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High school student scores a special touchdown

7:46 PM, Nov 3, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Eric Hernandez had never been in a football game in his life.

The Gateway High School junior, who lives with cerebral palsy, had always wanted to play football.

On the last regular season game of the year, the head coach allowed Hernandez to line up as running back, with seconds ticking down on the clock.

"I said no matter what the score is, whether we're winning, losing, tied, [it] didn't matter. We were going to run this play, even if it meant us losing the game," said Ashour Peera, Gateway's head coach.

Hernandez had been asking Peera if he could play football all of last year.

Peera agreed, but said if the junior was going to play, he would have to practice.

So Hernandez, who uses a walker, showed up to practice leading up to the final game.

Video shows that the practice paid off: Both teams work together as Hernandez takes the ball from the team quarterback and gets into the end zone.

He runs off the field without assistance.

"I was afraid I was going to fumble it," said Hernandez on Sunday, smiling. "Cheerleaders cheered for me.

His coach says tears were flowing in the stands.

"It was just surreal to watch him [and] how excited he was," Peera said.

"Once he got into the end zone, then it turned pretty emotional, especially when he ran off the field, unassisted," added Peera. "What was important was being able to give this young man his dream."

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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