Four minutes into the third quarter of last night's Washington-Kansas City game, Chiefs' kicker Nick Lowery set his sights on the Redskin goal posts 52 yards away, and with one second remaining on the 30-second clock, planted his foot solidly into the ball.
Lowery, a resident of McLean, Va., a graduate of St. Albans School in Washington and a self-described "lifelong Redskin fan," knew when he connected that it was a solid kick. The ball went through the posts to tie the score, 3-3.
"It felt real good," said the 25-year-old Lowery, who kicked for the Redskins in competition with Mark Moseley in the third and fourth preseason games of 1979 before being cut.
Lowery played briefly in 1978 with the Patriots, and had training camp looks in 1979 from Cincinnati and the Redskins before joining the Chiefs.
Fifthe in the AFC and eighth among NFL kickers with 97 points in 1980, Lowery was a perfect 37 for 37 on extra-point conversions and 20 for 26 on field goal attempts, the longest 57 yards against Seattle.,
"I think I'm the only St. Albans graduate in the NFL," said Lowery. "It's an honor to be representing the school."
Despite the 52-yard field goal last night, Lowery said distance is not his main goal at this point in the year.
"I try to concentrate on form and timing, not distance," he said. "It was especially good because I had a new holder, Bob Grupp, who came in after Steve Fuller got injured. He set the ball up perfectly.
"This is a good way to start the season, but I still have a lot of work to do. The second you start taking things for granteed, that's when things start to go wrong."
Lowery's kicking was one of the few bright spots for the Chiefs in the 16-10 loss to the Redskins. Another was the performance of rookie safety Lloyd Burruss, a thrid-round draft choice from the University of Maryland who intercepted a Joe Theismann pass on his three-yard line and ran it back 72 yards before being brought down.
"It was just being in the right place at the right time," said Burruss. "It popped out of (Rick) Walker's hands right into my hands. I got a good block on Theissmann, and I thought I was going to score, but then that speedster Joe Washington caught me."
Ultimately, Burruss' interceptions and runback went for naught. Chief running back Mike Williams fumbled on the Redskin two five plays later and the ball was recovered by Redskin Mike Nelms.
Chief Coach Marv Levy described his team's effort as "a combination between tryuing to win and trying to between tryuing to win and trying to look at a lot of players. As a result we had no rythm or consistency."