The first two weeks of the season have shown the Stephenville Yellow Jackets impress on one side of the ball in each contest, but come away empty handed.
Sitting at 0-2 after a 30-28 defeat to Springtown, Stephenville and Head Coach Greg Winder are hoping to move on from their early season mistakes.
“After we watched film it was clear that we just made too many mistakes on offense. They brought pressure that our offensive line didn’t pick up and our receivers were having breakdowns in their routes,” mentioned Winder regarding several of the offense’s woes last Friday night. “These are things that you hope not to see in week two, the good thing is that they’re correctable.”
Entering week three, Stephenville’s opponent won’t be patient in their chase of a ‘complete’ game on both sides of the ball as Everman (9-5A) will certainly be out for revenge following 2015’s result.
Led by one of the state’s best running backs in 2015, Kierre Crossly and the Bulldogs fell to the Yellow Jackets last season 10-7, courtesy of a late Jake Gillispie field goal. While Crossly has taken his talents to the next level, a strong Everman team remains and Stephenville is likely to have it’s hands full Friday night.
“Everman is Everman, all they do is reload every year,” said Winder.
“They’re fast, the thing about them is that their coaching staff has been together so long. They do a great job over there. Defensively they’re fast and they fly to the ball. On offense you have to contain the big play, but as far as x’s and o’s go they won’t change anything. They don’t have to.”
With the Stephenville defense tightening up some following their game against Cleburne, there is some hope for Yellow Jacket fans as Everman has struggled offensively against them in recent years.
The backs leading the way for Everman now are Kenneth Johnson, who is coming off of a 189-yard performance in the Bulldogs’ dominant 41-19 win over the Colony last Friday night, and Keon Wooden.
“Historically our defense has played pretty good against Everman, at least in recent years,” said Winder.
“We’ve had times where it hasn’t been so good, but we’ve been solid these last few years. We just need to tackle well and execute the defense that’s called and we can continue that trend.”
While the Bulldogs boast a strong running game, Stephenville’s hasn’t been a bad unit itself.
Sophomore running back Krece Nowak has come essentially from nowhere to run for more than 100-yards in each of the team’s first two-games. Winder expects to use that to their advantage Friday night.
“We’re going to try and run the football and see if that opens up the play-action. Hopefully we can have some success and catch their linebackers and secondary cheating.”
Just in his second year as the Yellow Jackets’ head coach, Winder finds himself in a tough spot. After a 4-7 season in 2015, a few results not going his teams’ way isn’t throwing anyone into panic mode.
“Like I told our young men Saturday morning, it takes the coaches a lot longer to get over a loss than it does them (the players). It’s the coaches who you have to whip in the butt and say lets go. It’s done, it’s over. We have to find a way to put together a solid football game on offense, defense and special teams. We’re all fine and our minds are set on Everman.”
The Yellow Jackets are scheduled to kick off with the Bulldogs at Everman’s J.E. Marr Stadium Friday night at 7:30 p.m.