Flash staff report
September 12, 2023
The Stephenville Yellow Jackets (2-1) will be hosting Abilene Wylie (1-2) this week after a wild win last Friday night (and Saturday morning) in Decatur.
The game was delayed for several hours due to the storm that blew in and was finally finished around 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning. But for those who stayed, the Yellow Jackets made it worth the wait with a wild come-from-behind victory, 56-55, over the Decatur Eagles (0-3).
The Eagles came out swinging, scoring twice in the first quarter. Their defense was able to shut Stephenville out of the red zone altogether in the first. And it looked like more of the same in the second with Decatur scoring on a 77-yard pass within a minute of the second quarter starting.
However, the Yellow Jackets were able to score on a 27-yard pass from junior quarterback Ryan Gafford to junior Tristian Gentry. From there, it was back-and-forth scoring and at halftime, the score was Decatur 35, Stephenville 21.
During halftime there was a lightning delay as the storm worsened and word in the crowd was the game would be called due to weather and Decatur would be declared the winner. But after several hours both teams returned to the field and resumed play in the pouring rain. The final score was a nail-biting, 56-55, in Stephenville’s favor.
Gafford went 14 of 32 for the 412 yards. His two main targets were Gentry with eight catches for 252 yards and 4 touchdowns and senior Noah Bullion with six catches for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the ground, senior Tate Maruska led the charge with 145 yards and 2 touchdowns in 19 carries. Gafford carried the ball 12 times for 57 yards and Gentry ran the ball once for 30 yards.
On defense, seniors Rowdy Markland (16 tackles), Hyson Foreman (12) and Wesley Griffin (12) were aided by a host of sophomores. Hudson Butchee had 13 tackles including one for loss, Kolton Dearth had 10 and 3 for lost yards and Briar Floyd had 10 tackles and one for loss.
The Yellow Jackets are now looking to continue the winning streak when they host the Abilene Wylie Bulldogs at Tarleton’s Memorial Stadium on Friday at 7:30 p.m.