Quarterback Drew Puccio had two great games going into Thursday night’s contest at West Point. He picked up an even 100 yards against Fort Payne and rushed for 153 yards with four touchdowns and passed for another at Albertville.

But at West Point, another great run of 42 yards to the Warrior 4 just before halftime ended in heartbreak when Puccio went down with a fractured knee and a broken femur.

Puccio, the son of coach Phil and Misty Puccio, had surgery Thursday night at the Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children.

“According to the doctor, the surgery went very well,” said Phil Puccio. “The break was about 4 inches above the knee and required two screws. Thankfully, there was no ligament damage. 

“He’ll be immobilized about three weeks and progress from there as the healing progresses. The doctor told us a realistic goal for a complete recovery would be around Christmas.”

Puccio said the thoughts and prayers of the community meant a lot to his family. “The calls and texts have meant so much,” Phil Puccio said. “It makes you really appreciate where you live.”

Coach Jason Guger was certainly disappointed in losing Puccio on the field, but his thoughts were more about his recovery Thursday night.

“Nobody can ever wrap their mind around why bad things happen to good people, but we know God’s going to take care of him and we’ll be with him in prayer,” he said.

As it turned out, the game itself ended in a 0-0 tie. Kolby Hardin went in for Puccio at quarterback and the going was a little tough, at least to begin with.

“It took him a series or so, but he played a lot better in the second half,” Guger said.

Battling to a scoreless tie did not necessarily mean it was a lackluster game.

“For junior high football, it was a great game,” Guger said. “There were a lot of hard hits and both teams came well prepared. Both teams played extremely good defense and both teams struggled some on offense.”

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