By Caleb McCaig –
Stephenville blew by El Campo 70-35 to take the Division I 3A state championship Friday night at Cowboys Stadium.
In the first year since dropping down from 4A to 3A Stephenville didn’t miss a beat. They finished the season 13-1 with their only loss coming in week 0 against Monterrey Prepa Tech from Mexico. Friday’s win marked Stephenville’s fifth state title and their first since 1999.
Tyler Jones played outstanding, scoring nine touchdowns and accounting for over 500 total yards through the air and on the ground. Jones passed for 420 yards and five touchdowns, and ran for 125 yards and added another four touchdowns on the ground.
His favorite target, Brice Gunter, had nine receptions for 150 yards and three touchdowns. Jarrett Stidham also had an impressive game receiving the ball, hauling in four catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Runningback Witt Westbrook had 11 rushes for 75 yards and four receptions for 73 yards.
Stephenville started off quick scoring on three straight drives in the first quarter, taking a quick 21-0 lead. After an interception thrown by Tyler Jones that let El Campo back into the game after scoring and making it 28-21 in the second, Stephenville never gave El Campo another chance.. Stephenville scored on every possession in the second half and put up an impressive 70 points which was the most points Stephenville scored in a game all season.
El Campo quarterback Bryce Brandl was the Ricebird’s main weapon. He had 29 carries for 164 yards and three touchdowns. He went 8-12 in the air for 127 yards as well.
On the defensive side of the ball, Tyler Pettit had a pick six in the fourth quarter and Chase Varnado had 10 tackles including a sack.
In all Stephenville had 628 total yards, giving up only 398 to El Campo.