By Ben Mevorach, 1010 WINS Director of News and Programming
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The story isn’t new and the ending is always the same. But, like a great love song, the melody moves you no matter how many times it plays.
The Bobcats of Plainedge were down to their final play of the game. Bobcats’ coach Jerry Campbell signaled to the bench and called for number 48. That’s when the football game stopped being about a football game.
Twelve year-old Michael DiMarco trotted onto the field and into the huddle. His 9-year-old brother Vincent was waiting for him. After all, the Bobcats was Vincent’s team, until now.
The final play of the game was designed to be a hand-off, sweep left, and then follow the blockers down the sideline to the end zone. That’s how the coach drew it up. That’s how the team practiced it. Secret be told, that’s how both teams practiced it.
Parents on both sides of the field were standing and watching.
No one was 100 percent sure how the play would be executed.
Michael has Down syndrome and his dad wasn’t sure his son would remember to run in the right direction. Michael’s brother was worried the opposing team would forget not to tackle Michael.
The ref blew the whistle. The game clock was restarted and the players moved into position.
Vincent handed the ball off to Michael, number 50 to number 48, brother to brother.
Michael stood there for a minute; everyone held their breath. Then someone shouted, “Run Michael, run!”
Watch The Winning Touchdown:
Gripping the ball tightly against his numbers, the entire Bobcat team around him, Michael began to run. He ran–with a little help– in the right direction.
Then came the cheers, the tears, and the touchdown.
Both teams crossed the goal line with Michael. So did his father.
The Bobcats went back to being Vincent’s team again. But the melody that played on a football field in Bethpage on a crisp Sunday morning will move you, no matter how many more football games they play.