By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
ALEDO (November 13, 2015) — Stephenville (4-6) rushed for six touchdowns, scored on defense and was in control from the onset in a 49-28 upset of Decatur (9-2) Friday night at Bearcat Stadium in Aledo.
The Yellow Jackets (4-6), winners of 11 consecutive bi-district playoffs, advance to the area round and face Levelland at 7:30 p.m. next Friday in Sweetwater. Decatur (9-1), which had won eight straight, saw its season end at the hands of Stephenville for the second straight season. The Yellow Jackets won 66-64 in triple overtime in the same round last year.
Mason Yoes and Matthew Chapman each rushed for three Stephenville touchdowns and Chapman almost topped 2o0 yards. They powered a Stephenville offense that took an SEC approach to the playoff, working primarily on the ground while fitting in an efficient 10-16 passing performance with no turnovers from sophomore quarterback Easton Jones.
The defense did the rest, with Cooper Wood causing a fumble that Sam Cannon returned for a touchdown, giving Stephenville a 14-0 lead after the offense took its initial drive down the field and scored on a 3-yard run by Yoes.
Stephenville stretched the lead to 28-0 by halftime, when Decatur had less than 100 yards of offense. The other first half touchdowns came on runs by Chapman.
Decatur showed life with touchdowns just moments apart around an onside kick, getting to 28-14 in the middle of the third. But even after a 3-and-out on the ensuing Stephenville possession, the Yellow Jacket defense would rise to the occasion again.
Trying to convert on fourth down, Decatur fumbled and Zoey Kendall came up with the ball, one of three Stephenville takeaways, the last coming on an interception by Yoes, who doubles as a linebacker, with Stephenville leading 49-21 and under three minutes to play.
Following the Kendall recovery, Stephenville marched to the Decatur 27 and Yoes scored from there, opening up a 35-14 lead. Yoes scored again following a Decatur touchdown before Chapman finished the Stephenville scoring.
Decatur finalized the tally with a meaningless score in the final minute.
It was the first playoff win as head coach for Greg Winder, though he’s been on staff for many post season victories at Stephenville. Since returning to SHS as offensive coordinator in 2008, he has helped the Yellow Jackets to a 23-6 playoff record.
Levelland, the second place finisher in 1-4A Division I, blasted Fabens Friday, 52-7.