Tippecanoe grad helps kick Pitt to victory in Backyard Brawl

Ben Sauls won placekicking job in preseason

Tippecanoe High School graduate Ben Sauls kicked a 42-yard field goal and made all five of his extra-point attempts Thursday in No. 17 Pittsburgh’s 38-31 victory against West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl.

Sauls, a redshirt sophomore, beat out the returning starter at place-kicker, Sam Scarton, in the preseason.

“Sauls has been most consistent (in training camp),” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi told TribLive.com. “He’s hit 82% of his field goals this summer.”

“It was interesting splitting up kicks,” Sauls told reporters. “I thought we both had a great season last year. But we make each other better and I’d even throw Caleb Junko in there. We have three really good kickers and there’s constant competition.

Sauls handled kickoff duties last season and averaged 62.3 yards on 104 kickoffs with 44 touchbacks (42%). He also had four tackles on kickoff coverage.

The field goal Thursday was Sauls’ first attempt of his career. He made 2 of 4 PATs last season.

As a freshman in 2020, Sauls made one appearance in the season opener against Austin Peay and made an extra point in a 55-0 victory.

At Tippecanoe, Sauls was a Division III All-Ohio first-team selection. He kicked field goals of 55 yards and 49 yards, twice breaking the school record, against Fairborn as a senior in 2019. He was the 12th-ranked placekicker in the class of 2020, according to 247Sports.com.

Sauls also played soccer for Tippecanoe and ranked third in the Miami Valley League with 19 goals as a senior.

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