AUSTIN, Texas — Football is a game of communication and innovation.

One local school blends those pillars in a unique way.

At Texas School for the Deaf, football is played with a few subtle twists. While some teams communicate with signs, the Rangers communicate with sign language.

"We don't just play for TSD, we also play for the deaf community," junior quarterback Zarek Nathanson said through an interpreter.

While some teams innovate by drumming up new play designs, the Rangers innovate with an actual drum.

"Because we're a deaf team, we can't hear, so if we use signals like a leg stop or an arm movement, it will then delay the play and we won't move in sync. With a drum, we all move faster," Nathanson said.

Everything else is just like any other team.

"They think that we're disabled, but we're not. We just can't hear," Nathanson said. "They think that we're limited and we have limited potential. But I'm like, 'Please.' We love overcoming that."

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Texas School for the Deaf wins Riddell grant, surprise message from Peyton Manning

TSD plays and cheers to the beat of its own drummer

For their innovative approach, a few weeks ago, TSD won a $10,000 Riddell grant – and received a special message from Peyton Manning.

For Head Coach John Moore Jr., he said the ability for his players to express themselves through playing sports is vital.

"It's a way of connecting with each other," Coach Moore said. "They're in school all day, but when they come here they feel a sense of brotherhood, belonging."

WATCH: Texas School for the Deaf reflects on winning Riddell Grant

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