Matt Ziesel is a freshman at St. Joseph Benton High School in Missouri who has Down syndrome. He participates on St. Joseph's football team, but he doesn't actually get into the games -- at least he didn't until the last play of the school's game on Monday at Maryville High School, when he was allowed to score a touchdown at the end of a blowout.
Maryville was beating Benton 46-0 with 10 seconds left, and at that point, Benton called timeout, and coach Dan McCamy ran across the field to ask the Maryville coaches for a favor. He tells the Kansas City Star:
"I've got a special situation," McCamy remembers telling Maryville freshman defensive coach David McEnaney. "I know you guys want to get a shutout. Most teams would want a shutout, but in this situation I want to know if maybe you can let one of my guys run in for a touchdown."
Sure enough, the Maryville team agreed -- "The players, they didn't hesitate at all. They jumped right on board," McCamy said -- and Ziesel was permitted to run 64 yards for a score as time expired.
"It's just amazing how one play can mean so much to one kid and then to a team and then to a community," Ziesel said of the impact the touchdown had on Ziesel and his other players. "The end result, we lost the game, but when we went away, we were all kind of winners."