Dunn's big run: Waverly-Shell Rock senior with autism scores fir - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dunn's big run: Waverly-Shell Rock senior with autism scores first touchdown

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

The Waverly-Shell Rock Go-Hawks crossed the goal-line 34 times in the regular season. No touchdown, however, seemed as special as the one scored by number 78, junior Aaron Dunn.

“He just needed to follow our guys down the field and get in the end zone,” said Go-Hawk head coach Mark Hubbard.

The 43 yard touchdown didn't mean much on the scoreboard, W-SR led 40-0 at the time, but for the fans in the stands, and the team on the field it meant everything.

“There was some commotion,” said Aaron's mother Sandi, “Aaron was on the field. It wasn't really until halfway toward the end zone that we saw what was going on.”

“There wasn't a dry eye in the house, it was incredibly emotional,” said Hubbard.

That's because Aaron, who was diagnosed with autism at age two, hasn't had these opportunities often, but head coach Mark Hubbard made the call and Aaron made the run surrounded by his Go-Hawks teammates.

“It meant a lot to me that I got to score a touchdown, my first touchdown ever,” Aaron said proudly.

What makes the story ever more special was how it came to be. The idea came from the opposing team, specifically Charles City senior Malik Knighten, playing the final minutes of his high school career.

“I grabbed number 7 by the face mask, and I look to the sidelines and I see Aaron there, 'Tell your coach to put Aaron in and we'll let him score.' He stopped and he was like 'Wait, What'd you say.'”

“For him to think about that, what's that say about the character of him and his coaches?” Hubbard pondered, “It was neat all around.”

It led to a moment Aaron Dunn will never forget, and neither will anyone else, including his head coach.

“He says,'Coach, everyone's going to love me now,' and I thought about that, and what I should have told him is 'No, we already do.'”

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