VALLEY — Kristian Story came into the game needing two touchdowns to set the new AHSAA state record for career touchdowns, he ended the game with six and a 41-21 victory over Isabella to send Lanett to the 1A state semifinals.
“I almost teared up,” said Lanett head coach and Kristian’s father Clifford Story. “I was trying to keep it focused, but my inside was bawling. As a father you’re so proud of your son.”
Lanett won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff and this decision immediately paid off. The two-play, 53-yard drive was capped off when Kristian Story hit Seidrion Langston for the 31-yard score and took a 6-0 lead with 11:23 left in the first quarter.
With that score, Kristian Story, who is committed to Alabama, tied former Pinson Valley — and current Auburn University quarterback — Bo Nix’s record with 161 career touchdowns.
Isabella was not going to let them have all of the fun, however. The Mustangs’ marched right down the field and took a 7-6 lead on a 53-yard run by quarterback Travis Atchinson with 10:04 left in the first quarter.
Following a Lanett three-and-out Isabella took over at the 50 and was moving the ball well before Atchinson fumbled the ball away at the Lanett 22.
The Panthers’ once again only needed two plays to score. After a facemask on first down gave them the ball at midfield Krstian Story hit Larontavious Hurston on the right sideline for the score with 6:38 left in the first quarter.
The touchdown was Kristian Story’s 162 of his career and give him sole possession of the AHSAA career touchdown record. He finished the night with 303 yards passing and four touchdowns along with 63 yards and two scores on the ground.
“I didn’t even know his numbers were accumulating like that, I’ve never been a big stats guy,” Clifford Story said.
Langston and Hurston both finished with two touchdowns and over 100 yards receiving, but Clifford Story is impressed with all of his wideouts.
“They have been getting better week in and week out,” he said. “Larontavious Hurston and Jaquarius Houston in practice compete like no other. They don’t want to come off the field, and those are the kind of guys you need.”
The second half started off even better for Lanett, they forced quick a three-and-out and the offense got to work.
Kristian Story was 3-3 for 62 yards on the drive and ran it in from the two to give his team a 20-7 lead with 7:17 left in the third quarter.
After the Panthers’ defense forged another three-and-out and a great punt return, the offense took over at the 26 and was on the verge of pulling away.
Lanett was on the four following an 11-yard completion and a facemask before Kristian Story fumbled the ball away.
Kristian Story was able to quickly redeem himself when he picked off Atchinson and returned it all the way to the three. On the next play he once again connected with Hurston for the score and gave his team a 27-7 lead with 36 seconds left in the third quarter.
Isabella wasn’t going to let its season come to a close without a fight though. Atchinson accounted for every yard on a five-play, 50-yard drive, that ended when a screen pass to running back Lance Price went for 20 yards and cut the lead to 27-14 with 11:24 left in the game.
However, their defense, which came into the day allowing only 13.3 points per game was unable to get a stop. The Panthers’ offense once again marched right down the field and Kristian Story connected with Langston for his second touchdown of the game and made it 34-14 with 8:49 left to play.
The Mustangs were able to cut the lead to 34-21 when Atchinson found Kendal Reeves from the 30 with 5:33 left to play but they were unable to recover the onside kick.
It was Kristian Story yet again who put the game away with his best run of the night on the ensuing drive.
Facing a third and 12 he dropped back to pass and was immediately pressured, he slipped out of the tackle and broke three more on his way to the endzone for the 33-yard touchdown that gave his team a commanding 41-21 lead with only 2:39 left to play.
Lanett will play at Sweet Water next Friday in the Class 1A semifinals.
Lanett 41, Isabella 21
L - 13 0 14 14 - 41
I - 7 0 0 14- 21
L - Langston 31-yard reception from Story (XP no good) 11:23
I - Atchinson 53-yard run (XP good) 10:04
L - Hurston 51-yard reception from Story (XP good) 6:38
L - Story 2-yard run (XP good) 7:17
L - Hurston 3-yard reception from Story (XP good) :36
I - Price 20-yard reception from Atchinson (XP good) 11:24
L - Langston 34-yard reception from Story (XP good) 8:49
I - Reeves 30-yard reception from Atchinson (XP good) 5:33
L - Story 33-yard run (XP good) 2:39