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Midway senior with autism thanks teammates, coach for memorable moment in final game

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 6:26 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Waco-area senior football player with autism who scored a last second touchdown with the help of his teammates and the opposing squad, plus a stadium full of cheering fans last Friday night, has been named the first ever Built Ford Tough Texas High School Honorable Mention Football Player of the Week.

Ford announced the honor for Midway defensive back Titus Holdman, 17, allowed to play at running back during a play in his final game at Panther Stadium.

“I feel surprised and shockness and I want to thank my teammates, what they did this year, and Coach Anderson, what he did this year and I want to thank my parents,” Titus told KWTX.

Although rarely getting in games and never scoring a touchdown until last week, Titus has been a huge part of the Midway football program, never missing practice or games during the four years of his high school career.  For his tenacity and dedication, and for the sportsmanship shown by both  teams, Ford Motor Company wanted to honor Titus in a way they  never have before.

“For 16 years, Ford has celebrated outstanding student-athletes through the Built Ford Tough Player of the Week Program,” said Chris Rushwin, Ford’s Regional Manager.

“When Titus Holdman scored that touchdown and lifted the spirits of his team, community, family, and friends, we knew this moment in one young man’s life should be forever engrained in Ford’s Player of Week program as the 6A Honorable Mention Award.  Great work Titus and you are truly deserving of this award.”

The play that caught Ford’s eye was a handoff from Midway quarterback Reid Tedford in a game against Cedar Hill.  Titus ran 57 yards for a touchdown as both teams followed him into the end zone and celebrated together.

The head coaches of both teams had visited earlier in the week and agreed if there was an opportunity, they wanted Titus to score.

Longtime broadcaster David Smoak is a member of Ford’s media advisory board and was in the broadcasting booth calling the play when it happened.

He said it’s one of the greatest moments he’s experienced as a broadcaster in four decades.

“I was thrilled that Titus Holdman is going to have his moment with this week being honored for one of the most memorable plays I’ve ever called broadcasting high school football for nearly 40 years,” Smoak said. “I’m so proud of him.  I’m so proud of Midway and Cedar Hill. What an incredible moment it was.”

The Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week program recognizes one high school student-athlete in six of the state’s athletic classifications each week of the regular season.

Nominees are judged on individual performances on the field, contributions to the team, leadership abilities, academic success and good community citizenship.

Titus will be invited to a banquet with other award winners at the end of the season’s championship games.

Fans, coaches and media are able to nominate players at FordPlayeroftheWeek.com.

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