HOUSTON – Kingwood High School kicked off its football season and played for both pride and healing.

They played rival Friendswood and both teams ran out onto the field united. However, Kingwood moms knew their sons in white had much more than touchdown and tackles in mind.

“We kind of all recovering from what happened in Kingwood,” Alicia Grifaldo, said.

Flooding sacked their school building, equipment and fields. Many in their community lost much more. Missi Taylor said her son and teammates missed at least 10 practices helping neighbors.

Then, with donated helmets and pads, got ready to tackle rival Friendswood. Their season opener was hardly just another game.

“It’s a big game for our community, to get out play some football and let the worries go away and let life be normal a little bit,” Bridgett Slayton said.

Even when those “other” Mustangs in the stadium galloped to a 17-point first quarter lead, Kingwood fans only talked about a rally. Even after a loss, their guys know how to overcome.

Friendswood families saw their homes damaged by flooding too. Still, they saluted their opponents.