ABILENE - It took three extra days to get the game in, and most of three quarters for Stephenville (12-1) to gain some separation from Lubbock Cooper (11-3).
Kaegun Williams rushed for three touchdowns and accumulated 234 offensive yards while Jarrett Stidham passed for 327 yards and rushed for two scores in a 42-28 victory at Shotwell Stadium Monday night.
No. 5 Stephenville turns around and plays No. 2 Kilgore on short preparation time Saturday in Corsicana. A start time was not determined immediately following the game. Stephenville and Cooper had been delayed since Friday because of the winter storm that swept through the region.
Williams rushed for 157 yards on 22 carries while hauling in six passes for 77 yards. His biggest play was a 77-yard TD sprint on the second play from scrimmage. Stidham was 19-29 passing.
Cooper answered Williams' big run with consecutive scores on runs of two yards by Stanton Keane and 36 yards by Jordan Salas, taking a 14-7 lead into the second.
But Stidham scored on a keeper from six yards out and Luis Luna plowed across the goal line for a short scoring run to make it 21-14 at the break.
After halftime it was the Stephenville defense that grabbed the momentum with two fourth-down stops, one on an incomplete pass, the other on a tackle for loss by Logan Levisay. The Jacket offense scored after each stop, completing a 28-0 run for a 35-14 lead.
The first second-half TD came when Stidham used a 1-yard keeper to cap a 9-play, 77-yard drive. The Jackets went right on the attack after the next stop, with Stidham firing a 46-yard aerial to Ben Martin. Martin shrugged off the only defender in the area for the score on his way to five receptions for 98 yards. Grayson Sweet had four for 78.
Cooper cut it to 35-21, but Williams scored from 11 yards away to all but ice the bitter cold state quarterfinal and Region I final.
Keane was 13-22 passing for 138 yards and also rushed for 97 yards for Cooper, while Salas scored twice and gained 47 yards on just four carries. Dakota Gruben entered the game with more than 1,200 rushing yards but carried the ball just eight times for 28 yards.
Stephenville racked up 550 yards of total offense, passing for 281 and rushing for 223. Cooper had 338 total yards, with 200 on the ground.
Watch for quotes and additional coverage in the Wednesday edition of the Empire-Tribune and in the Sports Blitz inside the Thursday E-T.