Football — NSU’s Moore on verge of setting career scoring mark

9_3 Chris Moore 37_Tuff McClain 11 (2)
Northwestern State football fans will always remember Chris Moore for kicking a last-play, 47-yard field goal last Sept. 20 to complete the Demons’ comeback 30-27 win over ancient rival Louisiana Tech.

After Saturday’s 6 p.m. home game at Turpin Stadium against Abilene Christian, he’ll likely also be remembered for taking a very prominent place in the NSU football record book.

Moore, a senior from Plano, Texas, who transferred from Iowa State after his freshman year, is three points away from breaking the Demons’ career scoring record. Moore has 221 points on field goals and extra points in three seasons. From 2005-08, Pineville native Robert Weeks kicked his way to 223 for the Demons.

Already, Moore has the school record for field goal attempts (61), hitting 64 percent of them (39), three shy of Weeks’ school career mark. Last season, Moore set the single-season kick scoring record with 90 points.

At Mississippi State on Sept. 19, he made the Bulldog fans jealous as he hammered a 52-yard field goal with plenty of room to spare. A week earlier, LSU escaped Starkville with a win when State’s kicker was off the mark on a late 52-yarder.

The distance is the second-longest, by a yard, in school history, behind a 53-yarder in 1988 by Keith Hodnett at Idaho in an FCS quarterfinal game.

Demons’ head coach Jay Thomas is excited about his kicker being on the verge of setting one of the school’s more significant career records. Already this season, senior receiver Ed Eagan has become NSU’s all-time receptions leader (currently with 150, 24 above the old mark) and career all-purpose yardage king (5,126 yards, fourth in Southland Conference history).

Moore ranks among the most accurate kickers in 52 seasons of Southland football. His 96.3 percent rate on extra points (104 of 108, including all 26 this season) ranks 10th all-time.

He’s made 10 of 12 field goals this year, narrowly missing a 37-yarder after a high snap in a driving rainstorm late in last week’s 37-21 win at Nicholls, a kick that would have given him the career scoring mark.

“Chris has really worked on being consistent with his field goals and extra points. It’s been a process for him and obviously he’s done a great job with the accuracy he’s shown knocking the ball between the pipes this season,” said Thomas. “I’m real excited for him to have this opportunity and I hope we can get it done at home Saturday night.”

Having Moore on the sideline gives the Demons confidence in late-game situations.

“He’s hit some huge kicks for us in his three years here, and what we tend to forget is not the game-winner at Ruston last year, but that it was his second pressure-packed field goal in a very short time. He tied the game with just over a minute left (on a 29-yarder) that really had more pressure than the one at the end,” said Thomas.

“He’s got tremendous talent, a great leg, and he’s a lot of fun to be around. He’s such a competitor and he wants every kick to be right. (Special teams coordinator) August Mangin has done a great job of helping him hone his craft.”

Moore has more than the normal amount of affinity for a kicker with his teammates.

“He’s not your ordinary kicker. Those specialists are usually guys who listen to their own music,” said Thomas. “They’re a little different from the rest of the team because of how they practice. They’re not in position groups going through drills with a dozen other guys. They do a lot on their own without constant supervision.

“Our team really enjoys Chris and he has their respect, not only because of what he does kicking the football, but he’s a beast in the weight room. Those other players see that. We have to run him out of there sometimes.”

Moore, who will graduate with a communications degree in December and return home to the Dallas metroplex, is a two-time Southland Conference Commissioner’s Fall Honor Roll student for earning at least a 3.0 grade point average while in season.