At first glance, the touchdown wouldn't look like the most important one in the game, let alone in the season. Yet, when fans and players look back on the 2011 Hilton Head (S.C.) High football team years from now, there's little doubt which touchdown will be the first one to come to mind: The one scored by Chip Mullen in the closing moments of the team's 64-16 loss in the opening round of the South Carolina playoffs against Myrtle Beach (S.C.) High.
As one might guess, there's a reason why Chip Mullen's touchdown stood out in a blowout: Mullen is a football player with Down Syndrome, who had already scored one touchdown earlier in his senior season in a loss to Berkeley (S.C.) High. On Friday, he was handed the football with the final snap of Hilton Head's campaign -- after Myrtle Beach signaled that they wanted him to get the ball -- and rumbled 75 yards to the end zone, as you can see above.
The results were as electric as such special touchdowns often are, with players from both Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach celebrating the score in unison, helping close out the youngster's football career in the best way possible.
"He's always walking through the halls high-fiving everyone," Hilton Head backup quarterback Jeff Homad told the Island Packet. "He's the life of the school."
He's also the life of the Seahawks football team, a status that was made clear both by his role in leading the team's chant in the pregame huddle and scoring its final touchdown. That last act was clearly the most fitting epilogue to the team's season, a touchdown that both outgoing Hilton Head football players and Myrtle Beach stars could agree on.
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- Hilton Head
- Myrtle Beach