Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles is the first player in NFL history to catch and throw for a touchdown in a Super Bowl. But Sunday wasn’t the first time he’s found the end zone as a receiver in his football career. Foles’ alma mater, Westlake High School in Travis County, Texas, ran the exact same play with Foles at quarterback in a game against North Mesquite High School.
According to the Eagles media guide, Foles was a standout at Westlake High School where he set school career records for passing yards (5,658) and touchdowns (56), breaking marks previously held by Drew Brees. Current Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was also a standout at Westlake. In addition to football, Fole was a three-year starter and two-time MVP on Westlake’s boys basketball team. He averaged 15 point sand 11 rebounds during the 2005-06 season while earning all-district honors. Foles was also recruited by several NCAA Division I basketball programs.
The Super Bowl version of the trick play came in a key moment in the game, late in the first half with the Eagles leading 15-12. On fourth and goal from the one-yard line, Foles faked an audible and got out of the way of the snap. After the snap went to running back Corey Clement, the ball was reversed to tight end Trey Burton, who was still an eligible passer, and threw to Foles who was wide open in the end zone. The score put Philadelphia up 22-12 at halftime. You can also read more about Foles’ Super Bowl trick pass and the fan reaction here.
Foles also became the first player in NFL history to throw and catch a touchdown in the same Super Bowl, per NFL Research.
Westlake High School is now undefeated in Super Bowl history, with Foles, Brees (Super Bowl XLIV) and Tucker (Super Bowl XLVII) all hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in their only appearances in the big game.
A recent story in SI.com goes in depth about Foles’ high-school career at Westlake, specifically the unusual circumstances surrounding his senior season in 2006. During a game against A&M Consolidated High School in week three of the regular season, team leader and offensive lineman Matt Nader collapsed on the sidelines and went into cardiac arrest. He would survive, but doctors diagnosed him with a heart rhythm disorder, ending his football career.
Nader’s tragic story inspired Foles, who spent many hours visiting Nader in the hospital. After losing to Austin High 31-24 the week after Nader’s collapse, Westlake won 10 of their next 11 games thanks to the quiet leadership of Nick Foles. Nader continued to attend practice and serve as an emotional leader. But with Foles under center, Westlake made it all the way to the Texas 5A State Final, where they fell to Southlake Carroll 43-29. “That season was magical,” Nader told SI.com. “That story puts the Friday Night Lights season to shame.”
Years later, Nader’s football scholarship to the University of Texas was still honored by the school despite a failed comeback attempt where Nader collapsed again after sprinting at 100% during a workout. A surgical implant shocked Nader’s heart back into rhythm and saved his life again.