JOSHUA - No. 2 Stephenville racked up 558 yards of offense and outscored Joshua 35-0 in the second half Friday on its way to a 64-11 District 8-4A win over the Owls.
Senior QB Kody Spano was once again sensational, completing 18 of 26 pass attempts for 312 yards and three touchdowns. On the ground, he added a pair of touchdowns and 37 yards on eight carries.
It was the first 300-yard pass performance by the field-general this season.
The longest pass completion of Spano’s career came on a second quarter catch and run by Chris Malone that covered 96 yards for a touchdown that put the Jackets ahead 22-3.
Malone finished with three catches for 108 yards.
Trey Taylor tallied 147 all-purpose yards on 14 touches. Taylor, the only four-year lettermen among the Yellow Jacket seniors, snagged seven receptions for 84 yards and picked up 63 yards on seven rushing attempts.
The Yellow Jackets had a rocky start to the game, especially on the defensive side.
Joshua quarterback Austin Neal threw for 204 yards in the first half, as he repeatedly hooked up with WR Jeff Hickerson.
Hickerson led all receivers with 10 receptions for 166 yards.
In the second half, the Wardogs were much more in control for Stephenville, as Neal threw for only 60 yards. He finished with 18 completions on 43 attempts for 264 yards. The Jackets picked off three passes while allowing Neal to throw for only one touchdown.
The scoring pass from Neal was a 29-yard strike to Hickerson that cut the Stephenville lead to 22-11 with 5:32 remaining in the first half.
Spano’s second touchdown run, this time from one yard away, gave the Jackets a 29-11 advantage at the half, and they went on to blow the game open early in the third.
Spano hit Josh Graves with an 11-yard scoring pass on the Jackets’ initial second-half possession. Graves finished with four catches for 70 yards and a pair of scores.
Joshua muffed the ensuing kickoff and Cody Davis recovered for Stephenville. It was the Owls’ second turnover on a kickoff on the night. Joshua finished with a total of six turnovers.
Stephenville cashed in on the JHS miscue as Mills scored from two yards out on a statue of liberty on fourth down, putting the Jackets in complete control with a 43-11 lead.
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 email@example.com.