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.

Micaehl DiMarco (48) with the Bobcats. Click on photo to enlarge. (credit: Vinny Foppiano)

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.

Comments (15)
  1. Andrea P says:

    Wonderful story that gives me chills,.Glad Michael and his family had this wonderful moment that will last a lifetime!

  2. KPMc says:

    Well.. thanks a lot for bringing tears to my eyes and making me almost cry at 8:45AM here at work!

    Nice story to see as opposed to all the other bad news.

    Kudos to everyone and especially the opposing team and coaches for helping make a special day.

  3. iwork247 says:

    I applaud these coaches for teaching these young men life lessons they’ll surely never forget.

  4. dianne says:

    this is an amazing story. the thoughtfulness of the both teams the players & the coaches is outstanding. HOPE MANY MANY OTHER TEAMS AND TOWNS READ THIS AND WILL DO THE SAME FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY CHALLANGED KIDS. This is a day his whole family and hopefully all attending will treasure

  5. Donna says:

    To both team coaches, players and fans, I thank you for making this such a wonderful memory for our family to look back on. To my nephews Michael and Vincent, we love you both and couldn’t be prouder. We need more feel good stories in our lives.

  6. Cathie P says:

    I am so proud of my little cousins Michael and Vincent. This was one of the best days of my life.
    I hope this story moves you all!

  7. Angela Lamantia Lefholz says:

    What a beautiful story! I grew up in Plainedge and this makes my heart so happy!

  8. Angela Lamantia Lefholz says:

    What a beautiful story!

  9. Lori says:

    Michael and Vincent are my little cousins. I’m so proud of them!

  10. karen s says:

    this is what true sport is about. the big leagues need to pay attention to the example of children, and mature adults. the chant of “run michael run,” echoes that line from forrest gump “run forrest run.”maybe the pro leagues need to consider donating a portion of their fines for illegal hits/other infractions beyond player retirement funds, to recreation leagues and special olympics. thanks to the coaches for heeding dan fogelberg’s lyrics “put me in coach, i’m ready to play, today …”

    1. jtorres says:

      Actually, that was John Fogerty, but you’re right, Karen. Major League sports are no longer about the beauty or love of the game. It’s all about money and glory and winning at all costs. These kids could teach the NFL a thing or two about what sportsmanship really means.

  11. Sam says:

    Finally, a beautiful story. Great job everyone!!!

  12. Bill says:

    Great way for these coaches to teach these boys to become men of character. Kudos.

  13. dp says:

    Fantastic…..god bless all of you.

  14. John says:

    Bravo coaches.. Bravo

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