Stoneman Douglas wins homecoming game by 17

The same number of people died in a mass shooting at the school this year

Stoneman Douglas wins homecoming game by 17
Members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School football team pray together as they began practice for a new season just after midnight on Monday, July 30, 2018, in Parkland, Fla. The players, their school, and community still grieve for the 17 lives lost at the school on Feb. 14. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper) (Source: Joe Skipper)

PARKLAND, FL (RNN) – The theme of Friday's homecoming game at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was "17," the number of people killed on campus in a February mass shooting.

Stoneman Douglas wins homecoming game by 17 points

The school’s first homecoming football game since the tragedy was an occasion for fun and celebration, but also one for healing and remembrance of the deceased – including assistant coach Aaron Feis, who died protecting students from gunfire on Feb. 14.

Stoneman Douglas players wore the number 17 on their helmets, and it was prominently displayed at midfield Friday night.

A framed photograph of Feis and a No. 17 jersey were displayed below a statue of an eagle, the school's mascot.

But the number also figured into the final score, making the game's outcome an unexpected tribute in itself.

The Stoneman Douglas Eagles beat the South Broward Bulldogs by 23-6, a 17-point difference.

"Isn't that something," Stoneman Douglas head coach Willis May told the Miami Herald after the game. "And I'll tell you something else about tonight and last week. Before each game, I found a penny that was heads up. Aaron always would look for one on gameday because he said it would bring us luck. I swear, I wonder if he had something to do with that today."

Stoneman Douglas running back Brian Smith said he saw a guiding hand in the victory.

"It's the 17 angels," Smith said. "They're watching us."

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