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Football Manager With Down Syndrome Plays In Game, Scores Big

Yorktown High's Josiah O'Brien Raced Into End Zone On His Only Snap
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YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A high school football team manager with Down syndrome went from the sideline to the spotlight.

As CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported, Yorktown High School’s Josiah O’Brien realized his big dream of playing under the Friday night lights when the Huskers’ coach inserted him into their game last week.

“I didn’t know it was going to happen,” O’Brien said.

Coach Mike Rescigno put O’Brien, an 18-year-old senior, in at running back on the final snap of Yorktown’s game against Pougkeepsie. O’Brien then raced into the end zone on a 20-yard run. The Huskers won the game 48-27.

“It was our Senior Night, where kids and parents get recognized, so I thought what better way to send him off?” Rescigno said.

Even Poughkeepsie’s players were in on it and loved the moment along with the fans. Players and fans were chanting “Josiah! Josiah!”

O’Brien said he only practiced the touchdown-scoring play for the first time the day before the game.

O’Brien’s dad, the Rev. Dan O’Brien, pastor of Calvary Bible Church in Yorktown, said everyone can provide a valuable contribution in life.

“That value is not based on your IQ and how far you can throw a football, and some people’s value gets overlooked,” Dan O’Brien said.

When asked what the best part of his big night was, O’Brien said, “That I got a chance on the field.”

Yorktown is heading to the playoffs. O’Brien said he’ll be on the sidelines for every game.

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