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Dream comes true for Folsom boy

Ellison scores first touchdown
By: Matt Long
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Just a short time ago, Connor Ellison believed he would never play tackle football. On Saturday, Ellison scored his first touchdown. Ellison, 10, has a liver condition known as congenital hepatic fibrosis, which means there’s scar tissue throughout his liver, causing, among other things, an enlarged liver and spleen. Any blunt force trauma to his abdomen and Ellison would likely be in serious condition. Ellison didn’t pass his physical to play football, but doctors said he could participate so long as he’s not in any hitting and/or tackling drills. Folsom Jr. Bulldogs President Monica Camous sent a letter out to the other 15 teams in the Sierra Youth Football and Cheer organization explaining Ellison’s condition and how the organization would like to get him a touchdown, some how, some way. Every organization said they’d be glad to be apart of it. Folsom coach Curt Crandall spoke with the referees and with Antelope’s coach before the game, setting up the situation. Crandall called a timeout early in the first quarter of Folsom’s game with Antelope, made eye contact with the referee and opposing coach, and sent Ellison out on the field. The play, technically called “37 reverse” is also known as the “Ellison Special.” Ellison, who knows he’s not allowed to be tackled, didn’t hesitate when he was called onto the field. The team had worked on the play during practice throughout the week. “I heard the play called and ran out onto the field,” Ellison said. “On the play I run toward the quarterback, take the handoff and follow my blocks up the left side of the field.” While Ellison couldn’t have been bothered about getting the ball, quarterback Josiah Deguara was. “Josiah got all excited and said ‘coach, he can’t get hit,’” Crandall said. “I just told him it was OK.” On the play, Deguara handed Ellison the ball and Ellison did the rest, following his blocks down the near sideline and into the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown run. “It went perfectly,” Crandall said. “Antelope was great too. They didn’t just fall over, they pursued him.” “I really didn’t know what was happening,” Ellison said. “I didn’t stop and think about it. I just had fun and was really happy when I scored. My team was cheering me on.” After the play, with tears in his eyes, Ellison told him mom, ‘I just ran as hard as I could.’ “It was one of those moments,” Tiffany said. “It was pretty special. He was so happy. “It probably took more than 100 people to make this dream come true. Our family is extremely grateful for this community.” Any Californian may sign up to donate life through the Department of Motor Vehicles when they get their driver’s license or on-line at www.donatelifecalifornia.org.