Queen's student advances

Nick Green makes 20-yard field goal on last attempt to win quarter-final of Wendy’s Kick for a Million challenge

Nick Green attempts a kick during the Wendy's Kick for a Million quarter-finals at the Rogers Centre on Saturday night.
Nick Green attempts a kick during the Wendy's Kick for a Million quarter-finals at the Rogers Centre on Saturday night.

TORONTO — Queen’s student Nick Green’s quest for $1 million is still alive. The fifth-year Engineering student advanced to the semifinals of the Kick for a Million challenge after defeating 56-year-old Brockville businessman Mike Tompkins at Toronto’s Rogers Centre.

During halftime of the Toronto Argonauts’ loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday night, Green converted a 20-yard field goal that barely cleared the uprights.

“I didn’t think it was in until the refs put up their hands,” Green, Sci ’11, said.

After the two men missed their first two attempts, Tompkins made a kick from 15 yards on his third attempt. Green one-upped him from 20 yards to win.

During practice earlier in the day, Green and Tompkins regularly converted field goals. But practice was in an empty stadium and 20,000 fans watched the actual contest.

The contestants spent about two hours working with former Argonauts kicker Lance Chomyk on Saturday afternoon.

“These guys really have a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” Chomyk said.

At the end of the practice, Chomyk asked Green to complete a 20-yard field goal before the break. Green missed the attempt.

Green said nerves were a factor in his first two kicks of the competition.

“At first, it wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I thought,” Green said. “But then I missed the first field goal by a foot … that really shook my nerves.”

In the second round of kicks, Tompkins missed wide right from the 15-yard line and Green wasn’t even close from 20 yards out.

“The second kick was just terrible,” he said. “I really had to calm myself down, which is kind of hard to do in front of a crowd that big.”

In the third round, Tompkins’ 15-yard conversion put pressure on Green. Green opted to kick from 20 yards to avoid entering an overtime round where the furthest kick would win.

“We didn’t do a distance kick in practice,” he said. “I figured I could kick 20, but I didn’t know if I could kick further than him if it came down to it.” He travels to Hamilton on Friday for the contest semifinals. Green will face 51-year-old Greg Wilson from Calgary.

Green prepared for Saturday’s competition with Gaels kicker Dan Village last week and said he plans to continue those training sessions before the semifinals.

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