GLEN ROSE — A strong defense is a foundation for winning football games, and the Stephenville Yellow Jackets showed positive signs in that department in their first preseason scrimmage Friday in Glen Rose.

Three of head coach Greg Winder’s Yellow Jackets — linebackers Kasee Bouchey and Zane Walker along with defensive back Cody Storrs — intercepted passes on the night as Stephenville, Gatesville and host school Glen Rose staged a three-way scrimmage. The freshman and junior varsity squads from the three schools also mixed it up on the newly installed turf at Tiger Stadium.

Stephenville’s offense recorded one touchdown, when quarterback Tyler Schouten connected on a pass to wide receiver Blake Aragon from about 10 yards out. Sophomore Cole Stanley, the starting quarterback on Stephenville’s freshman team last season, also saw varsity playing time at that position Friday with two-year starter Easton Jones out with an elbow injury.

“I was really pleased defensively, that we could have those pads popping and got turnovers,” said Winder, whose team is a member of District 3-4A, Division I. “That’s what they’re supposed to do.

“We didn’t throw the ball well, but we ran the ball well. That’s expected (in first scrimmage). They know they’ve got to improve. We came out and battled with them.”

The varsity action began at about 6:30 p.m., when the heat and humidity was still a considerable factor. The teams took turns rotating from offense to defense, then taking a rest on the sidelines, all in 10-minute timed segments.

Winder suggested the draining effect of the heat may have taken some of the players by surprise.

“We had some (players) who came out and they don’t realize that 10 minutes on offense and defense gasses everybody pretty good,” said Winder, whose team was 3-8 last season.

Glen Rose is in District 4-4A, Division II, while Gatesville is a member of District 13-4A, Division I.

The Yellow Jackets will be at home for their second and final preseason scrimmage this Friday at Memorial Stadium. They will take on Class 5A Granbury, with the JV set to start at about 5:30 followed by the varsity matchup.

The regular-season opener for the Yellow Jackets will be at home on Sept. 8 against Cleburne.