By BRAD KEITH
Photos by RUSSELL HUFFMAN
ABILENE (November 28, 2014) — Stephenville fans had to wonder if they had seen the last of Under Armour All-American quarterback Jarrett Stidham after he suffered a broken hand on the opening drive of a 64-57 loss at Big Spring on October 24.
The Yellow Jackets met Big Spring again Friday, and a week after his dazzling nine-touchdown return, Stidham helped his team avenge the regular season loss with a 59-32 rout of the Steers in a 4A Division I regional semifinal at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene.
Stidham accounted for 453 yards and seven touchdowns. He was 15-20 passing for 277 yards and four TDs while rushing 14 times for 173 yards and another three scores. In his last two games, Stidham has accounted for 975 yards and 16 TDs. For the season, he is responsible for 48 scores and one turnover.
Kaegun Williams became Stephenville’s all-time touchdown leader as a sophomore. He scored his 50th career TD, breaking the mark held by 2009 graduate Brad Mills. Williams had 132 yards rushing and 130 receiving. His biggest play was a 65-yard reception from Stidham that highlighted a 99-yard second-quarter TD drive into the teeth of a stiff south wind.
Stephenville had 595 total yards, averaging 11.2 yards per snap. The Jackets have amassed 1,909 total yards and 194 points over three playoff games.
With the offensive line providing more than ample throwing time, Stidham hit Austin Stufflebean four times for 75 yards and three TDs. Darian Brown also had four receptions.
The offense stole the headlines, but the Stephenville defense did more than its part, forcing two turnovers on fumbles, sacking Tobyn Tannehill three times while harassing him all afternoon and limiting Big Spring to half the points it scored when the teams met in district play.
Stephenville head coach Joe Gillespie was previously 0-4 in playoff rematches against regular season opponents. Stephenville improved to 7-6 all-time in playoff rematches.
Another rematch could loom ahead. Stephenville faces the winner of Graham and Abilene Wylie in next week’s regional championship and state quarterfinal. That game will be played at 7:30 p.m. Friday and will be in Mineral Wells if it’s against Graham or in Brownwood if it’s against Wylie.
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