The frustrations for the Yellow Jackets continued to grow Friday night as they faced their second 4A opponent of the year and came up short 42-27 against a stout Alvarado.
The Indians spent no time taking the lead after holding the Yellow Jackets to a three and out on the game’s opening possession. After a big punt return which gave Alvarado the ball at the Stephenville 26-yard line, they did what they do best, which is run the ball until they found the end zone to take a 7-0 lead.
Things didn’t get better for Stephenville after that. The Indians eventually opened up a 21-0 lead in the first quarter which had many around the stadium thinking it may be a long night, but then, for the first time this season, the loyal Yellow Jacket fans finally saw their offense play to its full potential.
First, the Jackets went on a six-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard Josh Nowell touchdown reception. Then, after an Alvarado fumble within the Stephenville five yard line, they proceeded to go on a 93-yard touchdown drive which resulted in a fumble recovered by offensive lineman Conner Warmerdam. Those two big time drives gave Stephenville life as the two teams entered halftime with only seven points separating them.
The joy was short lived.
Alvarado opened the second half with the ball and proceeded to go on a touchdown drive that took up almost eight minutes of the quarter. Stephenville had a chance to respond and keep the game a one possession difference, but drove down to within the Indians 10-yard line and ultimately threw an interception for a touchback.
Alvarado continued to run the ball in the second half scoring two more times and amassing a total of 379 yards on the ground.
“They had a big back and we couldn’t tackle him and they also had a smaller back and we struggled to tackle him too,” said Stephenville head coach Greg Winder after the game. “I’ll have to look at the film, but I think we also got dominated up front. We got a chance offensively in the second half to stay in the game and we threw an interception and we can’t keep doing that. The defense had a tough time tonight though, but that’s what Alvarado does and they did it well.”
Stephenville tallied a total of 377 total yards on the night, 306 through the air and 71 on the ground.
Quarterback Easton Jones went 22-25 for 306 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Matthew Chapman carried the ball 12 times for 66 yards.
Three Stephenville wide receivers had big games as senior Darian Brown eclipsed the century mark with a nine catch, 140 yard performance in which he hauled in two touchdowns. Across from him, tall target Josh Nowell accounted for 83 yards on six catches and one touchdown. Slot receiver Malachi Taylor also joined in with another six catches for 75 yards.
“The offense was better tonight, but it doesn’t matter if you can’t get a victory,” said Winder. “We came out at the first of the game and started off slow, but then we started going fast and they couldn’t get lined up and they also caught cramps and whatnot, but that’s another story.”
The game against Alvarado wrapped up the Yellow Jackets non-district schedule for the 2015 season. Next week they’ll begin preparing for Brownwood during their bye week and on Oct. 9 Winder says they’ll be ready for district play.
“Fortunate for us though is that these games we’ve played they don’t count,” he said. “The big ones are ahead of us and we’re going to be fine. We’ll be ready to play Brownwood.”