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Smithville Middle School football team’s behind-the-back trick play gets national spotlight

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SMITHVILLE, Mo. -- A play on a metro football field is making headlines, but it was a middle school team that designed and executed this trick play.

"Kinda bragging rights, but you gotta stay humble, you know?" Smithville 8th-grader Calvin Steffen said, talking about the behind-the-back pass he caught for a two-point conversion.

Ayden Ambroson, normally a tailback for the Smithville Warriors designed the play. He also switched positions and was the one to throw the ball.

But according to their head coach, it's a play he almost didn't call.

"The boys came up with it and asked me about it," Smithville Middle School football coach Adam Roske said. "First I said absolutely not. We're not doing that."

Roske said the boys eventually wore him down.

He agreed to consider calling the play for a two-point conversion. Roske said it's an area they've struggled with this season.

"We really wanted something extra special," he said.

That's exactly what the play turned out to be.

Ambroson said he gets ideas like the one for this play from watching Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I watch him a lot. I was like, 'He does stuff like this all the time,' just sideways passes, things like that," Ambroson said.

Both young athletes said they were shocked when video of the play took off on Twitter -- and then ESPN called to ask for permission to air the video.

"I didn't think at all we were going to get all the attention that we did," Ambroson said.

His dad is the head football coach at Smithville High School, but he doesn't think his father will be stealing the play.

"He's more of a classic guy," Ambroson said. "He doesn't really like trick plays like that."

Both players said they're more than happy to hand the play over to the Chiefs and Andy Reid though. They only ask that they play is named the "Ayden-Calvin play."

As for the Smithville Middle School team, Ambroson and Steffen said they're already working on another play. Roske said he knows it's coming.

"We've always got a few tucked away if we need them," he said.

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