Vineland HS football player triumphs over tragedy

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Teen triumphs over tragedy to inspire others. Dann Cuellar reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on September 26, 2017. (WPVI)

It could not have been a more lopsided game, led by quarterback Isaih Pacheco.

The Vineland High School Fighting Clan football team demolished their opponents in a stunning 42-6 win in Egg Harbor Township Saturday night.

Isaih rushed for a season high 217 yards, including an 80 yard touchdown.

"I just wanted to keep working hard and every play, every chance I got the ball, I just wanted to make things happen," said Pacheco.

These achievements are all the more remarkable when you consider that only two days earlier Isaih's sister, 24-year-old Celeste Cannon, was found shot to death. The gunman has not yet been identified.

This is not the first time Isaih has faced tragedy. Last year, his 30-year-old-brother Tavarios Cannon, was stabbed to death.

Unfortunately, these are not the only tragedies Isaih has seen in his life. He also recently lost his grandmother and his uncle.

Some other kids would have turned around and given up, but not Isaih.

"I'm just going to keep my head up and thank God every day for waking me up," said Pacheco. "Keep moving forward with my teammates, ready for our next opponent."

His coaches said Isaih is an inspiration.

"He's a special kid," said Vineland High School Coach Dan Russo. "He's been through a lot the last year and a half and you know, we're just here to support him."

For Isaih's parents, his courage and perseverance is helping them deal with their grief.

Isaih's mother, Felicia Cannon, said he continues to be strong for her.

"I just want him to see his goal in life," she said.

Isaih's father Julio Pacheco said he wants to make sure the family is good and that he succeeds.

"He wants to be the face of his hometown and he's an outstanding kid," he said.

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