VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota senior kicker Mason Lorber tied the program record in the Coyotes win over UND this past weekend with a 54 yard field goal. It was also a career long for him. That kick has been part of Lorber’s stellar start to the season as he’s turned himself into a weapon for USD.

Similar to a golfer using a pre-shot routine, Mason Lorber uses the same approach before every kick.

“Same steps, try to breathe the same when I get back in my stance, I try to do the same breaths, hold it in, let it out. Just kind of relax, let the muscle memory come into play once I get back there. Just breathe, go out there and kick the ball. I don’t try to make it too complicated,” Mason Lorber said.

Lorber has put in literal miles in pursuit of perfecting his craft.

“He’ll be out there kicking on his own, and then he’ll have to go shag all the balls that he kicks. So I asked him one day in just a normal kicking workout because he’s always out there on his own, how many miles do you think you’ve run Mason, and his response was probably at least three to four,” Head Coach Bob Nielson said.

That hard work has paid off. Lorber has hit 8 of his 9 field goal attempts this year, and his only missed extra point was blocked.

“Whenever I go out there I have the mentality that I expect it to go in. Whenever they send me out there I know there’s a reason they’re sending me out there, to go do my job,” Lorber said.

Lorber is USD’s leading scorer, but his value extends to kickoffs too, where nearly 68% of his kicks are going for touchbacks.

“I realized that I needed to get better contact on kickoffs and drive the ball more. I worked with a former USD football player, Filip Filipovich, played for the Cowboys. He really helped me on my kickoffs and I think they’ve literally improved immensely in four months,” Lorber said.

“A big return can really change momentum, change field position and so having a guy that kick the ball into the end zone on a consistent basis alleviates some of the opportunities other teams get,” Nielson said.

And of the 11 kickoffs that haven’t gone for touchbacks, Lorber has recorded a tackle on three of those returns.

“Mason’s probably like one of the leading tacklers I think we have on our kickoff team. I think he’s more excited than anybody to stick his head in there and try to make a tackle,” Punter Brady Schutt said.

Lorber recorded two of his tackles against Kansas and the other coming against Cal Poly, with a solo tackle coming in each. He and USD play at Northern Iowa Saturday at 4:00. That game will air on KELOEXTRA.

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)

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