In a play described by Super Bowl-winning former NFL Coach Brian Billick as hitting the outside with an elite burst and accelerating down the sideline, 18-year-old Jake Pratt scored a memorable touchdown Friday night for Vestavia Hills High School in Alabama.
It happened during the final play of a preseason Friday Night Lights match-up between Vestavia Hills and Birmingham-based Briarwood Christian School.
Pratt, a senior, got the handoff and sped to the end zone, where he was quickly surrounded by his teammates; and the cheers from the sidelines reached NFL-stadium levels.
Pratt has Down Syndrome. And, even if the moment itself was planned, there was no question Jake earned the right to the spotlight.
“My brother was not just handed this,” Jake’s sister Amy wrote after sharing the video on Twitter. “He is actually on the team. He goes to every practice and does every drill. He works out on his own too.”
And, he certainly earned the touchdown celebration that followed.
Life has sometimes been difficult for Jake’s family. A cursory scroll through his sister’s Twitter reveals examples of her defending her brother when others have not been kind about his football passion. But, as you would expect, the positive outweighed the negative when words of support for Jake’s most recent accomplishment came rushing in Saturday morning.