Player's Magical Touchdown Gains National Attention
Porter Granted Memory Of Lifetime, Fulfills Mother's Prediction
UPDATED: 11:04 a.m. EST November 15, 2002
McDERMOTT, Ohio -- Nearly one month after he scored a touchdown on the last play of a high school football game, the story of Jake Porter is still
getting national attention.
Watch Jake Porter's Touchdown
Porter, 17, was born with "Chromosomal Fragile-X," which is the leading cause of inherited mental retardation.
With the help of two coaches and the cooperation of 21 players, Porter was granted the memory of a lifetime when he ran for a 49-yard touchdown for
Northwest High School in the game's waning moments Oct. 18 against Waverly High School.
Although he had practiced every day with the team, Porter had only taken a knee in one other game because of his physical condition.
Northwest head coach Dave Frantz and coach Derek DeWitt of Waverly agreed beforehand to let Porter come in and take a knee at the end of their game.
But with Waverly leading 42-0 in the fourth quarter, DeWitt and his team opted to abandon the shutout for the sake of sportsmanship.
He said, "We want him to score."
"You don't have to do that," Franz said. "He can take a knee. That's enough."
"No, it isn't," DeWitt replied. "He's a wonderful kid. We want him to score."
So Jake scored. When he ran into the end zone, he pumped his arm in the air as if he had won the state championship.
Waverly and Northwest fans cheered and danced and even cried. Opposing players hugged. Children re-enacted Jake's run.
nbc4columbus.com began receiving e-mails following the game from fans who witnessed Porter's feat.
The story aired on NewsChannel 4 the following week. Since then, Porter's run was aired at halftime of the Nov. 2 Ohio State-Minnesota game, and the
showing of good sportsmanship has been featured on everything from "The Sports Reporters" to "The Jim Rome Show."
Sports Illustrated published a column about what happened that night.
Porter's story aired on "NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw" on Thursday. The "Today" show interviewed Porter, Frantz, and Liz Porter, who is
Jake's mother, who predicted three years ago that her son would attract national attention.
One writer, Joe Posnanski, wrote: "To this day, Jake Porter is sure he scored the winning touchdown in that game against Waverly. And you know what?