Staley High School was well on its way to giving first-year head coach Phil Lite a victory in his inaugural game at the helm.
The weather had other plans.
Staley’s game against Liberty North was suspended with 3:39 remaining in the third quarter on Friday with the Falcons leading 24-7. The game will resume at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Staley’s District Athletic Complex.
The kickoff was moved up an hour to 6 p.m. in an attempt to beat the oncoming storms. Staley officials suspended the game some 20 minutes before the weather arrived, giving fans a chance to safely evacuate the stadium.
“We’ll get back up and get back to what we were doing,” Lite said. “We’ll talk to the kids about staying focused, and just taking care of business. We definitely want to finish strong.”
Liberty North took a 7-3 lead in the first minute of the second quarter on Jon Redmond’s 35-yard touchdown run.
It was all Falcons after that. Staley scored 21 unanswered points, including a couple of rushing touchdowns from senior running back Julian Ross, who had 97 yards in 13 carries when the game was suspended. That didn’t include a 99-yard touchdown run that was negated by a holding call.
“He’s battling and he’s running hard for us, and that’s exactly what we knew he was capable of,” Lite said. “He’s a guy we’re gonna feed the rock to.”
Both teams fought the struggles that typically come with the first game of the season. Lite sees plenty of room for improvement, but he’ll happily take what he’s got so far.
“I do like where we’re at right now. We were up-tempo, and I think we wore them out. We’re able to take advantage of those type of things,” Lite said. “We need to clean some things up. We had some penalties there, some motion calls, but we’ll address that.”