PROSSER -- At 5-foot-8 and 100 pounds, Karter Childers is slight compared to the rest of his Prosser High School football teammates.
But what he lacks in size he makes up in heart -- and speed.
When tossed the ball during the first quarter of Friday night's game at Art Fiker Stadium, he streaked ahead of everyone else on the playing field, living up to the team's Mustang moniker and practically a blur of red jersey and ear-to-ear grin.
When he reached the end zone for his first ever touchdown, he hoisted the ball into the air to show it to the roaring crowd.
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"My screaming fans," he joked moments later.
It was a moment he had waited a lifetime to achieve, and he lapped up the attention from his teammates, his family and the crowd.
Karter, 18, has microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disorder in which the head is smaller than average. His mother, Delores, said the disorder was caused by a virus that infected his brain while he was still in the womb and affected his development.
He has mental retardation and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and the medication he takes for the latter decreases his appetite -- hence the skinniness, his mother said.
He's not the typical teen you would find on a football team, but playing has been Karter's lifelong dream -- and his disabilities haven't stopped him from dreaming big.
"I'm going to be a pro," he announced after making his touchdown. "I'm going to have a career for 30 years."
Karter wanted to play football to follow in the footsteps of his father and brothers before him. His older brothers, Kurtis and Kenton, also played for the Mustangs before they graduated.
His dream came true last spring after Prosser High School's annual "Make A Wish" week, during which the Associated Student Body works to make as many students' wishes come true as it can. Karter's sister Klaire wished that her brother could play football during his senior year this fall.
Athletic Director Casey Gant said he found a spot for Karter on the team, and that the other players welcomed him with open arms.
"He is 100 percent part of the team," Gant said.
Karter practices with the team every day, and has been on the sidelines for just about every game -- waiting for his chance to step onto the field.
Because of his disabilities, the coaches and other players have shielded him from contact during practices. But they came up with a special play that Karter could run during the team's last home game of the season so that he could have his moment in the game.
The "Karter Play" was simple, and Karter had one job.
"My play is catch the football and don't trip," he said.
Running also was part of his job, and he did that with gusto. Mustang teammate Harley Hall, a junior who coaches Karter in Special Olympics, said Karter has a talent for track.
"He's a great runner," Harley said.
Gant said when he saw Karter take off down the field, he thought the 18-year-old looked just like any other player.
"My thought was, 'That looks like a familiar sight -- somebody breaking a tackle and just going,'" Gant said. "It was great to see him smiling ear-to-ear and running to the end zone. It was exactly what we were hoping for."
Gant said it was a moment that illustrates what high school sports are about -- teamwork and love of the game.
The play was orchestrated not only with the help of Karter's teammates, but also the Quincy High School Jack Rabbits. The Prosser team worked with its Central Washington Association Conference rivals to make sure the play went smoothly and Karter would stay safe.
Although his touchdown didn't count toward the night's score -- Prosser took a five-yard penalty -- Karter left the field feeling like not just a winner, but a hero.
"He told the principal we'd need to retire his No. 42 jersey and put it in the trophy case," Gant said. "We explained he might need it a few more times."