STEPHENVILLE - Kody Spano passed for five touchdowns and ran for another, while the Stephenville defense was dominant once again in the No. 2 Yellow Jackets’ 42-10 homecoming victory over Alvarado Friday in District 8-4A.
Spano was 14-18 passing for 281 yards, completing passes to six different receivers.
The battle was billed as a match-up of marquee running backs. Alvarado’s Thomas Head entered the game with 88 carries for 523 yards, while Mills had gained 488 yards on 52 attempts for Stephenville.
Head was held to 38 yards on 13 carries Friday, while Mills rushed only five times for 33 yards and also had three receptions for 106. It was the first game this fall in which Mills did not find the end zone.
Alvarado (1-4, 0-2) was shut out during the first half, while Stephenville (5-0, 2-0) built a 42-0 lead. The Indians finished with only 120 yards of total offense, while the Yellow Jackets tallied 407.
Spano began the scoring early after Alvarado went three-and-out on the opening drive of the game. The senior quarterback who has already committed to Oklahoma State hit Brad Mills for a 48-yard pass on Stephenville’s first play from scrimmage. Spano then kept the ball himself three straight times for 11 yards and a touchdown. The score came on a four-yard run. Mills hit the first of his six point-after kicks, and the Jackets were up 7-0 with 8:04 still to play in the opening period.
On Stephenville’s next possession, Spano hit Mills for a 33-yard pass. That set up a 21-yard scoring strike to Chris Malone, who would finish with three catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
The Yellow Jackets poured it on with two more first-quarter touchdowns. The first was a 60-yard bomb from Spano to Malone. The second was set up by a bad snap on a punt attempt by Alvarado. The turnover on downs resulted in a two-play, 25-yard drive by Stephenville, capped off by a four-yard pass in the corner of the end zone that was hauled in by Josh Graves.
Stephenville led 28-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Alvarado finally stopped Stephenville on its first drive of the second period, but the Jackets went right back to lighting up the scoreboard on their next possession.
Mills and Spano each had a pair of big runs to move the ball into Indian territory. From there, Spano found Hayden Whitely with a pass in the middle of the field, and the running back sprinted all the way to the end zone for a 45-yard touchdown.
A second scoring pass from Spano to Graves, again from four yards out, finished the scoring for Stephenville.
A third-quarter turnover on a muffed punt by Stephenville set Alvarado up for a 36-yard field goal by Rydge West to get the Indians on the board. They scored again on a two-yard scamper by Broam Hart late in the fourth.
Brad Keith is the sports editor at the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at (254) 965-3124, ext. 241, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.