STAUNTON — Landyn Coggins walked on the football field with a commemorative poster. The Staunton High School senior walked off the field with a victory.
The Storm scored all 21 of their points in the first half en route to a 21-7 Shenandoah District victory over the Fort Defiance Indians Friday night.
Although Staunton has a re-scheduled home game against Wilson, Friday night was Senior Night for the Storm upperclassmen.
“This feels amazing … no better feeling in the world actually,” Coggins said. “It feels nice after a few losses to get a win on Senior Night. It’s a great feeling. This is a brotherhood. I love being out here with these guys. They make it special.”
Staunton found success in the passing game early as junior quarterback Walker Darby found Kayden Jackson for a 68-yard pass. That big play in the passing game set up an 8-yard touchdown pass from Darby to Kealo Smith.
Fort countered with a sustained drive, ending with running back Bradley Hebb capping the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run.
The Indians weren’t able to replicate the success of the opening scoring drive.
“The first series is always the hardest,” Fort coach Dan Rolfe said. “It’s like a boxer. You’re trying to feel each other out. In that drive, we felt like we had a read on things. We drove down there and put a good drive together. And then it was mistakes and field position that killed us. We couldn’t get out of the shadow of our own end zone.”
With the scored tied 7-7, Staunton took a 14-7 at the of the first quarter on a trick play. After Darby pitched the ball out of Jaquante “Bucky” Scott, the senior wide receiver then heaved the ball down the field to Jackson for an 88-yard touchdown reception.
The Storm went up by two touchdowns when Darby found Scott on a 24-yard touchdown pass.
“When they called the play, I saw the safety come up and Kayden Jackson wide open,” Scott said of his throw. “On the touchdown catch, the corner was playing inside shade on me. I stemmed him inside and broke outside.”
Scott’s second quarter touchdown was the final score of the contest, as both defenses pitched shutouts in the second half.
Storm coach Jake Phillips was happy with his team’s effort Friday night.
“I was really happy with the way we came out,” Phillips said. “We played with some fire, and hit a couple big plays. That sparked us. We’ve been looking for that spark, and defense was lights out.”
STAUNTON 21, FORT DEFIANCE 7
FORT DEFIANCE 7 0 0 0 — 7
STAUNTON 14 7 0 0 — 21