Improved Stephenville, Graham Teams Face Off In Battle Of 4A Unbeatens

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Photo: Blake Wood/

GRAHAM – All eyes are on Newton Field in Graham this Friday when the Steers host the Stephenville Yellow Jackets, with one of these high-profile teams receiving their first loss on the season. Both teams boast 4-0 records, but each has their own story this season.

Stephenville entered this contest last season 0-4, with losses to Cleburne, Springtown, Everman and Decatur. The Jackets have turned things around considerably however, now undefeated with wins against the same teams. As noted in last week’s game preview, Stephenville was led through their first three games by a powerful run offense, led by Krece Nowak’s 608 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground through three games. However it was the Jackets passing game and Easton Jones stealing the show in last week’s 41-20 win over Decatur. The senior signal caller was on point all game, finishing with 276 yards and five touchdowns, three of those in the first half. Stephenville’s defense is also well improved from last season, having now allowed an average of 18.5 points per game, compared to 2016’s 47 points per game allowed at this point.

Graham also improved on their season record, having entered this contest last season with a 2-2 mark. The Steers offense is firing on all cylinders, scoring an average of 53.5 points through four games including last week’s largest offensive output on the season, a 63-17 win over Burkburnett. Guiding the unit for another season is Tucker Horn, who already has an astounding 1,225 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season. Horn is joined in the backfield by Chase Gilmore, guiding the Steers run game with 760 yards and 12 touchdowns thus far.

Stephenville got the upper hand in last season’s contest, breaking their four game losing streak with a 55-28 win. However with both teams seeing much improvement from 2016 along with a venue change to Graham, is a different result in the cards? One important unit to keep an eye on is the Steers defense: Close games have been played against Brownwood and Wichita Falls Hirschi, but the defense was good enough to provide winning support. They’ll need to be extra stout this week however, as the firepower Stephenville’s offense boasts is tremendous.

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