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Special touchdown makes lasting impression on players, community

By Tony Adams
Sports Editor

As the clock struck zero in the first half of the Belton Tigers and Harker Heights District 8-6A matchup, the Tigers ran an untimed down to insert Belton senior quarterback Tannor Yearwood, a Down’s Syndrome champion to run a play.
It was textbook execution by Yearwood, as he faked a pass and ran for a 70-yard touchdown.
The image of Yearwood being lifted on the team’s shoulders will be a lasting image.
The play has gone viral on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and the Belton Tigers’ athletic website.
The video clip, courtesy of Belton Tigers Media Productions, can be seen on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwHbP1mmBPE) and the BeltonJournal website (www.beltonjournal.com).
The play, Deuces 10 Draw as called by Belton head coach Bob Shipley, was sent in with Yearwood and the Tigers offense went to work.
Yearwood’s good friend, Davion Peoples, was lined up in the shotgun formation to Yearwood’s left. He took the snap from Miguel Torres, faked a pass, rolled to his left and picked up Peoples and John Taggart as blockers. Talented Heights’ two-way player Madu Eneli missed the tackle and Yearwood sprinted down the sidelines to payturf. As he held the ball over his head crossing the goal line and headed out of the end zone, his Belton Tigers’ teammates surrounded Yearwood and propped him on their shoulders.
It was a moment that Shipley, the Tigers and the Belton faithful will not soon forget.
“Tannor is a special player,” Shipley said. “He gets here at 6 a.m. each day, sometimes even before the rest of the players. He puts in the same reps that all the players do.”
Many of the fans that have followed Yearwood through his football-playing days have seen the touchdowns in postgame, especially at the end of the ball games on the freshman and junior varsity levels. The play was a tribute to his contribution to the Belton Tigers Football program, not only in their fall practices and games, but in their offseason workouts and Tiger Football Camps.
“He deserved to play. Tannor has played football every year since seventh grade,” Shipley said. “He’s at every practice and works out with us all spring and offseason. His play gave us all time to put the game on hold and join him in that special moment. It helps keep things in perspective. He never complains about not getting to play so it was something we really wanted to do for him. Of course, the opposing coach has to agree and I’m thankful that Harker Heights’ coach (Jerry) Edwards allowed us to reward Tannor for being such a great teammate. That’s something we’ll all remember for a long time.”
An inspiration to the special needs community of Belton, Yearwood is also active in the baseball/softball community, as he also plays and supports the Belton Youth Softball Association in the Centex Champions League.
There is just a certainly sweetness about playing under the Friday night lights of Texas High School Football that made the moment just a little sweeter than most.