The playoff-bound Stephenville Yellow Jackets closed out their regular season and District 5-4A Division I football play by dominating Gatesville, 31-3, Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Coach Greg Winder's squad improved to 6-3 overall and finished their four-team district slate at 3-1.
While Stephenville’s offense was scoring at least seven points in each quarter, it was the lowest point total allowed by the defense so far this season. After the Hornets claimed a 3-0 lead early, the Jackets responded with five unanswered scores.
“That defense came out and (bent) a little bit but they didn’t break,” Winder said. “The first half offensively we were struggling a little bit, so we went back to running the football.”
SHS defensive coordinator Cody Moore said, “We were getting them in long yardage on early downs and making them throw and that was playing into our hand.”
Stephenville's bi-district playoff for is yet to be decided, but could be either 4-4 Fort Worth Dunbar or 5-4 Lake Worth. Those two teams are currently tied for third place in District 6-4A Division I at 3-2 in the seven-team district behind Kennedale and Benbrook, and have one district game remaining.
The Jackets’ open date on their district schedule comes this week, followed by the start of the playoffs the following week.
In the meantime, the Jackets earned a day off from practice on Monday before getting back at it Tuesday.
“We’ll give them some time off and get healed up and get rested,” Winder said.
Against Gatesville, the Jackets got two touchdowns from running back Krece Nowak, and quarterback Kade Renfro threw a pair of touchdown passes.
Also for SHS, receiver Kyle Lindsey caught a TD pass and running back Kason Phillips ran for another. Chase Carrillo added a 35-yard field goal for the Jackets.
After Gatesville’s 32-yard field goal at the 6:50 mark in the first quarter, the Jackets closed out the quarter with some fireworks when Nowak sprinted 80 yards for his first TD of the game for a 7-3 lead.
Phillips carried on a 4-yard TD run to give the Jackets a 14-3 edge at the 7:18 mark in the second quarter.
The Jackets went up 21-3 with 10:59 remaining in the third quarter on a 16-yard TD run by Nowak.
Shortly after a 6-yard TD pass from Renfro to Nowak was called back because of a holding penalty against the Jackets, Carrillo kicked his 35-yard field goal. That gave SHS a 24-3 advantage
With 11:17 remaining in the fourth quarter, Lindsey hauled in a 25-yard TD pass from Renfro. Carrillo’s extra point kick produced the final 28-point margin.
Renfro was efficient, completing 15 of 17 pass attempts for 163 yards with one interception.
Nowak was the team’s leading rusher with 126 yard on 11 carries.
Gavin Rountree topped the SHS receiving corps with 53 yards on four catches. Lindsay was next with 45 yards on four receptions.
Gatesville fell to 1-2 in district and 3-6 overall.