Pasadena football star scores touchdown after leg amputation

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- With just two minutes left in the game Monday night, the San Jacinto Tigers were down by 14 against the Southmore Bulldogs. Then came a play no one would forget.

"My coach said, 'Are you ready to play?' And I was like, 'Yes,' so he put me in," said Jaylon Vela.

It was a dream for the 15-year-old to get back on the gridiron. Last year he was a star running back for the Tigers.

"It brought back a lot of memories, like I was happy and I was feeling it too. I was excited that they actually gave me the ball," Jaylon said.

WATCH: The Vela brothers talk about the incredible moment on the gridiron
EMBED More News Videos

After losing his leg to cancer, Jaylon Vela scored a touchdown for San Jacinto Intermediate using his wheelchair.

"He had a very awesome season. Between two games, he scored 18 touchdowns total," said his dad, Alfred Vela.

But last summer, after Jaylon suffered a broken leg, doctors found a cancerous tumor in his right leg. He was diagnosed with a bone cancer called osteosarcoma.

"I was like, 'I don't believe this,'" said his dad.

"Then that's when everything shut down on me," Jaylon said.

Even after chemo, the tumor grew more aggressive. To keep the cancer from spreading, doctors had to amputate Jaylon's leg.

He now uses a wheelchair to get around. Losing his leg was a big blow for this young and fast running back. His teammates took it hard as well.

"What do you say to 13- and 14-year-olds who haven't seen their friend in a couple months, and then the next time they see him, he's going to not have a leg and battling cancer? I'm so proud of our kids and how they have handled this," Coach Ryan Nygaard said.

This year, the team adopted the slogan "Stay strong," and Jaylon did just that.

When the Tigers played Southmore this year, Jaylon suited up. Then came what they named "The Jaylon Special," his brother right there behind him.

"He was like, 'You got this, Jay, you got this,' and I was like, 'Yeah, I know I got it.'"

They pitched Jaylon the ball and his brother pushed him into the end zone.

"Everything he felt, I was feeling too. It was great to see a smile on his face again," his brother said.

"We had students on the sidelines crying," Coach Nygaard added.

"There's no words for it, but I was so excited seeing my son back on the field again," Alfred said.

Follow Chauncy Glover on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.