There likely hasn’t been a season in some time with as many highs and lows as there has been in 2015 for the Stephenville Yellow Jackets.
They’ve been the victor in a matchup against a top 20 5A program and fell victim to a 37-8 thrashing by Venice (FL) and most recently a 41-7 loss to Lubbock Cooper, in a game that was decided by halftime.
“Lubbock Cooper is a great football team and they played well Saturday,” said Stephenville head coach Greg Winder. “They’re going to be a 6A program in a few years and they’re a solid group. We had too many turnovers and you can’t do that on the road with a team of that caliber. Once that started, things went downhill from there. We left the defense on the field too long and you can’t expect to be successful when you do that. Bottom line, we just didn’t execute well Saturday.”
Now sitting at 2-2 on the season, the Yellow Jackets will walk into Alvarado Friday night after they upset one of the best teams in the 4A ranks up to now in Brownwood last weekend.
“Alvarado has five returning starters on defense and they’re a very solid group,” said Winder. “They’re coached very well and they’re football team causes a lot of turnovers. For the most part they’re a team that likes to run the football and their best running back is back from last year and he knows what to do with the ball when they give it to him. However, they also have proven that if they need to throw the ball that they can do it, even though it isn’t often.”
As to what the Yellow Jackets will have to do to come out above .500 on the season and enter their bye week with a win is simple; play good offense.
“We’re going to have to run good routes and play a full game and go full speed every single play,” Winder said. “For the most part, the offensive line played well last week and the film showed that. But as a unit, together, we’re going to just have to play better overall to win.”
Even though the offensive production for Stephenville will play a vital role in the outcome Friday, the system that Winder has used the last few years has not been near as potent, and he’s admitted that.
“The offense isn’t really even close to where we want it,” he said. “We’re trying to cut down the playbook a little bit and simplify things just because we have some younger guys on that side of the ball. We just need to execute in those skill positions and good things will happen. If we keep working hard then the points will come.”
Thus far on the year, the two teams the Stephenville defense has done well to hold is Venice, who the Yellow Jackets defense actually prevented from scoring several times, and Everman, both teams who focused on running the ball. With that, the Stephenville defense appears to have a good match up with the Indians Friday night.
“It will be huge if our defense can continue to play well against the run and hold Alvarado like they have some of the other teams we’ve faced,” Winder said. “However, I’d anticipate that Alvarado will come out running, but if they can’t do that with success, they’ll switch to the passing game, which they have had some success with.”
Stephenville and Alvarado will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Alvarado.