Now Playing
On Air
No Program
Now Playing

Posted: October 28, 2014

WATCH: Autistic high school football player scores team's final touchdown of season


WPXI-TV – Pittsburgh


Trending on Facebook

More popular and trending stories

It was a touching moment on a high school football field near Pittsburgh when a player with autism helped end the season on a high note.

Valley High School junior Zach Clarke scored his first-ever touchdown, thanks in part to players from both sides of the field.

“I just ran up the middle and I was gone,” Clarke said. “I scored.”

The athletic departments from both Valley and Freeport schools worked the heartwarming end to the season out before Friday’s game.

>> Read more trending stories

“I said, ‘I’ll give you the ball and you run to the end zone,’ and he said, ‘All right,’” quarterback Phillip Petit said.

Players from both teams celebrated with Clarke and carried him off the field on their shoulders. The crowd went wild cheering for Clarke, as well.

“The coaches were crying. The fans were crying. Everybody was crying,” Valley coach Muzzy Colosimo said.

The touchdown meant a lot to Clarke’s parents, who were at the game.

“I said to my husband, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s in,’” Clarke’s mother, Kathy Clarke, said. “And then, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s running for a touchdown.’”

The game’s final score: Freeport 39, Valley 30. The game was played at James E. Swartz Memorial Field in Freeport, Pennsylvania. Freeport is about 40 miles outside Pittsburgh in Armstrong County. 

“It’s definitely one of the moments that will live in my mind forever,” said Freeport quarterback Andrew Romanchack. “It was a moment that changes a person.”

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.


Win $1,000,000 with our Battle of The Brackets Challenge

The most popular local Bracket game is back for 2018. Submit your bracket and compete against your friends for a chance to win $1,000,000.

LISTEN: Stories Behind The Songs Podcast

An intimate look at what made Nashville’s best-known song writers write their hit songs and more

Play the Checkered Flag Challenge

This is THE Game for NASCAR Fans. Pick who you think will finish in the top 10 each race and compete for weekly prizes and a trip to the 2019 Daytona 500.