Friday, November 25, 2011

75 yard touchdown makes a memorable moment

from Yahoo:

What could have been a disheartening loss is now an inspirational story.

A 19-year-old football player with Down syndrome scored the final touchdown of the season for his team — thanks to the outstanding sportsmanship of the opposing team.

It's playoff season for U.S. high-school football teams. When the Myrtle Beach High Seahawks beat the Hilton Head High Seahawks by a staggering 64 to 16, Hilton Head could have been upset about it. Instead, the game ended with the celebration of the teams' joint effort to see one player's dream come true.

Chip Mullen, a Hilton Head senior, has Down syndrome. It was his last game.

The Myrtle Beach coach, Mickey Wilson, swapped do-or-die football strategy for benevolent sportsmanship.

"We saw him out there and we decided to let him score" said Myrtle Beach head coach, Mickey Wilson. "We talked about it amongst our coaching staff and everyone thought it was a great idea."

Wilson told Hilton Head's team to give Mullen a handoff. Hilton Head did — and Mullen ran 75 yards, past Myrtle Beach players, into the end zone.

Mullen scored the final touchdown of Hilton Head's season.

The entire Myrtle Beach team joined Mullen and his team in the end zone to congratulate him.
It wasn't Mullen's first touchdown — he scored a defensive touchdown against Berkeley earlier in the season, in a play set up by the opposition — but Wilson wanted to give him a memorable last game. And it was.

While Hilton Head still lost the game, Mullen made national headlines — and was even highlighted in an ESPN SportsCenter's Plays of the Weekend segment.

"I think it's exceptional. That kid has put in four years of total commitment to our football program," Hilton Head coach Tim Singleton said. "And now he's on SportsCenter. Not many people can say that."

As for Mullen, the excited player didn't leave the field empty-handed that night.

"He came off the field with that ball and didn't let it go," said George Mullen, Chip's father. "He took it home with him."

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