MAYNARDVILLE (WATE) – The Union County football coaches and players describe their team in one word: family. It was made clear by the gift they gave their teammate, Jacob Stiner, in a 98-yard touchdown. He broke every school record and now holds the title of the longest run in Union County history.
“They wanted Jacob to run the football on senior night for his last game as a senior on his own field,” said Union head football coach Chris Robbins.
Stiner’s sister is battling cancer and the team felt this could lift their family’s spirits who were all in the crowd.
The play was choreographed by some of the senior captains and players. They asked the Union coaching staff to contact Fulton High School Football Coach Rob Black if he and his team would be interested.
“As a football coach myself and our players, our goal every Friday is to not let them score on us. Sometimes like the situation at Union County with [Jacob] and his family, and that takes precedence over football,” Black told WATE 6 On Your Side in a statement.
Once the plan was approved by both sides, it was finding the right moment in the game to make it happen. Black called a timeout right before the play, he explained telling his players what was about to happen would be explained later but at that time – let it happen.
“It felt like we were winning. They went crazy,” said Tyler Mink, a senior captain at Union. Mink can be seen in the video flanking Stiner’s side with teammate Josh Windham, numbers 22 and 80 respectively.
They called it “22 drive” and it was a surprise to no one but Stiner. In the fourth quarter, Fulton was leading Union, who had not yet scored. The final score was 67-6 and six points were directly from Stiner’s play.
“He’s a special young man. He’s very dedicated to his friends and his family. He does everything you could ask a kid to do,” said assistant football coach Drew Richardson.
He’s not alone. Anyone you ask describes Stiner as “awesome” or “always with a smile”.
Mink added, “We just really wanted him to have a senior night that he can remember, for his sister, just make him happy.”