By BRAD KEITH
BRYAN (July 9, 2015) — Stephenville needed to win by 19 points in its pool finale Thursday to punch a ticket to the Division II championship bracket at the Adidas Texas 7v7 Championship at Veterans Park.
Thanks to 31 unanswered points to wipe out an early four-point deficit, the Yellow Jackets won by 21, defeating White Oak 45-24.
Stephenville, Yoakum and White Oak each went 1-2 in Pool A, which was won by 3-0 Navasota. But the 21-point win gave Stephenville the edge over Yoakum by three net points in games played between the tied teams, giving the Yellow Jackets the tie-breaker and the championship berth.
Championship bracket play begins at 9 a.m. Friday, also at Veterans Park.
Easton Jones hit Jace McLeroy for consecutive Stephenville touchdowns to begin the run. The first McLeroy TD put Stephenville back on top 21-18 after White Oak had scored 12 straight points.
A Zoey Kendall interception for Stephenville ended the first half, and after a defensive three-and-out to begin the new stanza, Jones found McLeroy on a deep ball and hit Darian Brown for the two-point conversion to open up a 29-18 advantage.
The fun was just beginning.
The teams traded stops before Jones hit running back Matthew Chapman for a TD and Josh Nowell for two points and a 37-18 lead, matching the margin Stephenville needed to move to the championship bracket.
But they still weren’t through.
The defense got off the field quickly again, and Jones and Brown hooked up for the fourth straight Yellow Jacket TD. After an injury timeout before the conversion Jones and Brown added more damage, scoring the 2-pointer for a 45-18 advantage.
White Oak scored on the final play of the game, and the meaningless conversion failed.
Jones fired six touchdown passes in the pool finale, overcoming a sluggish start to the tournament that saw him fire just five TDs and seven interceptions over the initial two games, a 54-18 loss to reigning UIL 4A Division I champ Navasota and a 19-7 defeat at the hands of Yoakum.
The early touchdowns went to Brown and Josh Nowell, giving the Jackets a 14-6 edge.
Stephenville’s opening round opponent will be determined soon. Stick with The Flash for details.
For more on the Navasota loss, click here. For more on the Yoakum defeat, click here.