KINSLEY, Kan. The touchdown of the night in Friday's Kansas high school football action came under special circumstances in the game between Kinsley and Spearville.
In a display that reminded everyone that there's much more to life than the final score, Kinsley's Avery Heinz crossed the goal line with help from his half brother, Wyatt who plays for Spearville.
Avery has special needs that limit his ability to play the game he loves. But he's stuck with it the best he can and last week, was presented a team jersey to build up for Friday's big game against Spearville.
Avery, 15, has a big heart and passion for football.
"Avery had a rough start. He was born with cerebral palsy," his mother, Abby Heinz says. "He actually spent 19 days in a cube at Wesley (Medical Center in Wichita). When we were there, we were told a few times that we probably would not bring him home."
Avery never gave up and has surpassed many obstacles.
"He had to use a walker for several years. He then threw that to the side and started just taking off on his own," Abby Heinz says. "(He) started walking, running. He's all boy. He likes to do everything that other boys do."
Avery's passion for football came from his coach who also happens to be his uncle.
"He followed football all the time his Uncle Kyle was in high school here in Kinsley," Abby Heinz says. "And he was playing sports. So he started coming to all (of his uncle's) football games, basketball games, all that stuff."
Side by side, Avery's brother helped him score his first touchdown Friday.
"It feels really great," Wyatt Heinz, Avery's half brother, says of helping his familiar opponent get across the goal line. "He's been watching me for seven or eight years. So it's nice to finally get to share the field with him."
For Avery's parents, Friday night was a reminder that the sky is the limit for Avery.
"When you see kids with special needs, don't let that scare you. It's just like any other kid," Abby Heinz says. "I mean, he's non-verbal, he doesn't speak, but he understands pretty much everything. So, he understands what you're saying. Just don't be afraid to reach out and say, 'hey.'"