By Matt Parrino
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News —
When Nehemiah Stone's knee gave out early in preseason camp, the outlook didn't look good for the junior — or the North Tonawanda football team.
The doctor gave him two choices: surgery or play the waiting game.
"God did it. I don't know how He did but He made me able to play, and when the doctor told me I could play or have surgery, and you could possibly get out there this season. There was no question — I was playing," Stone said.
Since Stone was cleared for 100 percent game action the Lumberjacks haven't lost. And the standout running back/linebacker made his presence felt once again Friday night, running for 116 yards, two rushing scores, 45 yards receiving and a touchdown catch, to earn MVP honors for the second consecutive T-NT game.
Stone shared the stage with Tonawanda's Brandon Frye, who did a little bit of everything for the Warriors to earn his half of the T-NT game MVP award.
Frye's interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter was arguably the play of the game because of the huge momentum swing it created for the Warriors. Tonawanda coach Rob Gross said Frye has really started to come into his own late in the season.
"Brandon has worked hard and had a full season as a sophomore," Gross said. "With that experience we're really starting to see him step up and make plays and be a playmaker. It's been enjoyable to watch him progress as a football player and he's capable of making those plays every night."
Frye also caught two passes for 45 yards and a touchdown in the second quarter to keep the Warriors in the game after NT took its first lead.
For Stone, the shear fact he was able to play in the game is a testament to his work ethic and dedication. To make his way back to game shape he had to fight through four intense therapy days a week for three months, coupled with intense sessions with the team trainer immediately after.
When he thought he'd miss the season and the T-NT game, he was devastated. But the victory Friday night made all those days of rehab worth it.
"It's just amazing that our team came together and that we could do this," Stone said.