COVINGTON — Staunton scored two touchdowns in the final 9:21 Friday night as the Storm rallied for a thrilling 20-7 victory over the Covington Cougars in nondistrict football at Casey Field.
The game was the first for the Storm since the name change became effective on July 1, and it also marked the coaching debut of Jake Phillips, who played his high school football at nearby Bath County. Phillips had been the head coach at James River the last four years.
Staunton couldn’t muster any offense in the first half, trailing 7-0 at the break after giving up a 53-yard touchdown run to Shaun Smith Jr. just 1:07 into the game.
But the Storm finally got on the scoreboard with 2:36 left in the third quarter on quarterback William Dod’s 15-yard run. The two-point conversion run failed, leaving Staunton down 7-6 going to the fourth period.
The Storm took their first lead, 12-7, with 9:21 remaining on Dod’s second TD run, this one from 1-yard out.
Staunton punched home an insurance touchdown with 3:06 left on Tyler Derozen’s 10-yard scamper. Dod added the two-point conversion run for the final 13-point margin.
Dasani Alston sparked the Storm’s rushing attack that racked up 225 yards with 101 yards on 18 carries. Dod passed for 82 yards and rushed for 38 more, including the two touchdowns that put Staunton ahead to stay.
Staunton (1-0) has its home-opener next Friday against Liberty Christian Academy. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.