There are no logical justifications for Cliff Kurker's punt return for a touchdown in his team's most recent varsity game. He should have been tackled multiple times. Instead, he somehow broke through, eventually reached the end zone and created one of the most memorable touchdowns in Massachusetts high school history.
The punt return that will live in fame or infamy -- depending on which side you were cheering for -- came from Needham High's (Needham, Mass.) 34-12 victory against Framingham High (Framingham, Mass.). Kurker lined up to return a kick around his own 40 yard line in the first half with his team leading, 7-0. When the ensuing boot launched far over his head he skittered back and eventually recovered the ball around his own 29.
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What happened next was nothing short of incredible. Kurker broke a total of 13 tackle attempts -- all but three of them behind the line where he picked up the ball -- before finally breaking free and sprinting to the end zone for a 71-yard score.
Words really don't give the return justice. Go check out the video again.
There is room to criticize Framingham's defense for failing to bring Kurker down, but the lion's share of credit has to land at the feet of the return man extraordinaire himself. That return is determination to the fullest, and he was rewarded for it appropriately.
- Sports & Recreation