When Adrian Mora broke the Georgia Southern record for consecutive extra points made 40 touchdowns ago, not much more than passing notice was made of the feat.
And that was just fine with the Eagle senior who, has established himself as one of the most accurate kickers in college football.
What Mora, a native of Mexico who came to the United States at age 5, does get excited about is becoming an American citizen and earning a college degree last spring.
With the morass which has engulfed many of major college football’s programs this past year Mora, a Dean’s List student now enrolled in graduate school after earning a degree in finance, epitomizes what is good and right about the game.
Mora, who played high school football at Dalton\, is closing in on school and NCAA records, but his focus is on the bigger picture.
“I would give anything to have a national championship when I leave here,” Mora said. “I would trade all the records for that.”
After last week’s 62-21 win over Tusculum in which he accounted for a career single-game high 14 points, Mora has 251 points, and is on track to finish fifth on the Georgia Southern all time list.
Adrian Peterson holds the career record with 524 points, and Chaz Williams is second with 374. Tim Foley, the kicker on Erk Russell’s 1985-1986 National Championship teams, is fifth.
Foley finished with 301 points on 151 extra points and 50 field goals, both school high marks. Playoff games, it should be noted, are not included in Foley’s totals as the NCAA did not start including playoff games in career and season statistics until 2002.
The next extra point Mora misses will be his first. He has made 107 straight, and he has connected on 48 of 58 field goal attempts. Mora set the school single season record with 19 field goals last year on 21 attempts.
The career record of consecutive extra points in FCS is 126 held by Chris Snyder of Montana in the 2000-03 seasons.
“I’m aware of the streak,” Mora said. “People talk, things get to me, but I don’t let it affect me. As a unit we think of every kick separately. We like to go about things in a businesslike manner.”
And, Mora stressed, the kicking of extra points and field goals is a team effort. His holder is punter Charlie Edwards, and Carter Jones is the long snapper. Mora said his consistency is a credit to them and his offensive line.
“What I do is the easy part,” Mora said. “These are guys you can count on. I know I’m going to get a perfect snap and hold, and the offensive line keeps people out.
“Knowing they will do their job gives me a lot of confidence.”
Mora wound up at Georgia Southern literally by accident.
Anticipating an opportunity to play at the U.S. Naval Academy spurred Mora to speed up the process of becoming a citizen — which he did as a high school senior.
“We’re all citizens,” Mora said of his family. “We’re proud of that.”
While waiting to hear from Navy he was sifting other offers including one from then Valdosta State Coach Chris Hatcher.
“The weekend I visited Georgia Southern was the weekend I was scheduled to visit Valdosta,” Mora said. “Coach Hatcher was hired that week and he called and invited me to come here for a visit.
“I came and absolutely fell in love with the place,” Mora said. “I decided I wasn’t going to wait on Navy and made up my mind right away to come to Georgia Southern. It’s something I’ve never regretted.”
Ironically Mora did get an opportunity to play at Navy albeit as an opponent. He kicked an extra point in the Eagles’ 13-7 loss to the Midshipmen last year.
Mora had an older and younger brother who also played football at Dalton, and currently his cousin, Julio Mora, plays for the Catamounts.
A lifelong soccer player Mora took up football as a ninth grader at the suggestion of his soccer coach. He was Dalton’s starting kicker for four years.
“With my soccer background I can kick off the ground pretty well,” Mora said. “I have the confidence that I can put the ball where I want to put it.”
Mora’s parents were lifelong soccer fans, but they have adapted to football quite well, he said.
“My parents love everything about the game day experience,” Mora said. “At the end of the day, though, they are happiest that I have my degree.”
All-time Scoring Leaders
1. 524 Adrian Peterson 1998-2001
2. 374 Chaz Williams 2001-04
3. 372 Jayson Foster 2004-07
4. 340 Gerald Harris 1983-86
5. 296 Tim Foley 1984-87
6. 294 Greg Hill 1996-99
7. 266 Ernest Thompson 1985-89
8. 251 Adrian Mora 2008-Present