BACK TO STATE: Yellow Jacket 7-on-7 grinds way past Glen Rose for state tourney spot



GATESVILLE/MCGREGOR (May 20, 2017) — After tossing 93 pitches while seeing his junior season on the baseball diamond come to an end Friday night, Easton Jones jumped right back onto the gridiron and passed for 19 touchdowns without a turnover in 7-on-7 football Saturday.

Jones led the Yellow Jackets to four straight wins and berth in the 7-on-7 state tournament for the 13th time.

It came down to neighbors Stephenville and Glen Rose in one of two state tournament play-in games. There were four pools of four teams each and the pool winners finished in the state championship qualifying games.

Interceptions by Blue Caylor, Chase Carrillo Mason Holstein and three goal line stands including at the 1-yard line when the clock expired to end the first half allowed the offense time to get settled in.

And once Jones was ready, so was Blake Aragon, who lately has gotten used to the spotlight, having won the 4A boys high jump championship at the UIL State Meet. He didn’t need to float over any bars to score the final two touchdowns, first bringing the Jackets within 13-12 after Glen Rose had handed them their only deficit of the tournament, then giving Stephenville the lead for good on his fifth TD catch at the event.

Glen Rose brought its defense to the party, too, making two four-down stands at their 3-yard line in the opening half in Gatesville, site of the finals and one pool.

Stephenville led 6-0 after a slow, physical opening half by touch football standards. The Tigers bounced back following their disappointment near the Stephenville goal line that left hem scoreless in the opening half, using a methodical drive to tie the game at 6-6.


Then they got a stop and seemed to have all the momentum until Holstein snagged the lone turnover of the qualifying contest and the the offense quickly followed with Aragon hauling the first of his two pivotal second half scoring passes from Jones.

Kyle Lindsey put the Jackets on the board with the last of his team-leading seven TD catches in the tournament, but the conversion was no good and neither team scored again until Glen Rose took the lead in the second half.

Lindsey had six prior TDs, helping lead the Jackets past China Spring, 32-20, Hillsboro 46-16, then McGregor, 45-32.

Holstein scored three touchdowns for the Jackets, Kade Averhoff two, Nowak two, Zane Walker one and Victor Moreno one.

Jones tossed 5 TDs against China Spring, a 2016 4A Division I semifinalist, and Stephenville led 32-12 when Jones and some other starters checked out. Gage Graham, Kasee Bouchey and Holstein each intercepted China Spring passes to highlight another strong defensive effort.

Jones and others were on the bench again after four TDs – two to Lindsey – made it 27-0 over Hillsboro. Graham helped put the finishing touches on that one with an interception return for Stephenville’s only defensive TD of the day coming between two Tyler Schouten touchdown passes, one to Holstein and the other to Zane Walker.

Aragon was at his best when the Yellow Jackets were fighting for breathing room in their all-important pool finale against pool host McGregor.

It was tight much of the first half and tied 6-6 before Jones and Aragon hooked up on three consecutive possessions for a 25-13 lead. McGregor did trim it quickly to 25-20, but Stephenville scored on the final play of the half when Jones found Lindsey in the end zone. They hooked up again to make early in the second half, then Jones put it away with a TD to Nowak that made it 20 straight points and a 45-20 lead.

The Jackets completed the day with seven interceptions – two each by Graham and Holstein and one each from Carrillo, Caylor and Kasee Bouchey.

Stephenville first played in the 7-on-7 state tournament in 1998, when the wide open, half field touch version of its 11-man big brother was still in rudimentary form. The Jackets did not return until 2005, but since then have been every year except 2011, their last summer in Division I of the late spring and summer sport.

Dublin competed in the four-site event despite there not being a true Division II bracket to qualify through, The Lions dropped tight contests to Mabank and Whitney then finished with a loss to Midlothian Heritage.


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