Big Country Rewind: Stephenville mounts comeback to beat Argyle 21-17

Carson Field
Abilene Reporter-News

The Yellow Jackets needed all 48 minutes of game time on Friday, but Stephenville is still headed to the 4A Division I Region II championship.

The Stephenville High School Yellow Jackets are the Regional Semifinal Champs after defeating the 2020 state champion Argyle Eagles, 21-17, on Friday.

Stephenville ended the game on a 21-3 run to beat Argyle 21-17 in the regional semifinals. It breaks the Yellow Jackets’ two-year streak of losing to Argyle in the playoffs.

Argyle began the game hot, scoring twice in the first quarter. But in the next three quarters, the Eagles couldn’t find much offensive life, scoring just three points the rest of the game. 

Stephenville’s offense wasn’t as explosive as usual, but it did what it needed to do. Ryder Lambert found wide receiver Coy Eakin on a 2-yard completion on the Yellow Jackets’ final possession to clinch the four-point win.

Their last two games have been their closest of the season, and the road doesn’t get easier. Stephenville faces Melissa (11-2) in the region final.

The Cardinals have won 11 games in a row after back-to-back losses to begin the 2021 season. Melissa beat Argyle 21-0 in the regular season, to put it in perspective.

Stephenville will be the home team and Melissa the visitor in the Regional Final scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday, Dec. 3, at Pennington Field (HEB), 1501 Central Drive, Bedford.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and are available for purchase online at https://hebisd.hometownticketing.com/embed/all

2021 football guidelines for visitors at Pennington Field include:

• No re-entry allowed

• No outside food and drink

• No backpacks or oversized bags, only small clutches or clear bags

All sales are online only and are final. There will be no walk-up sales at the stadium.

Dublin falls to dominant Gunter

Gunter’s offense proved too volatile for Dublin in the third round. The defending 3A Division II champions cruised to a 62-20 win in the regional semifinals, ending Dublin’s impressive run.

Field

Dublin held its own in the early stages, trailing 13-7 in the second quarter. But midway through that period, Gunter’s offense sparked and ran away from the Lions for good.

Chris Teten, Dublin’s quarterback, did well in defeat, throwing three touchdown passes. But his arm wasn’t enough to keep Dublin competitive, as Gunter’s Hut Graham logged video-game numbers in the win.

The loss comes after Dublin’s back-to-back wins over Callisburg and Palmer to open the playoffs. The Lions ended the regular season with a disappointing loss to Eastland but showed real fight in the playoffs, going further than anyone else from District 5-3A Division II.

Dublin’s final record is 9-4 overall, 3-2 district. 

Strawn wins Gordon grudge match

Strawn and Gordon squared off in a six-man battle of neighbor schools — just 8.3 miles separate the towns.

It was a grudge match, as Strawn beat Gordon 83-38 in the regular season. Their second meeting was much like the first.

Strawn ran away with a 66-16 win to advance to the state semifinals. The Greyhounds clinched a mercy rule with three minutes left in the third quarter. 

They entered the playoffs ranked No. 2 in the 1A Division II rankings and are now 13-0 overall. With the loss, the Longhorns finished the season 10-3.

In the semifinals, Strawn will face Richland Springs. The Coyotes are 10-1 and have scored 759 points this season. 

Celina crushes Snyder

The Tigers’ “Cinderella” run came to an end in round three. Snyder fell 46-6 to a one-loss Celina team in the regional semifinals. 

Snyder’s offense was unable to move against Celina’s stout defense, posting just 118 total yards as a team. Meanwhile, the Bobcats didn’t have much trouble offensively, rushing for 268 yards. 

Ball control was also an issue for the Tigers, who turned it over four times — three interceptions and one fumble. This gave Celina an early advantage, as the Bobcats led 39-0 at halftime.

Hunter Stewart threw the Tigers’ lone touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Stewart completed seven of 21 pass attempts for 63 yards.

Though not the way Snyder wanted its season to end, it was a memorable year for the Tigers. Many outlets picked them to finish last in District 1-4A Division II, but they placed third in the district and went three rounds deep in the playoffs. Their final record was 9-4.

Celina (11-1) will face Aubrey in the regional final. 

Motley beats Jayton again

Jayton met a juggernaut in its regional final game and couldn’t pull off an upset. The Jaybirds lost 60-8 to a 13-0 Motley County squad in round three.

The Matadors won the game at halftime via mercy rule, holding a 52-point lead. They scored 46 points in the second quarter en route to the landslide win.

The Jaybirds’ loss was just their second of the season. Their only other loss? Motley County on Nov. 5 in the district title game.

Even after the lopsided playoff loss, 2021 was still a successful campaign for Jayton, who finished the season 11-2 overall. The Jaybirds earned impressive wins over Loraine, Benjamin and Knox City, among others. 

Motley County, still undefeated, will face Klondike in the 1A Division I state semifinals.

Carson Field is the area sports reporter for the Abilene Reporter-News. He covers primarily Big Country high school sports. If you appreciate locally driven news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to reporternews.com.