A pair of Montana high school football programs combined for an ultimate act of sportsmanship when they teamed up to ensure that an injured running back set a new state career rushing record.
As reported by MTNSports.com, Tri-City (Mont.) High School running back Jordan Nees entered the his team’s 8-man playoff game against Circle (Mont.) High School fewer than 50 yards away from the career state 8-man rushing record. With a career average of 255 yards-per-game, the record seemed like a shoo-in … until Nees suffered a nasty knee injury on the eve of the game during a brief practice session.
The injury didn’t keep the teen from trying to take the field, but after rushing for just 18 yards in the first period, Nees came out with re-aggravation of the joint.
The record was dead, or so Nees and his teammates thought. Instead, after Circle pulled away in a 52-0 victory, the Titans were handed a gift-wrapped opportunity to get Nees what he needed; with the game long out of hand, Circle players offered to let Nees come on to attempt one final rushing attempt.
He did, was handed the ball and scampered up the sideline for a 35-yard gain before going out of bounds.
The new record was set, but equally important was the bond forged between the two teams which made the collaboration possible.
“It’s moments like that that remind me as a coach, and everyone in attendance at the game that day, of how high school football and the life lessons it teaches is far bigger than the wins and losses,” Tri-City coach Jake Stevenson told MTN Sports. “Coach Eissinger and the community of Circle have a lot of class and should be commended on raising such competitive and respectful young men.”