Lessons learned may be turning into victories earned for the Stephenville High School Yellow Jackets.
Coach Sterling Doty’s squad handed Class 5A Division I Georgetown (3-1) its first loss of the season, holding on for a 28-21 win over the Eagles.
With the triumph, the Yellow Jackets closed out non-district play with a 3-2 season record. After their open date this week on their schedule, they will begin District 5-4A Division I play on Oct. 11 at China Spring (2-3). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The open week comes at a good time for Doty’s crew, after two offensive linemen suffered injuries in the first quarter of the Georgetown game. Both center Caleb Smith (knee) and offensive tackle Damian Meza (ankle) were scheduled to doctor visits this week. Their status for getting back on the practice field is not yet known.
Not only was Friday’s road battle the Homecoming game for Georgetown, the intensity of their players no doubt was also amped up by the memory of losing to the Jackets by a 48-8 margin last year in Stephenville’s Homecoming.
The schedule is extremely tough, but at least Doty knows that his players should be ready for anything in district play.
“All the lessons learned the first four weeks came back up, and we were able to make plays,” Doty said. “We beat a really good team at their field. Our kids matched that intensity, and we were able to come out winning.”
The Yellow Jackets had lost their season opener to Argyle, then defeated a pair of Class 5A schools — Everman and Abilene Wylie. The Jackets then lost the following week to Midlothian Heritage.
SHS scored one touchdown in each quarter and after falling behind 13-7 they scored twice to go on top 28-13 early in the fourth stanza.
Georgetown scored to cut the margin to 28-21, and after a field goal miss by SHS the Eagles took possession of the ball at their own 20 with hopes of pulling out a miracle Homecoming win.
Then, on second-and-10 from their own 32, Stephenville defensive lineman Daniel Luna sacked Georgetown’s quarterback, and one play later the game clock expired.
SHS quarterback Kade Renfro recorded 363 yards in total offense against Georgetown, passing for 275 yards and running for a team-high 88 yards. He completed 21 of 29 passes with two touchdowns, and was intercepted once. Renfro scored on a 17-yard TD run that gave the Jackets a 21-13 lead with 9:20 to go in the third quarter.
Receiver Gavin Rountree not only had 99 receptions on four catches for SHS, he also threw a 40-yard scoring pass to Trace Morrison, who had 74 yards rushing on four carries.
That was on the game’s first play from scrimmage, after Morrison made an onside kick on the opening kickoff. Bryson Dill recovered the onside kick, and the Jackets then set up shop at the Georgetown 40-yard line to set up the early offensive strike.
Kason Philips rushed for 75 yards on eight carries, and scored on a 15-yard pass from Renfro.
Defensive leaders in the Georgetown game for SHS included Quentin Walker with 13 tackles (five solo), Trace Morrison with 10 (six solo), Austin Stidham with eight (five solo); and Colton Accomazzo with eight (three for a loss, four solo).
Waco La Vega — The defending state champion Pirates finished non-district at 4-1, with their only loss being a 49-35 setback against top-ranked Argyle (4-0). La Vega, ranked third in the state by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine, is coming off a 54-14 win over Midllothian Heritage.
Brownwood — The 5-0 Lions moved up from ninth in the state to No. 8 after beating Brock, 10-0. Their season opener was a 70-3 massacre of Snyder.
China Spring — China Spring is 2-3 on the season after being outscored by Liberty Christian, 58-56 last week.
Gatesville — The Hornets are still looking for their first win of the season, at 0-5. They are coming off a 59-0 loss to 10th-ranked Lampasas.