberts's game-winning kick made him a hit on the football field, he is also a key player on the soccer squad, having scored four goals and three assists for a team that is 6-2 this season.
"It's really not that hard to do both sports," said Roberts, who goes to both practices on most days. "Both coaches (Rust and Robb Bolar) are very supportive and flexible."
Roberts hopes to have many more reasons to celebrate this year in both soccer and football, but his first field goal is something he said he will never forget, even though it is kind of hard to remember.
"The time before the kick I was thinking about what I was going to do after I made it," said Roberts. "Once I got up to the line, everything was a blur. I don't really remember what happened. But I know I made it, and then the celebration was on."