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Teen battling brain cancer who scored touchdown during Nebraska practice 6 years ago takes the field for real


A teen battling brain cancer who scored a heartwarming touchdown in a Nebraska practice game six years ago is now playing football for his junior high team.

Jack Hoffman, 13, suited up and played center for the West Holt Huskies in Atkinson on Monday.

“You would have thought he was playing in the Super Bowl with all the family there,” Jack’s father Andy Hoffman told the Journal Star newspaper.

Special night — Jack’s 1st Jr. high game. All made possible by the Good Lord. #TeamJackPray @BoPelini @RBrex34 @HuskerFBNation @WestHoltHuskies @BriBrihoffman @BostonChildrens

Jack had been diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011 and underwent chemotherapy. He was invited to play in Nebraska's Red-White Spring Game in 2013 and ran for a 69-yard touchdown.

He relapsed the following year, according to his father, but a clinical trial helped. However, the tumor worsened last year and Jack is back in a clinical trial.

Initially, Jack’s parents said it was up to the doctors to determine whether he would be allowed to play football, but they decided to let him make the call.

“Jack loves football, he comes from a long line of football players,” Andy Hoffman told the Journal Star. "We didn’t want to push this down this throat. We wanted this to be Jack’s decision.

“He wanted to play pretty bad,” his father added.

Andy Hoffman said it was a “bittersweet and surreal” experience, and indicated that Jack would keep playing.

“He’s a tough kid,” Jack’s father told the newspaper. “He doesn’t live in a bubble and isn’t going to be told how to live his life.”

With News Wire Services