Stephenville turned the ball over four times, all in the first half, Friday night as the No. 8 Bulldogs took advantage and clinched the district 3-4A, DI title with a 44-3 victory.
After holding Abilene Wylie to a field goal on their first possession of the game, Stephenville proceeded to go punt, pick-six, interception and lost fumble on their next four drives.
Three of the turnovers turned directly into points for Wylie as two resulted in one-play touchdown runs, 30 and 73-yards respectively. The other was the result of a pass intercepted at the line of scrimmage which was then returned 40-or-so yards for a score.
Already facing a 24-point deficit in the first quarter, Stephenville knew they'd have their work cut out for them, but they didn't roll over easily.
Their first possession of the second quarter was orchestrated as well as any could have asked. The unit drove 66-yards in 12 plays, but attempted to run the ball three straight times in the red zone before settling for a 24-yard Jake Gillispie field goal.
The Stephenville defense also tightened up in the second quarter.
After allowing scores on the first three Wylie possessions, the Yellow Jacket defense managed to allow only 24-yards of total offense and zero points in the frame.
After taking over after a punt late in the first half, Stephenville looked primed to make things interesting again. The offense took over in Bulldog territory and quarterback Easton Jones hit one of his receivers across the middle for what appeared to possibly be a 20-yard touchdown, but a Wylie defender jarred the ball loose forcing a fumble in the end zone which resulted in a touchback.
The goal line fumble was the only real threat Stephenville's offense posed all evening as they only accumulated 293 total yards of offense on the night.
In the second half, Wylie outscored Stephenville 20-0, including a score as time expired in the third quarter and a late 60-yard touchdown run with the game already decided.
With the loss, Stephenville placed third in district 3-4A and are set for a rematch with Decatur in the bi-district round. The two teams will play on Friday, November 11 at 7 p.m. in Springtown.