WOODBRIDGE—As Jamin Lane’s deep pass hurtled through the air, his expectations dipped with its trajectory. What left the Stafford senior quarterback’s hand as a promising throw landed in the hands of Woodbridge’s Dashaun Jerkins as a potentially crippling interception late in the fourth quarter.
By the time Lane jogged his way to the Indians’ sideline, though, he’d adjusted his take again.
Turns out, it wasn’t an interception he’d thrown after all.
“He goes, ‘it’s just like a punt, coach,’ ” Stafford head coach Mo Hampton recounted with a grin.
A really good punt at that.
Trailing 32–25 with five minutes, 25 seconds to play, the Vikings took possession at their 1-yard line. On the first snap, Stafford’s M.J. Hampton burst through the right side of the line and sacked Woodbridge quarterback Ousmane Barry for a safety that clinched a 34–25 victory for the Indians on Friday night.
Stafford (1–1) forced and recovered fumbles to end Woodbridge’s first two drives, and capitalized on both turnovers with touchdown passes from Lane to senior wideout Braeden York.
York opened the scoring with 8:30 left in the first quarter, when he caught a pass over the middle, shook off a tackle and took off 36 yards.
He’s the sort of player who makes a habit of thanking his offensive line for allowing him enough time to run down the field, and whose principal attribute, according to his head coach, is “gumption.”
“If I see a ball, I might not be able to run past the dude and go get it, but I know I’m going to be the one to get the ball from him,” said York, who finished with seven receptions for 87 yards and three receiving touchdowns.
That ability was evident with his second score.
Following a Justin Toler fumble recovery, Lane hoisted a jump ball in the back of the end zone, and York high-pointed it, wrestling it from a Woodbridge defender for a 3-yard touchdown that gave Stafford a 14–0 lead at the 5:01 mark of the first quarter.
York’s third touchdown, a 6-yard strike with 2:39 left in the first half, was set up by his diving, one-handed catch on a 4th and 12 inside the Woodbridge 30.
“He’s just got the best hands I’ve ever seen, making one handed catches all over the field,” Lane said of his preferred target. “It was pretty impressive.”
Stafford led 21–6 at halftime, and by as many as 18 points early in the third quarter, but Woodbridge chipped away with a touchdown pass from Barry to Jenkins and Mike Hallmon’s 59-yard scoop-and score fumble recovery.
But unlike in a 29–28 loss to Patriot last week, a result that Hampton attributed to his own “rookie mistake” in not going for a two-point conversion late, the Indians didn’t wilt this time.
Facing a 3rd and 18 near midfield, Lane broke the pocket right and found Daniel Smith wide open for a 58-yard touchdown with :35 left in the third quarter.
“I think it says that we’ve changed the old Stafford way,” said Lane, “and it’s time for us to show everyone we’re out here to play, and we’re a good team.”