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The Game Of A Lifetime

retarded kid football
CBS
Northwest High School senior Jake Porter has been at almost every football practice for three years, but the running back hasn't played a down, because he can't. Jake was born with fragile X syndrome, a common cause of mental retardation.

"He didn't have a lot of friends, and he was really closed down," says his mother Liz Porter.

But, as CBS News Correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports, that all changed when Jake found football and coach Dave Frantz, who put him on the team even though Jake's condition meant he could never take the field or even take a hit.

"A lot of people say I do things for him," Frantz says. "Well, he does more for me than I do for him."

So at the end of a long, losing season, coach Frantz came up with a way to salvage something. The plan was to put Jake in for the last play of the last game. But for it to work, he needed some help from the coach on the other sideline.

Frantz asked his opponent, Waverly High School coach Derek Dewitt, to allow Jake in the game to take a knee.

"I said, 'I don't have a problem with that,'" says Dewitt.

The more he thought about it, as his team built a big lead, the more Dewitt figured just playing wasn't enough. So during a time out called to put Jake in, the plan suddenly changed.

"We went on the field and talked and I said coach, touching the ball, that's not good enough," Dewitt says.

"I think some people in the stands must have thought we were arguing, because he comes running over and he's pointing at me," says Frantz.

And what started as a small gesture, became something extraordinary.

At first Jake, who had been told to just down the ball, was caught off guard.

"He started to take a knee, then he stood up and started to go and run and I'm like, 'Oh no, he's messed his play up, and then it just went crazy,'" recalls his mother.

"Everybody was cheering like crazy," says Jake. "I about lost it at that point."

On paper, Jake's 49 yard touchdown run didn't make much difference, but for him and everyone in attendance, it made all the difference in the world.