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“Get over here” my coach said
I jogged over to him wondering if he would put me in the game just for me to block,
“yes coach?” I responded.
He looked at me with hope in his eyes, “you are going in at full back; we need you to fool the defense into thinking we have a trick up our sleeves. I know everyone doesn’t accept you playing this position, but you need to prove them wrong.”
He took the fullback on our team that was already in out and put me in. As I walked to the huddle I heard my teammates complaining about me getting subbed in.
“Ok Matt you’re getting the ball on this play, just follow the right guard up the middle and you will get some decent yardage.” Said the quarterback
“Also don’t drop the ball, but… you probably will” the running back laughed.
I could hear the crowd cheering for us to score on this drive and I started to get butterflies in my stomach.
“Hike! Hike!” The quarterback shouted.
I grabbed the ball tight enough so I wouldn’t fumble, I followed the right guard as fast as I could and he set a nice block for me. I saw an open patch of land, ran right for it and suddenly my left foot wouldn’t move forward and I fell, a safety grabbed my foot and ended up tackling me.
“Dude! Nice run, that was like twenty yards!” said the quarterback happily.
“Oh ya I have rushes like that with a broken leg” said the running back.
. After my rush we ended up on the thirty yard line and my coach kept me in. My coach gave the quarterback the signal to run the same play.
“You got this, right Matt?” asked the quarterback
“Yup” I responded.
Hike! Hike! The quarterback shouted, I grabbed the ball and suddenly the line collapsed. My eyes widened when I saw that, they were all twice my size, BOOM! All the wind in my body got knocked of me. I was went the ground with a one-thousand pound pile of people on top of me.
My coaches signaled for the quarterback to throw the ball for a change.
“Ok Matt you need to stay right by my side to protect me from any defenders trying to sack me” said the quarterback.
“Ok” I replied
I started to feel my adrenalin rush, if anyone came through the offensive line I would need to hit that person so hard with my shoulder pads that they would fly back five feet.
“Hike!” the quarter back shouted.
He caught the ball from the long snap and I went back with him. I saw a linebacker coming right for him; I got low and knocked the living daylight out of him. He soared five feet back and landed on the ground with a thud. By the time that block happened the wide receiver already caught the ball and I saw him get tackled on the ten yard line.
My coaches signaled for the quarterback to hand the ball off to me.
“Matt, we’re on the ten yard line and we need you to score now” said the quarter back.
“Don’t mess this up for us or I will hold this against you forever” said the running back.
All I was thinking at the time was that whoever was in my way, I’ll beat them to the end zone; I had to unless I want to be made fun of by the rest of my team.
“Hike!” the quarterback shouted
He handed me the ball, I held on tight, saw my first target, and ran right towards him. I could see his eyes start to bulge and his body start to freeze. Boom! I had laid him out on the ground. I saw my next target; he was a lot bigger than the other one but seemed to be slower. I tried to run him over but that did not work, my instincts kicked in, I don’t know how but my body ended up spinning and breaking the tackle. I am now on the three yard line and could sense a touchdown coming. Oh no! Something’s got my foot and won’t let go. My mind kept telling me run, run, run!
“Go Matt go!” shouted the running back, surprisingly
I took one hop after the other on my right foot, it ended up taking me to the one yard line; I thought that was far enough, I dove for the end zone, I got pulled back, I extended my arm, and the ball just crossed the line for a touchdown! I couldn’t believe it. I had scored my first touchdown! My entire team crowded me and congratulated me on getting my first touchdown, I never felt so accepted in my life.
We ended up winning the game twenty one to seven and someone showed up to congratulate me after the game, it was our running back.
“That was pretty awesome what you did out there, I didn’t think you would be that good but you proved yourself and made me think twice about you.”
“Thanks” I responded.
A year has passed since my first touchdown, we were so close to winning a championship, but we had to settle for third that year too. But one thing that stuck with me all that time was how I was finally accepted on my team.