Forget the rest of the season. Here’s your return TD of the season.
Elias Ricks, a 13-year-old on the Inland Empire Ducks youth football team, scored the truly improbable touchdown return you see in the video above by being nigh on impossible to bring down. That’s not fair; Ricks was impossible to bring down.
First he cut to the left and eluded a tackler. Then he cut back to the right and eluded another tackler. He stopped and reversed course before running into another defensive wall, and cut back to the left, where he eluded two tacklers, the second while swiveling back to the right. That’s when Ricks finally caught a block, streaked up the sideline for about 15 yards before cutting back into the middle of the field and eluding two tacklers. From there it was smooth sailing until the 5-yard-line, where an opposing would-be tackler finally caught up to get in one more attempted tackle … only to be met by Ricks’ picture-perfect stiff arm.
That’s seven missed tackles in 68 yards, not to mention five cutbacks that ensured Ricks actually traveled much farther than those 68 yards.
It’s far too early to call Ricks’ run the definitive year’s best, but it’s certainly impressive enough that we can all feel comfortable it will be in that conversation. Frankly it should be. No matter what level a game is being played at, athleticism like that goes a long way.