By BRAD KEITH
BROWNWOOD (June 11, 2016) — The third time is the charm for Stephenville, which qualified for the 7-on-7 football state tournament Saturday in Brownwood.
Junior quarterback Easton Jones hooked up with junior receiver Blake Aragon for the game-winning touchdown in overtime, and the Stephenville defense made a four-down stand to hold up the 38-32 victory over 2A Hawley. Linebacker Blue Taylor made the key play, breaking up a pass at the goal line on third down.
Stephenville had also won pools at state qualifier tournaments hosted by McGregor and Glen Rose, but dropped each of the state tournament play-in games.
Not this time though, with Stephenville almost winning in regulation. Jones tossed a long ball that Krece Nowak hauled in through contact for a first-and-goal situation late in regulation, but time expired before the Yellow Jackets could get off the next snap.
But Aragon found room in overtime, and Jones hit him up the seam, darting the ball right into the tall receiver’s hands. The extra-point conversion failed – something that has plagued Stephenville all summer – but the defense made that a non-factor with its four-down stand.
Stephenville was actually second in its pool, beating Andrews, 39-25, and Brady, 56-28, but losing to Graham, 46-44. The Jackets suffered from a case of the drops against Graham, watching two touchdowns and a game-tying 2-point conversion go in and out of receivers’ hands. Graham is 12-0 in state qualifier tournaments.