Grandmother of high school football player who scored 80-yard touchdown surprises rival team

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The grandmother of a high school football player with cerebral palsy who completed an 80-yard touchdown  dropped off something special to the opposing team last week.

The amazing play happened late in the 4th quarter of a game already in hand, when the Atlee Raiders and Varina Blue Devils put aside points and pride and made one player's dream come true.

Raiders senior Sepp Shirey got into the final home game of his high school career intending only to carry the ball once for a yard or two.

Raiders head coach Matt Gray alerted the officials and Varina coach Stu Brown to Sepp's appearance in the game. The original plan was for Sepp to carry for a couple of yards and for the Varina defenders to "tackle" him by two-hand touch.

But then, things changed and on his second carry, Shirey went 80 yards for the score.

"Go, go, go!” the crowd yelled and applauded as Shirey ran with the ball as his fellow Raiders and Blue Devils encouraged him.

“He carries the ball. He’s down to the 30,” the announcer says. “He’s down to the 20-yard line. The Varina Blue Devils are chasing him. He returns the ball to the five. Touch down!”

Velma Shirey with Varina High players.

Velma Shirey with Varina High players.

Officials with Henrico County Public Schools said Sepp’s grandmother, Velma Shirey, dropped by Varina High School last week to personally thank the players.

Velma, a Varina graduate who taught at the high school for 37 years, said she was very impressed by the players' show of sportsmanship.

Velma posed with the team and presented them with a cake as a "thank you."

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