The Woodlands High School JV team played an away game at Katy Tompkins High School for the third game of the season on Thursday and showed amazing sportsmanship and class.
According to The Courier of Montgomery County, Tompkins was leading the game with 29 to 28 at 57 seconds left in the final quarter. In a matter of seconds, The Woodlands Highlanders drove down the field into Falcon territory and completed a pass at the three-yard line. With 12 seconds left, the receiver charged toward the goal line and collided with a Tompkins player at 1.
The Tompkins player was severely injured and didn’t get up. The situation delayed the game for an additional 45 minutes after the player’s injuries proved to be much worse than any expected and even required a life flight helicopter.
“One of our players caught the ball and got to about the 1-yard line, and I saw one of their players — he was the safety or a corner — he seemed to fall straight to the ground,” The Woodlands sophomore running back Nico Lopez said. “At first, I didn’t think too much of it. When the play was over, we just thought he had a broken bone or something not real serious. Then things got serious. It escalated quickly.”
Highlanders junior linebacker, Ryan Ferrini was originally prepped by his coaches to score the winning touchdown in the last few seconds of the game, but instead, he chose to do the most selfless and caring act he could.
He took a knee and let the Falcons win the game.
Here is what he told The Courier:
“I was getting ready for that,” Ferrini said. “But once I heard he was getting LifeFlighted, I just didn’t feel right about pushing it in (anymore)…We’re here to teach kids, and there’s a lot of lessons learned through football and sports,” he said. “When I looked across the field and saw their players together praying, I saw tears in their eyes and their coaches had tears in their eyes. There was not going to be a win-win (situation) here. I’ve never seen anything that bad in football, and I’ve played for about 10 years,” Ferrini said. “It was surreal, really. I didn’t think he was that hurt, but then he wasn’t moving. I was just assuming the worst and got really scared. Everyone on the sideline got real quiet. We were just hoping he was OK, and we were praying. If we would have lined up and punched it into end zone, do we celebrate?” Colschen said. “And if they stop us, do they celebrate? Their teammate is about to be LifeFlighted. It just was the right thing to do. It made me feel relieved,” Ferrini said. “I didn’t want to do that to them. I felt happy that we could let them go with the victory after they lose one of their players”
What a great gesture by the Highlanders. This is a great group of kids and I hope all football teams remember this kind of compassion and humility throughout the season. We can all learn from this!