Coming off a 66-40 loss against Cleburne, Stephenville Head Coach Greg Winder isn't pondering on last week's 'what ifs' and along with his team, focus has shifted to what the team did well and needs improve upon heading into week two.
"Offensively we executed pretty well at times. We still have a long ways to go though," said Winder. "The offensive line played hard and did a really good job last week. Skill wise, we have to get better at receiver, but our running backs and quarterback played well. Right now, we're focusing on limiting turnovers and eliminating penalties."
Defensively, Winder's thoughts may have been softer than what fans were thinking following a 66-point performance, but a good portion of those points can be credited to the type of player Cleburne had scoring for them.
"We have to tackle better, no doubt about that and we're going to fix that. I know their quarterback, he's special. I hope we don't see anyone else like him the rest of the year, he's a special player at that position, but we have to get 11 guys to the ball and tackle better overall."
A bright spot from last week's loss may have come as a surprise to some.
The Stephenville backfield came into the season unproven, but a few athletes, a couple making their first appearance at the varsity level, impressed in the first game.
"Coming in we had two sophomore running backs in Chris Cerda and Krece Nowak that don't weigh a lot and aren't the biggest guys in the world. We worried about their durability and how long that they'll be able to withstand the hits at this level," said Winder. "The good thing about them is that they're quick and hard to get to, but we're going to have to protect them some. They complemented each other well Friday night and we're excited to see them again."
Nowak was Stephenville's best player offensively statistically Friday night. He rushed for 153 yards on 25 carries and hauled in seven passes for 111 yards, including an 84-yard touchdown reception.
Now with practice and preparation in full swing for Springtown this week, Winder gave some details as to what fans can expect to see from the Porcupines.
"They're offense is a good unit. They're returning a quarterback who is a good football player and they have a good running game to complement him," Winder said. "Defensively, they're not as big as Cleburne, but they have some kids, especially in the secondary, who can hit with the best of them. We're going to have to watch out for those guys."
The major keys for the Yellow Jackets in coming away with a victory are to stay balanced offensively and to tackle better.
"We're going to try and balance things out on offense. We have to keep the ball away from Springtown," he said. "We need to have long drives and eat minutes off the clock and then get into the end-zone. Another big thing is wee need to eliminate penalties this week. On defense we need to run to the football and tackle well and play with a lot of emotion. We're not talking about last week anymore. We're focused on Springtown."
Springtown and Stephenville are scheduled to play Friday night at Tarleton's Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m.