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Placer High kicker Granieri is a ‘huge weapon’

Hillmen senior recorded touchbacks on 8 of 9 kickoffs last week
By: Matthew Kimel / Auburn Journal
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When the Hillmen kick off tonight, it’s likely the result will be a touchback.


Such has been the case for a majority of Placer High School kicker Dominic Granieri’s kicks this season.


The right-footed senior has booted 15 of his 25 kickoffs into the end zone so far, including 8 of 9 in last week’s victory over Casa Roble.


“That’s a huge weapon,” coach Joey Montoya said. “Anytime you can have a guy that kicks into the end zone and puts them on the 20-yard line, it makes them go 80 yards. It’s been a huge blessing for us.”


Considering teams are having enough trouble scoring against Placer’s defense, forcing the opposition to go the full distance certainly doesn’t help their cause.


“You look at the statistics when a team has to go 80 yards as opposed to 60 yards, it’s a huge weapon for us,” Montoya said.


Granieri also has a booming kick when it comes to field goals. He’s made two already this season, both in the opener at Central Catholic in Modesto. His extra points seem to sail for miles and miles.


Though Placer (3-0) has found the end zone on a majority of its possessions, Montoya expects to call Granieri’s number more as the season progresses.


“He’s got a college leg,” Montoya said. “He’s pretty special. He made a 60-yarder before (in practice). It makes a decision for me very easy when I’m managing a game.”


Montoya said he’s very confident of Granieri putting the ball through the uprights on any kick fewer than 40 yards out.


“I think he could (go longer) if it came down to a game-winning field goal,” the coach added. 


Placer hasn’t had to punt much early in 2012, but according to Montoya, Granieri can punt as well as he kicks.


“He punts very high, gives us time to get down there,” Montoya said. “It’s a huge asset to our special teams.”


Granieri started kicking for the varsity team in his freshman year in the playoffs. He returned to the varsity team midway through last season.


One of the most clutch kicks off of Granieri’s foot was a 40-yarder that won the league championship for the Hillmen freshman four years ago.


“He’s a good kid,” Montoya said. “He’s a great asset for our team.”


Reach Matthew Kimel at matthewk@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewkimel