SPRING GARDEN, Ala. (WIAT) – Ethan Rogers and his sister, Kaitlyn, made Alabama football history on Friday when they both scored touchdowns in the same high school football game. Kaitlyn has also now become the first female player to score a touchdown as part of the Alabama High School Athletic Association. “It was a lot of pride for both her, and then the linemen–myself included, that helped her get in there,” said Ethan.
Ethan has played peewee football since he was 5 years-old, and he says Kaitlyn was always on the sidelines as the manager for the team. That all changed 2 years ago when Coach Jason Howard finally let her put on the pads, and Kaitlyn became the kicker for the Spring Garden Panthers. She was qualified for the job because she played soccer when she was younger. “I’m almost like the little sister,” she said. “They’re always looking out for me.”
On Friday, Spring Garden was well-ahead of their opponent when Ethan scored a touchdown. Kaitlyn had attempted to throw a two-point conversation earlier in the game that had been batted-down. Coach Howard told her that she would be given opportunity to score after halftime.
“The agreement when she came out was that she would just kick,” Howard explained. “I wasn’t going to put her in any contact. So I asked her, are your parents going to be okay with this? She said, yeah yeah yeah! They’re going to be okay.”
So the coach put the kicker in to run in a touchdown with four minutes left in the game. Her brother, Ethan, helped to block and make it possible. At the time, the team didn’t think there was anything special about their teammate’s points, other than the fact that they helped to win the game. “But it was unusual for a girl to score,” said Ethan, “and a girl of her size.” (Kaitlyn claims that she is 5”3)
On the bus ride home, the siblings started to get text messages. “One of my assistant coaches said, you know that might be the first time a girl has scored a touchdown, and I was like, nah,” explained Howard. “I know I’ve heard about girls scoring a touchdown, so we just sort of blew it off like that, and it never really dawned on me about it being a brother-sister thing.”
Later, the Alabama High School Athletic Association confirmed that both things were actually true: this is the first time that a girl has scored a touchdown (under their division) and it is also the first time, ever, that a brother and sister have ever scored in the same game.
Ethan and Kaitlyn have gotten a lot of attention for their history-making plays. “Little kids that have probably never seen us before were going – oh look! It’s the Rogers kids!”
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