It's not often that fans of Stephenville football let out a cheer for Brownwood.

Last Friday was an exception to that rule as Brownwood upset Copperas Cove on the Class 4A football gridiron, 17-10. The loss caused Copperas Cove to vacate its spot atop the Associated Press poll, allowing Stephenville to take over at No. 1 (see related story and complete poll on Page 5).

Its the first No. 1 ranking for the Jackets since 1999, when Art Briles was still the coach and his son Kendall picked up Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year Honors while leading Stephenville to its fourth state championship.

Eight years later, Chad Morris has become the first coach other than Briles to lead the Jackets to No. 1.

Stephenville (6-0) began the season at No. 3 behind Copperas Cove and Waco. WHS lost its No. 2 spot with an early-season loss to Euless Trinity, leading to Stephenville's jump to No. 2.

The Jackets were ranked second three consecutive weeks entering last Friday's action.

Morris was informed of Copperas Cove's loss while his Stephenville team was putting the finishing touches on a 64-11 win over Joshua.

“That just makes the bulls eye on our backs that much bigger, he said.

Stephenville has already defeated two top 10 teams this fall. The Jackets knocked off then No. 5 Wichita Falls Rider 27-15 on the road on Sept. 15, then traveled to Aledo to come from behind and beat the then No. 6 Bearcats, 31-28. A third state-ranked opponent, No. 10 Everman, awaits SHS in the regular season finale on Nov. 9.

The Jackets return to play Friday when they host Cleburne at 7:30 p.m.

Brad Keith is the sports editor at the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at (254) 965-3124, ext. 241, or by e-mail at