Nowak ‘day to day’ following injury at Graham

Jackets welcome Lubbock Monterey for homecoming Friday

Krece Nowak races away for one of his 12 touchdowns this season. Nowak is labeled as day-to-day by head coach Greg Winder after suferring a deep bruise to the ribs during the first quarer of a game last week at Graham. || Photo by NATE BURAL


STEPHENVILLE (October 4, 2017) — Krece Nowak has 1,068 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns after playing basically four games and a quarter.

Truthfully, by sitting out most or all of the fourth quarter in the four season-opening wins by Stephenville, the junior running back has played less than that. But this week, Stephenville head coach Greg Winder isn’t sure Nowak will be playing at all.

Nowak suffered bruised ribs late in the first quarter at Graham last Friday. A Graham player was blocked into Nowak, who had just been tackled on his eighth carry of the opening period. He as slow to get up as coaches, athletic trainers and a doctor rendered aid. He jogged on the sideline before returning for two carries in the second quarter, but it was immediately clear he was not he same back who had 996 yards the opening four games of the season.

Nowak sat on the bench with a sweat top on in the second half last Friday. It was 14-14 after Stephenville scored a touchdown on the opening play of the second quarter to complete the drive during which the 861-yard rusher who also has 201 yards as a receiver, sustained the hit. Preston Langely was assessed a 15-yard penalty for a late hit, but the film later showed he had been blocked into the pile.


Graham took the lead on a safety late in the third period, returned the ensuing safety kickoff for a touchdown, then scored in the fourth quarter after a goal line stand by the Yellow Jacket defense was negated by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Steers (5-0) kept their perfect record intact, winning 30-14.

Stephenville head coach Greg Winder reported Tuesday that Nowak had not participated in a practice this week. The Yellow Jackets (4-1) are preparing to face 5A Lubbock Monterey (1-3) on homecoming night at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff Friday is set for 7:30 p.m.

“It’s day-to-day, and it will continue to be day-to-day with him until Friday,” said Winder.

If Nowak does not play Friday, he could potentially go three weeks without contact as Stephenville is idle next Friday before kicking off 3-4A Division I district competition at Brownwood on October 14.

Twice Nowak has topped 300 all-purpose yards in the opening five weeks. He lost two yards trying to get back into the game in the second quarter last Friday after cutting through the Steer defense for 72 all-purpose yards – 60 rushing – in the opening 11 minutes.

Lubbock Monterey has not enjoyed the same success as it did early last year, but the Plainsmen have played the same rugged schedule, this time falling to both its 6A opponents and to Abilene Wylie while defeated 5A Canyon Randall.

Stephenville owns two wins already over 5A opponents in Everman and Cleburne. The Jackets also defeated Decatur and Springtown before falling to Graham.



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