SNYDER - Stephenville (4-1) amassed 582 yards of offense and outran 4A Amarillo (2-3) in a 64-42 track-meet style game at Tiger Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Jarrett Stidham had hand in 447 yards and five touchdowns - four passing to four different receivers and one rushing - to lead a Yellow Jacket offense that marched to the end zone eight times.
Stidham passed for 327 yards and rushed for 120. Kaegun Williams had four receptions for 102 yards and a TD and also rushed for 66 yards. Will Brock rushed for 65. Zach Hunter hauled in three receptions for 90 yards, and Luis Luna scored on three short runs out of the 'Hammer Time' goal line set.
The Yellow Jackets held off a 145-yard four TD day on the ground by Deon Lynch, who helped Amarillo to 558 yards. The teams combined for 1,130 total yards.
It was back and forth early with Amarillo's last lead coming at 21-17 after one of Lynch's TDs midway through the second quarter.
Stephenville answered with Williams, a freshman, turning a screen pass into a 77-yard burst to the one, and Luna plowed into the end zone on the next play to put the seventh-ranked Yellow Jackets ahead for good.
Amarillo fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Stephenville recovered. Moments later, the Jackets had a two-possession lead thanks to Mookie Carlile hauling in a 33-yard score from Stidham.
Carlile also intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble defensively, and recovered a muffed punt in the second half. Kobe Beavers also recovered a fumble for the Jacket defense.
Lynch brought Amarillo back to within three just before halftime, but Luna closed the opening drive of the second half with a score, and Beavers' fumble recovery set up Stidham for his short TD run and a 45-28 lead. Stephenville was ahead by at least 10 the rest of the way.
The scoring began on a special teams play. Amarillo punted to end its opening possession, and it was blocked by Beavers. Tyler Isham recovered and went 26 yards untouched for a 6-0 lead.
Stidham was 11-19 passing with five of his completions gaining more than 30 yards.
It was a season high in both scoring and total offense for Stephenville, but also a season high in rushing yards allowed at 333.
The Yellow Jackets close the pre-season at 4-1 for the second straight year, matching their best start under fifth-year head coach Joe Gillespie.
"Our offense picked up our defense some today, but that's what you have to do," Gillespie said. "We challenged our offensive line before last week's game against La Vega, and they answered that challenge and played well. I think they took another big step forward this week, because this is the best they've played to this point of the season."
Stidham didn't know the Jackets were in for such a shootout.
"I watched film of (Amarillo's) defense, not their offense, so I didn't really know they could score like this," he said of the teams combining for 106 points. "I knew they had been in some high scoring games, but nothing like this."
Stidham agreed with Gillespie concerning the offensive line.
"Those guys are great, they're getting better each week," Stidham said.
His head coach believes that's true of the whole team.
"All our games have been such different adventures, and I can't help but think that's benefitting us because we're learning and gaining so much experience from week to week," Gilelspie said. "We're going to enjoy this one, get into our bye week and see if we can't improve a little more before the start of district."