By BRAD KEITH
BIG SPRING (October 21, 2016) — Easton Jones rushed for three touchdowns then passed for three and Stephenville even scored on defense in a 52-27 win over Big Spring that will send the Yellow Jackets to the playoffs for the 26th time in 27 years.
Jones passed for 150 yards and rushed for 35 more, giving the junior quarterback a hand in 185 of the 297 yards of total offense for Stephenville, which also scored on a Ragan Wood 17-yard fumble return that set the tone in a dominant second half.
Stephenville was ahead 28-13 at halftime after Jones’ three rushing touchdowns and a highlight-reel leaping grab over a defender by Blake Aragon with one minute left in the second quarter.
Wood’s fumble return began with the senior linebacker snagging the ball out of mid air after a big hit by Blu Caylor caused a fumble. There was no one between Wood and the end zone as the Jackets extended their lead to 35-13 early in the third.
Jake Gillispe hit a 40-yard field goal before Jones tossed a 30-yard scoring strike to Aragon to open up a 45-13 lead after three quarters. Jones pitched one perfectly over the defense and right over the shoulder of Kyle Lindsey for the final Yellow Jacket score from 39 yards out less than two minutes into the fourth.
Krece Nowak may not have found the end zone, but the sophomore running back still had another big game for Stephenville. He set up the last score of the first half by gaining 58 yards on a screen pass on 3rd and 20, and had a 43-yard run in the third quarter on his way to rushing 20 times for 136 yards and catching four passes for another 62. He had 24 touches for 198 total yards.
Big Spring scored twice in garbage time, including an 80-yard screen play and an eight-yard quarterback keeper. The Steers finished with 381 total yards. The Steers looked as if they were going to cut into Stephenville’s lead on the final play of the first half, but a touchdown was called back for illegal man downfield on a pass play, and the untamed down that followed resulted in an interception by
Stephenville hosts Snyder next Friday as the Yellow Jackets work on improving their final seed in the district. The season finale a week later is at current district leader Abilene Wylie.