CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS)-- Stephen Burton's 2021 football season didn't go as planned.

"I went to make a tackle and basically my ankle gave out," recalled Covenant senior wide receiver Stephen Burton, "I was like, this is it. I don't know if I'll actually be able to play football again."

When a broken ankle sidelined him for the rest of the year he made the best of it, finding a new way forward.

"It helped me sit down," explained Burton, "Mostly on the couch, and think about other things that I want to do instead of just sports, sports, sports. Spending so much time in clinics, I found it fascinating as well as human autonomy. So I'm hoping to go into the sports medicine field whether that's being a PE teacher in ten years and coaching or whether that's being in a clinic."

But his time on the Covenant field wasn't over. One year and one surgery later, Burton was ready to bounce back.

"Throughout the season I think Stephen played his best games against our most difficult opponents," explained head football coach Chad Ciesil, "He really came through for his teammates when we needed something to happen. When we needed something to happen during the season Stephen was usually there to make it happen"

After an undefeated regular season Stephen and the Eagles punched a ticket to the 8 man state championship game, and once again, when his team needed him Stephen stepped up.

"We were down in the 4th quarter," started Ciesil, "We had driven the ball from our own 2 yard line which was caused because Stephen stopped them and got an interception of VES on our 2 yard line which stopped them from scoring."

With Stephen's help the Eagles won their 3rd state championship title in 5 years, capping the perfect comeback.

"Doing this this year with the state championship, it just means a lot," said Burton.