Stephenville suffered its first District 5-4A Division I football loss of the season Friday night in Waco, falling 32-15 to the La Vega Pirates.
Kyle Lindsey and Gavin Rountree each caught one touchdown pass from quarterback Kade Renfro for the Yellow Jackets (4-3 overall, 1-1 in district). Also for coach Greg Winder’s squad, Gage Graham returned a blocked extra point kick for two points.
La Vega (5-2, 1-0) trailed 7-0 early in the second quarter, but reeled off 26 points in the final 10:06 going into halftime.
The Pirates racked up more than 400 yards in total offense but also benefitted from three interceptions — including one that was returned 93 yards for a touchdown that gave the Pirates the lead, 14-7, just four snaps after tying the game.
The contest marked Stephenville’s third this season against teams ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press 4A state poll. The Jackets came in ranked ninth while La Vega was fourth. Stephenville’s other two losses were to No. 2 Argyle and No. 6 Midlothian Heritage.
Next Friday, the Jackets will go on the road for their annual rivalry game against the Brownwood Lions (7 p.m. kickoff). The Lions (4-2 overall) won their district opener Friday on the road, 34-14 over Gatesville (1-1, 3-5 overall).
Gatesville will be idle this week before traveling to Stephenville to take on the Jackets. That will be the end of the regular season in the five-team district for the Yellow Jackets, whose open date will be Nov. 7. The top four teams in the final district standings advance to the playoffs.
Against La Vega, Lindsey gained 125 yards on five receptions overall, and Rountree had two catches for 30 yards.
Running back Krece Nowak led SHS in rushing with 84 yards on 16 carries.
Renfro had 155 yards passing, completing seven of 24 passes with three interceptions. He added 26 yards rushing.
After the scoreless opening quarter, Renfro connected with Lindsey for the 21-yard TD pass on the first play of the second quarter. That was set up by Pacen Parker’s fumble recovery for the Jackets at midfield with 30 seconds left in the first quarter. Chase Carrillo’s extra point kick gave SHS a 7-0 lead.
La Vega’s 93-yard interception return for its 14-7 lead put the Pirates ahead to stay. They added an 18-yard TD run later in the quarter, as well as a 60-yard scoring run at the 1:20 mark before going into intermission with a 26-9 lead.
The third quarter was also scoreless, but the Pirates added their final score on a 3-yard TD run to make it 32-9 on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Renfro’s 22-yard aerial TD to Routree with about six minutes left in the game produced the final 17-point margin. The Jackets attempted a two-point conversion, but a pass into the end zone fell incomplete.