‘Deadly accurate’: Aussie punter stuns fans as Texans snap skid

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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Cameron Johnston of the Houston Texans punts the ball.
Cameron Johnston's precise punting was a major factor in the Texans' upset win over the Titans. Pic: Getty

Australian punter Cameron Johnston was a standout performer as his Houston Texans snapped an eight-game losing streak to notch a 22-13 upset win over the Tennessee Titans.

Johnston was involved in arguably the most pivotal moment of the contest when his precise 30-yard punt landed on the Titans’ 5-yard line and hit the foot of returner Chester Rogers midway through the third quarter.

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Tremon Smith was the first to react, diving on the loose ball and recovering it for the Texans. 

Three plays later, Houston quarterback Tyrod Taylor rushed for a 5-yard touchdown to extend the Texans’ lead to 19-0.

Johnston’s punting accuracy allowed the Texans to dominate field position throughout the contest, with the Aussie pinning the Titans inside their own 20-yard line on five of his seven punts. 

Johnston averaged 43.9 yards per punt, with a long of 52 yards.

Johnston’s muffed punt was one of five turnovers forced by the Texans. 

Head coach David Culley said those moments proved to be influential in the outcome of the game.

“It's tough to win in this league no matter who you play, and we tell our guys this,” Culley said.

“At this point in the season, records don't matter. Records do not matter.

“When you play in this league and you go out and get five turnovers and you don’t turn the ball over, it doesn’t matter who you play, you’ve got a pretty good chance to win the football game.”

Cameron Johnston honoured with team captain role

Making the victory even sweeter for Johnston was the fact he was named as a Texans team captain for the contest.

After three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Johnston signed with Houston as a free agent during the offseason. 

The 29-year-old has been a shining light for the Texans during a dismal campaign, which sees them languishing at the bottom of the NFC South with a 2-8 record.

Johnston is averaging 46.8 yards per punt on the season, which has led some observers to label him as the Texans’ Most Valuable Player.

Johnston, who won a college football National Championship with the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2014, is a product of the Prokick Australia kicking and punting academy, which has produced fellow NFL punters Michael Dickson, Mitch Wishnowsky, Jordan Berry and Arryn Siposs.

Prior to converting to American football, Johnston was selected by the Melbourne Demons with the 63rd pick of the 2011 AFL Rookie Draft.

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