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High school football team lets water boy with special needs score touchdown to surprise terminally ill mom

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High school football team lets water boy with special needs score touchdown to surprise terminally ill mom
WATCH ABOVE: High school football team lets water boy with special needs score touchdown to surprise terminally ill mom. – Sep 20, 2016

A high school football game in Michigan took on an importance far beyond the world of sports with a bittersweet moment Friday night.

Senior Robby Heil is the water boy for the football team at Novi High School in Novi, Michigan.

The senior, who has Down Syndrome, has been a fixture on the sidelines of Wildcats games the last four years. But this past Friday, Heil got to step off the sidelines and onto the field with his teammates.

In the second quarter of the game against the South Lyon East Cougars, Heil entered the game in full pads and wearing his Wildcat green and white uniform, the crowd erupting into chants of “Robbie! Robbie!”

He lined up at halfback, took the handoff – and sprinted 20 yards down the field for a touchdown, just like they’d practiced.

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READ MORE: Mom defends calling her son with Down Syndrome a ‘retard’

But the story takes on even greater significance because of who was watching: Heil’s mother Debbie, who was recently diagnosed with terminal bone cancer.

The special play was designed by both teams, as a surprise not just for Robbie, but for his mother too, who fell to her knees sobbing as her son ran in the touchdown.

“I dropped to the ground because I was so emotional when I saw him make that touchdown,” Debbie Heil told WXYZ.

“I’ve always been proud of him being the water boy, or as people call him the hydration manager, but this was incredible, he’s Rudy tonight, he’s Rudy.”

Novi High went on to win the game 42-15, on the back 279 total rushing yards.

But it was one 20-yard scoring play that had fans, players, and one proud mother cheering the loudest.

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