Watch: Football player with cerebral palsy scores emotional 80-yard touchdown

Prep Rally

Sometimes, sports can be absolutely perfect.

Friday night, senior running back Sepp Shirey lined up in the backfield for Atlee (Va.) High School. Shirey was born with cerebral palsy, and this game against rival Varina would be Shirey’s last chance to step onto the field in front of his home crowd, his last chance to show what he had.

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On the first snap, Shirey took the handoff but tripped in the backfield. Hoisted up by his teammates, he lined up again, took the snap, and broke through the line with a precision that would make Walter Payton proud. Shirey ran 80 yards, an open field in front of him, and collapsed into the end zone, surrounded by teammates and the delirious cheers of fans. Shirey has been playing football since he was a kid, and Friday night was one more example of how he doesn’t let his physical condition define him.

Every second of his run is perfect, from Shirey’s determined stride to the applause from the Varina defenders. The touchdown didn’t have any real effect on the final score—Varina won 63-21—but the memory of the moment will last a lifetime for everyone at the game.

Congrats to both teams for some outstanding sportsmanship, and congrats to Sepp Shirey, who averaged a Hall of Fame-worthy 40 yards per carry.

Sepp Shirey scores! (via screenshot)
Sepp Shirey scores! (via screenshot)

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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