Devin Funchess Promised Fallen Soldier’s Mom He’d Score TD For Him Last Night, Give Her Ball After

Devin Funchess scored a touchdown Monday night against the Dolphins, but it meant just a little bit more to one fan watching than the rest of them.

A day before the game, Panthers players met with families of fallen heroes in conjunction with the NFL’s salute to service month.

Funchess bonded with one family in particular, that of Dillon Baldridge, an Army Sgt. who was killed during duty.


Funchess told a fallen soldier’s mother that he would score a touchdown for his son, and did so wearing his initials on his helmet.

“I told Dillon’s mom that I was going to get in the end zone for her,” Funchess said. “That’s what I did. I made sure she got the first touchdown (ball). I’m two months older than (Dillon),” Funchess said. “He was a top-notch shooter. He was a sniper. His mom said he was the most joyful boy you’d ever meet. It was an honor meeting her. Just five months ago he passed away. It was an honor to get in the end zone for her.”

After the touchdown, quarterback Cam Newton could be seen running over to Funchess, telling him to give the ball to a kid in the crowd, a tradition of sorts for Newton and the Panthers. Funchess could be heard saying, “It’s for a solider, it’s for a solider.”

Funchess celebrated by saluting the crowd and immediately told support staff to make sure the ball found its way to Dillon’s mother.

“I love playing the game. It’s a blessing,” said Funchess, who finished with 92 yards on five catches. “Hearing (Dillon’s) story, you have to be thankful just to be here.”

Here’s Funchess talking about the moment on ESPN radio on Monday:

(Carolina Panthers)

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