BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
Stephenville’s defense nabbed five takeaways with Blu Caylor returning an interception for a touchdown and Nathan Diedrich recovering a fumble for another score in a 48-8 win over previously unbeaten 5A Georgetown Friday night.
The win earned the Jackets a 3-2 preseason record heading into a much-needed bye week. The annual Heart of Gold Game benefitted 3-year-old Lauren “Lolo” Loredo whose was family was given the proceeds of T-shirt sales prior to the game.
A Gage Graham punt return of Georgetown’s first possession set up Stephenville’s first score of the evening with a field goal from Chase Carillio and a 3-0 lead. The two teams then traded punches through the rest of the first quarter before Georgetown took an 8-3 lead in the second quarter.
Stephenville quickly responded on a third-down play with Kade Renfro scrambling away from a defender and creating enough time for running back Krece Nowak to separate himself to be open for a 65-yard touchdown.
From that point on it was all Yellow Jackets as Renfro directed another drive inside the Georgetown red zone and found Gavin Rountree for an 8-yard touchdown. A bad snap on the extra point attempt was just a minor bobble as Renfro found Zane Walker for two points and an 18-8 lead for the Jackets
Linebacker Blu Caylor then got into mix returning an interception 45 yards for a score and then he was used as a decoy on the Jackets’ Hammer-Time Package on a 4th-and-short play. Instead of hammering Renfro kept the ball and found a wide-open Walker for a 56-yard touchdown.
“We played very well both on offense and defense tonight,” coach Greg Winder said. “This was a great game for us especially with the preseason schedule we have played. We battled in every one of them.”
The defense’s second score of the game came after Trace Morrison boomed a 65-yard punt to bury the Eagles inside their own five-yard line. A bad snap and a blitzing Nathan Diedrich spelled six points for the Jackets when he covered the ball in the end zone. Diedrich also had an interception on the night for two total takeaways.
A sustained drive in the fourth quarter was capped by a Kason Phillips three-yard score and Chase Carillio’s 25-yard field goal rounded out the scoring at 48-8.
Winder pointed out Renfro his junior quarterback played pretty well after getting a few more snaps under center this week.
“We were a little worried about his nerves but he did a fantastic job out there when he settled down,” Winder said.
Settled down might be an understatement as Renfro completed 15 of his last 17 passes and finished 17-21-0 for 229 yards and three touchdowns. He also targeted seven different receivers.
“I have never seen anything like our defense when it comes to scoring,” Winder said. “They are special and they are all out there doing their jobs and backing each other up.”
The defense has now scored in five straight games and has a total of six touchdowns. The Jackets get a much needed week off next Friday and will return to action Oct. 12 for the Hall of Fame Game which also opens District 5A play against China Spring at 7 PM.
Passing–Kade Renfro 17 – 21 – 0-229 yards – 3 TD
Rushing–Krece Nowak 16 carries – 67 yards, Kason Philips 7 carries – 33 yards – 1 TD, Kade Renfro 1 carry – 12 yards, Gavin Rountree 3 carries – 40 yards
Receiving— Kyle Lindsey 1 reception – 22 yards, Gavin Rountree 2 receptions – 19 yards – 1 TD, Krece Nowak 5 receptions – 76 yards – 1 TD, Caden Cowan 2 receptions – 4 yards, Zane Walker 3 receptions – 71 yards – 1 TD, Trace Morrison 4 receptions – 37 yards.