Brick Township (Brick, N.J.)
senior kicker Anthony Starego
booted a 21-yard field goal with 21 seconds to stun Toms River North 24-21.
According to a YouTube video uploaded shortly after the game, the 6-foot-3, 163-pound Starego is autistic.
The left-footed Starego nailed the field goal attempt as the crowd erupted. The video shows him sprinting down the sideline in jubilation, unable to contain his emotions.
Then, like any good teammate, he gave a fellow Green Dragon a mid-air back bump.
Players with autism and other developmental challenges are not unaccustomed to the spotlight, as several have even scored touchdowns in varsity games.
However, those touching moments have typically occurred when games have been well out of reach, with the consent of opposing coaches.
Not Starego's kick, as the loss dropped Toms River North into a four-way tie for second place in the Shore South A Conference. The win gives Brick its second victory of the season for head coach Robert Dahl, while heavily favored Toms River North (4-2) loses for only the second time this year.
According to Dahl, Starego has been a source of inspiration for the team throughout the season.
"The kids kind of have taken him under their wings," Dahl told MaxPreps late Friday night. "When he kicks a kick, it's really inspirational for our kids. It lifts up our entire team."
"When he hit it, he ran down the sideline and our entire team ran to him. It was awesome."
Brick and Starego will look to continue the feel-good story next week when they travel to Lacey.