In a remarkable feat of determination and triumph over tragedy, Woodberry Forest (Va.)
quarterback Jacob Rainey
returned to the football field in a 28-19 loss to Benedictine (Richmond, Va.)
Rainey, a highly-touted quarterback prospect entering last fall, broke his knee in a scrimmage on Sept. 3 of last year. A severed artery and other complications
forced doctors to amputate part of his right leg
Through a rehabilitation process that included well wishes from the likes of Tim Tebow and Nick Saban
, Rainey was penciled in as a starter for the team's season opener.
On Friday morning, Rainey had a message for those who did not expect to see him take the field again.
"Big shout out to every person, doctor or journalist that doubted me and said this day would never come. I'm here," he said on Twitter.
Going into the game, Rainey had the support of his teammates.
"If there is one player I'm not concerned about, it is Jacob Rainey," Notre Dame commit Doug Randolph told the Daily Progress
. "He will get hit, he will get up. He will say, ‘bring it on.' "
Rainey and Woodberry Forest got onto the board according to Scrimmage Play
thanks to a 19-yard touchdown run from Christian Asher
Benedictine responded minutes later with a short touchdown run by senior running back Corey Downey
to knot the score at 7-7. Downey struck again to give Benedictine a 14-7 lead that it would take into the half.
After Benedictine scored the lone touchdown in the third quarter to take a 21-7 lead, Asher responded for Woodberry, finding the end zone for a second time to make it 21-13.
touchdown made it a 21-19 game with six minutes left, but Benedictine returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to expand its lead to 28-19. Neither team would score again.
The real story was Rainey.
"You don't hear, a year later, somebody losing their leg and coming back to be starting quarterback," teammate Phillip Berry
told the Daily Progress before the game. "He is definitely a hero in my eyes."
On Monday, the anniversary of the accident, Rainey reflected on his situation, tweeting, "can't believe its been a whole year. Made lots of progress but not close to where I want to be yet. Remember the past, change the future."
If tonight was any indication, Rainey is well on his way.