May 24, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

After a miraculous finish, quarterback Beck Moss honors the Irvine football family

Beck Moss hugs his dad Doug Moss, an Irvine assistant coach, after the Vaqueros 35-33 victory over Dana Hills Friday night. (Photo courtesy Irvine football)

Irvine High’s senior quarterback Beck Moss wanted to show his appreciation to his teammates, coaches, family members and others who supported him, and he wanted to share the joy of the biggest touchdown pass of his career.

So a day after the Vaqueros pulled off a stunning 35-33 comeback non-league victory over Dana Hills, Moss wrote a letter and posted it on Twitter and Instagram.

Moss thanked God, his teammates, coaches, family, students, trainers, cheerleaders and all who supported him and his teammates in their drive to capture the Pacific Valley League title during an abbreviated spring season. The entire letter can be viewed on Twitter.

“Thank you God for loving me soooo much and giving me so many good gifts – family, friends, Vaquero football, and this year – a senior football season with my best of friends and brothers that I love!  And what an amazing gift of ending it the way we did ….., ” he wrote in part.

The game ended with Moss tossing a 12-yard TD pass to his best friend Kade Zimmerman as time expired in the duo’s final high school game.

Irvine took over on its own 40-yard line with 16 seconds left and no timeouts remaining. Moss connected with Zimmerman on a 48-yard play to advance the ball to the Dana Hills 12.

“This is going to sound kind of weird, but I knew we were going to score,” said Moss. “A long time ago, before the season, my family and the Zimmerman family got together and talked and this is like a miracle season for us. God has brought these two families together ever since we were four years old. When I went to bed that night, I had a dream about how the miracle season was going to end and it ended exactly like that. I knew it was going to happen, God had told me months and months before the season started it was coming.”

Moss admits he didn’t see Zimmerman catch the ball at the back of the end zone.

“Right as I threw the ball, I got hit and what I saw was our sideline, our crowd go crazy,” he said. “I had a lineman on top of me and I was facing our stands and the way I knew he caught it is I heard everyone scream and get up out of their chairs and hugging each other. I realized that’s how he caught it. I didn’t actually get to see it until later that night when some of the film was posted.”

Moments after the game-winner, Moss embraced his father Doug Moss, an assistant coach for the Vaqueros.

“I was in shock, me and Kade both were. When I hugged my dad, I was just crying the whole time, it was really emotional because he’s coached me ever since I was real little and to be given an opportunity to have him coach you one more time is really amazing so I was hugging him because I knew that was the last game he would ever get to coach me,” Moss said.

Moss and his teammates had quite a post-game celebration on the Irvine Stadium field.

“Everyone kind of rushed the field a little bit,” Moss said. “So I saw a pile starting to form so I wanted to go get in on that. Winning a game like that is so rare I wanted to get in on the celebration. It was crazy. Everybody was screaming and yelling and hugging each other.

“Then we all ran back to the sidelines and did the handshakes with Dana Hills.”

Then Moss said there was what the players call the “tunnel of sadness, where all the other teammates line up from the goal-line to the 35 in two lines and you have to walk down the middle and say good-bye to everybody. That part we were crying and hugging each other and telling each other how much we love each other and how much we mean to each other. It was the roller coaster of emotions. It ended great and then we had to go through the tunnel of sadness. It was really emotional, I was close with everybody on that team.”

A day later, Moss, with the help of his father, came up with the letter. There were plenty of individual highlights for Moss, who completed 82 of 145 passes for 1,326 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushed for one touchdown in the spring.

But Moss said he wanted to make sure others were included, naming a number of teammates, including the offensive line and the Vaqueros running backs.

“I didn’t want to post my highlights right away because I’m not the only person who gets us there,” he said. “My team surrounds me. I’ve just had so much help from so many people I just wanted to say thank you to them before I got to myself. It just felt right to do. It was really nice to see the positive reaction to it.”

Irvine Coach Tom Ricci said he was moved by the letter.

“After reading his post, I was just thinking, ’that’s the kind of player that Beck is,'” Ricci said.  “Besides being a great qb, a great leader, he is also a great young man. The colleges should be chomping at the bit to get hold of him.

“It was hard to read and not tear up a bit. He is just a selfless individual. Rarely do you find that in youth sports today.  A lot of the time you get athletes that do everything to further themselves and Beck not only does that, but he wants to further the team, his friends and all the people around him. I’m a better person for being around him.” 

Moss said he is proud of what his teammates and coaches accomplished.

“I was very grateful to get the opportunity to play with them again and have this season and still be able to say good-bye to them,” he said. “It was quite a turn-around for us. We really came together and did it together. We couldn’t do it alone and we figured that out pretty early so we came together and did what we needed to do.”

The end result was a league title for the Vaqueros.

“I am so happy, the league title, the city title, the conference title and (going) undefeated in conference, it’s a really nice feeling so we’re all just very happy about that,” Moss said.

Moss said he hopes to continue his career next season.

“Right now, it’s looking like Santa Ana College, but you never know, there could be another round of 2021 pick-ups, so we’re just waiting to see,” Moss said.

But he will always remember his senior season and the ending he said in an interview in February he was hoping for.

“I am so grateful for our coaching staff and our principal and our athletic directors to help us through this because if they weren’t there, we couldn’t have done it,” he said. “They pushed for this season, they got us this season and our coaches kept us in shape and kept us healthy and our trainer Jenn kept us healthy.’

Moss ended his Twitter post with a final thank you.

“My high school football experience wouldn’t have been the same without any of you and I cannot even begin to tell you how much you all mean to me. I’m hoping to keep playing into college but this year, this season, that game Friday, that drive, all of you, I’ll never forget.  Moss to Zimmerman one more EPIC time to end the miracle season ….

“I’m an Irvine Vaquero and I’m proud of it!”

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone;