“We couldn’t do it even if we tried!” Woman who catches football kick in passing car shares story of now viral video

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:42 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A recent Baylor graduate in town for the weekend football game at McLane Stadium found herself in the middle of the most unlikely of viral videos after she caught a kick through a moving car window as the ball soared through the upright of a high school football game on onto a city street in downtown Waco.

Kennedy Irwin, 23, of Dallas, was leaving her downtown-area Airbnb with four of her friends to go to dinner at their old college stomping ground of George’s when their car’s path on 5th street aligned directly with the path of a football kicked during a game between Live Oak and Gordon.

The Live Oak Field is situated between 5th Street and 6th Street in downtown Waco, next to the railroad tracks.

The Live Oak Field is situated between 5th Street and 6th Street in downtown Waco, next to the...
The Live Oak Field is situated between 5th Street and 6th Street in downtown Waco, next to the railroad tracks.(courtesy)

Irwin was a front-seat passenger in the car when she saw the play coming her way as Gordon lined up to kick an extra point.

“I saw from a distance them lining up for the field goal,” Irwin said. “We had windows down, listening to music, just what we did in college. I thought, ‘this would be so funny if we were able to catch the field goal.”

“The ball was kicked and I saw it coming and I was like ‘oh wait, it’s actually coming right to us.”

The ball flew right in the window and into the hands of the recent Baylor grad, who ironically loves athletics and was once the intramural chair for her Baylor sorority.

Brice Helton is Live Oak’s head football coach and athletic director. He said everyone was so stunned in the moment, it took a few minutes for them to realize what happened.

“At first we weren’t sure what we saw,” Helton said. “It happened so quickly, and it was just so normal and natural. It wasn’t until the crowd started yelling that we really realized that ‘hey that really did just happen. A flying ball in the middle of a football game just landed inside a car and the girl inside caught it.”

Irwin said the passengers in her car were just as stunned.

“We caught it, and everybody was like ‘wait what just happened,” Irwin laughed. “We were still just driving, and we were like ‘hey we need to stop and give the ball back. We threw it back to a kid running down the street.”

Irwin and her friends got a good laugh out of the catch and even joked that it be funny if someone had it on video.

They had no idea Live Oak’s videographer Migdalia Holgersson captured the catch. The girls didn’t learn of the video until around midnight, after it was already picking up steam on social media.

“We ran into some of our friends that are still at Baylor, and we told them the story and they said it got posted on SportsCenter,” Irwin said.

Of the nearly 7 million people who have viewed the viral video, many questioned if it was staged. Irwin said it was not planned and even if they tried, they could have never executed it.

“It was very unplanned,” Irwin laughed. “It was a perfect kick, and we couldn’t even do it if we tried!”

Live Oak says the uprights facing 5th Street don’t have nets to catch a ball because the private school ran into multiple issues trying to get a net installed between the electrical lines above and the buried natural gas line below.

They say the setup is temporary until a better solution is found.