Before Friday night, 18-year-old Jake Pratt had never played in a live football game. But during a preseason exhibition game against Briarwood Christian, Pratt, a senior with Down syndrome, took a handoff from the Vestavia Hills (Alabama) High School quarterback and motored around the left end for a 40-yard touchdown that left both teams ecstatic.
The moment was prearranged by both squads, but Pratt’s touchdown run will move you regardless. Watch as the crowd (and players from both teams) go bonkers when it becomes obvious that Hyde is going to score a touchdown.
My brother, Jake, is 18 & a senior at Vestavia. He also happens to have Down Syndrome. Tonight 2 teams helped to make his dream come true! pic.twitter.com/uLoP3KH8KR
— Amy Hyde (@Amy_Lissa) August 26, 2017
Here’s another view.
— Vestavia Hills High (@VHHSRebels) August 26, 2017
Pratt had served as the team’s manager, but after attending summer workout sessions, Vestavia Hills coach Buddy Anderson was convinced by some of the squad’s parents to let Pratt dress out for Friday’s game.
“He was so happy,” Kathy Pratt, Jake’s mom, told AL.com. “Jake will remember this all of his life. It will be a life-changing experience.”
Said Anderson, who’s been the team’s head coach for nearly 40 years: “It was one of the most moving things that I’ve ever seen.”
Hard to argue with that.