His eyes clear, his heart full. Harrisburg Tigers' senior quarterback Andrew McCuen steps onto the football field each week, ready to do what it takes to come out a winner.
"I just want to go out there and make plays," McCuen said. "I don't like to go down and always leave it all on the field. My team is counting on me and that is what is important."
But for McCuen, victory isn't just numbers on a scoreboard. It's about enjoying the moments and sharing them. Most importantly, with his father, Ron, who earlier this summer was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease, also known as ALS. Yet, through it all, he still finds a way to be in the stands at all of his games.
"Kids have a lot of motivation to play football," McCuen said. "For me, I have all the motivation I need. What is more important than playing for my dad?"
In his final season, No. 12 has certainly made pop proud. Passing for 16 touchdowns and running for another 12, McCuen has helped turn around the Tigers. In just one year, the Maroon and Gold have rebounded from a 4-5 2011 season to finish 9-2 in 2012. Earning a trip to Friday's 11A State Title Game along the way.
"He has been a tremendous leader," third-year Harrisburg coach Brandon White said. "Andrew has taught his teammates that no matter what happens off the field, when you're on the field. it's time to play football. We are so proud of him."
With optometry school coming up next fall, McCuen says this is his last football game. What better way to finish a Hollywood scripted season than with a showdown with the two-time defending champion Dell Rapids Quarriers.
"I hope to leave it all out on the field," McCuen said. "I want to look back at this game and know I did everything I could to win it."
In Harrisburg, Dylan Scott KSFY Sports