WICHITA FALLS, Texas— Though Pampa was in it throughout the second half, and Stephenville was penalized for more than 100 yards throughout the game, the scoreboard wasn’t as favorable to the Panhandle squad with the Yellow Jackets taking a 63-34 win Friday night at Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium.
Stephenville looked to take command of the contest early, jumping out to a quick 14-0 lead on a 45 yard toss from Easton Jones to Gage Graham, followed by a four yard scamper by Blu Caylor. It wasn’t quite over yet however, with Pampa tying the game at 14 just as quick, though the Jackets would regain the lead before the end of the opening quarter.
“We gotta fix that a little bit,” suggested Stephenville coach Greg Winder. “But our offense came back and scored so it was back and forth then. We finally got some stops, then our offense took over from there.”
It was all Stephenville in the second quarter however, beginning with a 63 yard pick-six by Zane Walker, followed shortly after by Caylor’s second score of the game after the Jackets recovered their kick close to the Pampa goal line.
The Harvesters made it a game through the third and fourth quarters however, giving the Jackets a tough challenge. Tucker Bridwell completed a 53 yard pass to Michael Villarreal to start the push, and a one yard rushing touchdown by Kaleb Caldwell rounded out the scoring, but it did not finish Pampa’s aggressive play; until an interception by Quentin Walker sealed the deal for the Jackets.
“We try to get some different folks in there to play different positions,” said Winder. “Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Give credit to Pampa though, they played a great game. They’re a well-coached football team.”
“Ultimately we have to finish better, in my opinion,” Stephenville quarterback Easton Jones remarked. “Yeah the scoreboard, we won, but if you want to go deep in playoff runs, you have to finish better.”
Jones turned in a decent performance as the Jackets signal-caller, throwing for 180 yards and four touchdowns.
“He’s been solid all year long, and he was again tonight,” boasted Winder. “He’s a perfectionist, he gets upset when he misses a couple throws or reads.”
“We played really well,” Jones said. “The offensive line blocked well, the receivers played well, did their jobs. We played good as a team.”
Walker’s interception capped off a tremendous night for the Stephenville backfield as well, with the sophomore’s pick being the last of four on the night.
With the touchdown by Caldwell in the third quarter, the Harvesters exceeded Graham’s 30 points in their week five win as the most points allowed by the Yellow Jacket defense in 2017, but in their final game of the season. Pampa ends their run with a 6-5 record, with a playoff win in now three straight years. Stephenville advances to the next round, and will take on the juggernaut Argyle Eagles at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield.
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