A Poignant Touchdown for Sun Valley as High School Football Resumes

Antonio Rivera scores the opening touchdown. Image via Pete Bannan, Media News Group.

Sun Valley senior Antonio Rivera showed it was time to start playing high school football again, while also honoring his best friend and fellow player, Tazuan “Taz” Thomas who lost his life in a July car accident, writes Jack McCaffery for papreplive.com.

The moment lasted 15 seconds Oct. 9 when Rivera returned the kickoff and ran 88 yards for a touchdown in the Vanguards’ season opener against Great Valley.

“He was in me,” Rivera said. “He told me where to go, and I just ran.”

With the season in doubt because of COVID, just getting to play was a thrill, even if Sun Valley lost 20-6.

“We’re very excited,” said Pat Rafferty, Sun Valley athletic director. “And we are very proud of them.”

No tickets were sold but each player could bring two family members, who sat in the stands socially distanced. Cheerleaders appeared on both sidelines.

The Sun Valley band played from the stands.

“Yeah, it was great,” said Sun Valley coach Greg Bernhardt. “It was great to be out here. But we’re all competitors, and we’re out here to win the game. So this was tough.”

Read more about Delaware County’s return to high school football at papreplive.com.

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