Top High School RB stops short of TD so grieving teammate can score instead
In a moment straight out of Friday Night Lights, Clairsville (Ohio) St. Clairsville High star running back Michael Ferns intentionally ran out of bounds just feet shy of the goal line last week.
The crowd was stunned, and the referees were perplexed—even signalling a touchdown at first—but his teammates knew what Ferns was doing.
You see, Ferns’ backup, freshman Logan Thompson, was grieving the loss of his father to a stroke just days before. Thompson had never registered a carry for the St. Clairsville High varsity team, but his teammates and coach Brett McClean wanted to give him a chance to score a touchdown in memory of his dad.
And, with Ferns leading the way as a blocker, he did just that.
“Looking straight up into the sky after scoring my first varsity touchdown…i know the old man was watching! love and miss u so much daddy,” Thompson tweeted after the game.
Ferns is a top University of Michigan recruit, and the Wolverines obviously look to have found themselves a high-character player in the running back.
“I was just happy to help out. That’s what it’s all about, doing whatever you can for those alongside you,” he said via Twitter.
Most football players would agree. After all, at its most quotidian level, teamwork wins games. But Ferns’ gesture was much more universal than that.
What Michael Ferns did under the Friday Night Lights last wasn’t just a reminder that sports are about more than wins and losses—though it was that, too. It was an example of the amazing, heartfelt things that incredible people do for one another in life’s toughest moments.
Good on you, Michael Ferns.