Stephenville Yellow Jackets scored two touchdowns in the last 30 seconds of the first half to take an unsurmountable 31-14 lead over the visiting Salado Eagles Sept. 10, the second coming on a kickoff that rolled into the endzone and was recovered by Ben Kirbo. The Yellow Jackets went on to win in convincing fashion 48-21.
Prior to that, though, the teams seemed evenly matched as the Eagles scored on their opening drive of eight plays with quarterback Hutton Haire bulling in from the 1 yard line to cap the 82-yard drive. Daniel Chtay kicked the point after. A 54-yard run by Seth Reavis, tackled by Bradley Beaty at the Stephenville 7 yard line to prevent the touchdown set up the touchdown at 7:43 in the first.
Salado kicked to Stephenville and after Ryder Lambert hit Kyler Eudy in the backfield for a screen, the Salado defense swarmed on Eudy’s fumble to take over at their own 47 yard line. Stephenville stiffened its defense and forced Salado to punt.
The Jackets then combined passes by Lambert and runs by Tate Marusk for an 11 play drive culminating in a 20 yard strike by Lambert to Coy Eakin with 2:31 left in the first. Corbin Poston knotted the score at 7-7 with his kick.
The Eagles were stifled again and punted from their own 30 yard line. Lambert found Eakin for a 41 yard touchdown pass with 10:41 left in the first and Poston’s kick gave the Jackets their first lead of 14-7.
Salado drove from their own 23 to the Stephenville 34 yard line where a fourth down pass by Haire went incomplete. Stephenville took over and settled for a 23 yard field goal and a 17-7 lead with 3:31 left in the half.
Three touchdowns were scored over the next 200 seconds, following a touchback on the ensuing kick. Caden Strickland punched the ball for 5 yards before Reavis scampered through the defense before they knew where he was and sprinted for a 70 touchdown with 2:51 left in the first half. Chtay closed the gap to 17-14.
Lambert used his arm and legs — and two timeouts — to get to the Eagle 13 yard line and then found Kallan Kimbrough for a touchdown with 36 seconds left in the half. Poston made it 23-14. He then kicked the ball behind the Salado receivers who watched it stop at the goal line and then tried to get to it before Kirbo fell on it in the end zone for a nail in the coffin of Salado, taking the halftime lead of 31-14.
After forcing the Jackets to a three-and-out series to open the second half, Salado drove to the Jackets’ side of the field, where they coughed up the ball at the 35 yard line.
The Jackets took 10 plays to drive 65 yards, scoring on Lambert’s 12 yard pass to Julian Iribarren with 4:13 to go in the third. Poston’s kick gave Stephenville a 38-14 lead.
The Eagles drove to the Jacket 18 yard line but could not convert the opportunity, turning it over on downs with 18 seconds left in the third. Eleven plays later, Lambert hit Reece Elston for a 17 yard touchdown and Poston made it 45-14.
Poston put the final nail in the coffin at 4:09 left in the game with his 46 yard field goal to go up 48-14.
Salado scored the final touchdown, driving 67 yards in 10 plays, capped by Reavis’s 3 yard touchdown dive with 23 seconds left to play. Chtay booted the point after.
Salado had 379 yards total offense while Stephenville had 439 yards, 341 of them from Lambert’s arm, which was good for 26-of-35 and five touchdowns.
Haire was five-of-10 passing for 56 yards. Seth Reavis led Salado with 171 yards on 10 attempts and 2 TDs.