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Varina student honored for kind act on football field

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VARINA, Va. -- CBS 6 sports director Lane Casadonte knew exactly who he wanted to honor during the CBS 6 Month of Giving.

Lane surprised Varina High School student Taesean Crutchfield. You may remember Taesean from his role in a heart-warming scene that played out October 27 on the Atlee High School football field.

During that game Atlee student Sepp Shirey, who lives with cerebral palsy, was allowed to enter the game and carry the football.

The original plan was for Sepp to carry the ball against Varina for a few yards before being tackled by two-hand touch.

But that idea, unbeknownst to almost everyone on and off the field, was scrapped just a few steps into Sepp's run.

"I looked in his eyes when he was running," Taesean, a Varina linebacker, told Lane in a Beyond the Roster story after the game. "I looked at him, I was clapping him on. I just wanted him to score because I knew it would be a good feeling for him."

Taesean told his teammates to let Shirey go as far as he could, and that's exactly what happened.

"I looked pretty consistent throughout the run, but there was about three times where I was this close to going over," Sepp said. "Once I got to the 20, I had no energy left in my legs."

The play covered 80 yards, much farther than Sepp thought was possible.

"I've maybe walked further distances, but definitely not at that speed," Sepp said. "I definitely surprised myself."

"I was like, 'Dang! Is this really going on?'" Taesean recalled. "I could feel it inside. I don't know why, but I loved him as a person because he's got more heart than anybody."

When Lane showed up at Varina earlier this month to present Taesean with a gift card for the holidays, the student was surprised and humbled.

"You paid it forward by doing what you did in that game," Lane told Taesean in front of his coach and teammates. "We know you'll pay it forward because you already have. We thank you for being an example of what to do, the right thing to do."

Some game video courtesy KG Graubics. Some game photos courtesy Melinda Adelstein.