While the Stephenville Yellow Jackets are coming off an overwhelming 53-20 victory over Cleburne in their season football opener, this week they will be facing a Springtown team eager to make up for a disappointing start.
Coach Greg Winder’s Jackets pounced on Cleburne’s Yellowjackets early, taking advantage of some turnovers, and built a 39-7 halftime lead.
Springtown’s Porcupines gave up five rushing touchdowns and three passing TDs in their 69-35 road loss to Decatur.
Winder said the Porcupines can be expected to give their best effort to make amends for that blowout loss.
“No doubt,” Winder said. “Plus we will be playing them at (Springtown) so they will be fired up.”
BIG OPENER FOR SHS
Running back Krece Nowak uncorked his junior season for SHS in impressive fashion with four rushing touchdowns, gaining 291 yards on just 16 carries. He scored on runs of 15, 73, 32 and 54 yards.
SHS picked up 526 yards in total offense and the defense intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble that kept Cleburne on its heels all night.
“Our kids worked hard since the off season,” Winder said. “A big win like that is good for everybody.”
Nowak praised the offensive line opening holes for him, and said of the defense, “I didn’t see them miss a tackle. The defense had an amazing game. The line was really coming off the ball.”
SHS receiver Blake Aragon had Stephenville’s other TD, on a 26-yard end around that gave the Jackets a 22-0 lead by the 8:22 mark in the opening quarter. Aragon also caught a pass from Schouten for a 2-point conversion as SHS went on top 15-0 less than 4 minutes into the contest.
Stephenville’s defensive effort included an interception and fumble recovery by Cole Pettit, and a fumble recovery by teammate Clay Krause. Also, Gage Graham, Zane Walker and Blu Caylor recorded 10 tackles each. Chase Carrillo added nine.
SHS quarterbacks Tyler Schouten and Cole Stanley each threw for one touchdown.
Kade Averhoff caught a 32-yard TD strike from Schouten with 8:26 left in the second quarter as the Jackets took a 29-7 lead over Cleburne.
Kyle Lindsey hauled in a 24-yard scoring toss from Stanley that gave SHS a 53-14 margin at the 3:55 mark in the fourth quarter.
A 33-yard field goal by Carrillo boosted Stephenville’s lead to 32-7 at halftime.
“We kicked off and the defense came out and put it on ’em and they were real physical with ’em and created turnovers and the offense scored points,” Winder said. “It’s what we talked to them about, how to start a game and how to finish a game.
“We played with a lot of emotion. We wanted to win the ballgame. We believe in each other, and it showed tonight.”
As always, the coach saw some things that need to be worked on entering Friday’s second outing.
“We had a couple of miscues on special teams, and also on the offensive line,” Winder said.
Cameron Rickett, a Springtown sophomore, scored three touchdowns for the Porcupines against Decatur.
Stephenville will be taking on Decatur on the road on Sept. 22. The Eagles, members of District 4-4A, Division I, have 10 defensive starters back from last year’s 7-5 squad.
“Decatur is a very good football team,” Winder said of Eagles’ dominance over Springtown. “It was just one of those unfortunate nights for (Springtown).
“They run a lot of different formations. Our defense is going to have to be prepared for all their formations, and we have to tackle like we’ve been doing.”
Friday’s game is set for 7:30 p.m. at Porcupine Stadium in Springtown.