By BRAD KEITH
BROWNWOOD (October 20, 2017) — Stephenville burnt the ‘Wood for the first time in three tries but for the 18th time in their last 23 meetings Friday, riding four Easton Jones touchdown passes to an insurmountable lead in a 28-21 victory over archival Brownwood… How did Stephenville do it? Here’s your First Financial Bank First Flash from Gordon Wood Stadium:
First and foremost, Greg Winder and Easton Jones weren’t stubborn. Both head coach and quarterback know the easiest and safest way to beat opponents is to set Krece Nowak loose then play sound defense.
But just like they avoided to go straight to the air the moment Jones went in at QB for the fist time this season after his summer injury, this time, they didn’t beat their heads into a wall sticking with the run too long.
Brownwood was selling out to stop it, figuring its best chance to win was to stop Nowak on the ground and force Jones to beat them.
And so he did. In grand fashion none the less.
Over the end of the first and start of the second quarters, Jones and company needed exactly four plays to score four touchdowns, all their scoring for the night, and just enough to secure a huge win district win in 3-4A Division I. Jones went to Krece Nowak for the last 16 yards of one drive, then lit up Brownwood for one play touchdowns covering 77, 92 and 40 yards.
Just like that, Jones was 9-11 passing for 322 yards and 4 TDs to four different receivers at halftime. Yep, he took what the defense gave him. Prolifically so.
The second half was a battle of fruition, and when it came down to it, a big decision by Winder sealed it. On fourth and five from the Brownwood 36, Jones lined up to quick kick, except this time he dumped a little pas off to Kyle Lindsey, who didn’t force the issue but slid down to the turf with the first down then lined up to watch his QB take a knee to end the game.
Why did Stephenville win? My First Financial Bank First Flash thought after this one, is that even with some penalties and unforced errors in the second half, Stephenville won because Greg Winder made a lot of correct calls tonight, his quarterback did the same, the defense did what this defense does since Winder made the best decision of his head coaching career with the promotion to coordinator of Cody Moore, and in the end, they took what Brownwood gave them.
No Nowak, okay, we’ll hop on the jet waves and score points the fast way.
And just like that, Winder, Moore and the rest of his staff are celebrating his first head coaching victory over Brownwood, just as he helped Mike Copeland and Joseph Gillespie to their first head coaching wins against the Lions.
None of the seniors played up as freshmen, so that means it was every player’s first Battle of Highway 377 victory. So one other First Financial First Flash Thought – that must be one heck of a fun 60 or so mile bus ride up 377 back to the Ville tonight.
DE LEON 56, HAMILTON 14
The Bearcats kept it simple and did what head coach Yeager pleaded with them to – they took the Bulldogs seriously. After the third Kevin Yeager-to-Calvin Martin touchdown pass, I imagine Hamilton wished the Bearcats had looked so ar past theym they couldn’t find Kooken Field.
STEPHENVILLE FAITH 65, IREDELL62
Stephenville FAITH has managed to come up with some adversity on its schedule but has also managed to persevere and keep its perfect record intact. Now that it’s in hindsight, I assure you head coach Nic Braun will say it was the best thing for them, it was just what they needed, etc..But one thing he won’t convince me of, is that he foresaw falling behind 18 late in the third and end up catching the Dragons and then needing a stop at the other end. It was 54-36 Iredell. I just don’t get what you have to do to put this FAITH team down.
HICO 42, VALLEY MILLS 6 Mismatch all day here .Tigers are just too fast and furious as the directional-less Eagles.
EASTLAND 42, DUBLIN 3
The Lions shoot themselves in the foot too much to get rolling for very long, and it’s a shame, because there have ben glimpses this season of the ability to awfully strong. Not with an Eastland freshman rushing for more than 150 yards and three touchdowns.