The weekend of football was an action-packed one, but no top-25 matchup or thrilling game had a better story than this one.
Heil has Down syndrome and his mother, Debbie, is terminally ill with bone cancer.
Novi and opposing high school South Lyon East agreed before the game to give Heil his proper opportunity in the spotlight. That’s when, during a stoppage in play in the second quarter, Heil took the field, received a handoff and sprinted into the end zone for a touchdown.
As you can see in the video above, his mother was overcome with joy:
“I dropped to the ground because I was so emotional when I saw him make that touchdown,” Debbie Heil said. “I’ve always been proud of him being the water boy, or as people call him the hydration manager, but this was incredible. He’s Rudy tonight. He’s Rudy.”Advertisement
It’s certainly a moment the boy, his mother, and those around him will never forget.