October 11, 2010
After an amazing Friday night in September when two different players with special needs scored touchdowns for their respective schools, it seemed like the 2010 football season had seen its quota of tremendous sportsmanship. Evidently there was room for one more great moment, in Arkansas.
According to ArkansasVarsity.com, Manila (Ark.) High School senior Dylan Galloway was born with cerebral palsy, yet never gave up on his dream of scoring a high school touchdown. With his team trailing Rivercrest (Ark.) High, 47-0, with just less than five minutes remaining on Friday, coaches for both Manila and Rivercrest got together and set up a play where Galloway could get the ball in his wheelchair from the 4-yard line.
The video you see above is footage of Galloway's subsequent touchdown, and the radio play-by-play call of Manila's lone touchdown in the game.
Here's how Manila coach Toby Doke described Galloway's lone touchdown to the Jonesboro Sun:
"I called coach (Kelly) Chandler down at Rivercrest and he agreed to let it happen, and late in the fourth quarter we had drove down to the 3- or 4-yard line. We were about to score and we were going to try to do it on the last play of the game, but the mercy rule was in effect and the clock was running so I felt like it was as good of a time as any to do it right then," Doke said. "We put a football helmet on Dylan, and I told him to get his butt in there and go score a touchdown, and he wheeled out into the middle of the field. I had already talked to our quarterback and our linemen on how we wanted to do it, and our quarterback got him lined up and handed him the ball, and he went around the left side and went into the end zone. It was a very special moment."
Galloway's mother called watching her son score one of both his and her happier moments.
"Thank you and God bless you, and thank you for giving him a chance to be a part of something," Liz Galloway told the Jonesboro Sun. "He really likes football, and this is like a little dream come true for him."
For his part, Doke said that Galloway's persistence made it hard for him to overlook getting the wheelchair-bound senior a chance.
"He had been after me all year in the hall, at lunchtime and during the school day, and kept telling me he wanted to score a touchdown," Doke told the Sun. "I saw Rivercrest kids jumping up and down, and when Dylan went into the end zone our entire sideline cleared and all of his teammates went to celebrate with him. I had to fight back the tears, and in fact it kind of tears me up thinking about it now. It was pretty special."
The touchdown was yet another moment from the 2010 season which showcased the best in high school sportsmanship. With a touch of the kind approach also shown by Superior (Wisc.) High and Lake Stevens (Wash.) High, Rivercrest set the stage for Galloway to live out a moment that could almost be pulled from one of the more touching moments from early episodes of the current season of "Glee."
And if there was ever any doubt that the Rivercrest players took the moment for granted, their coach made it clear that was hardly the case. Currently the top-ranked team in Arkansas' Class 3A, Rivercrest had all its players sign a ball for Galloway, which they presented to him after he crossed into the end zone.
For his part, Rivercrest's Chandler said he and his players took away memories of the moment that won't fade anytime soon.
"We got as much out of it as he did," Chandler told the Sun.