MANSFIELD — Tyler Jones ran for four touchdowns and threw for another, leading Stephenville to a 42-32 victory over Kilgore in a Class 3A, Division I semifinal shootout at Vernon Newsom Stadium on Friday night.
Jones, the Yellow Jackets’ starting quarterback, who came into the contest with 3,257 yards passing and 37 touchdowns, scored on runs of 1-, 9-, 1- and 3-yards. Jones, an early commit to Texas State University was 17 of 25 passing for 293 yards and a touchdown, which covered 29 yards to Alex Sanchez with 1:59 remaining in the second quarter.
But, it was his leadership, directing a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive in 2:53 to Stephenville’s final touchdown to put the game out of reach, after Kilgore closed a 25-point deficit in the second period to just three points (35-32) with 5:08 remaining in the contest.
The win assures Stephenville a date in the Division I championship game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Friday against El Campo, a 29-25 winner over Carthage in the other Division I semifinal contest.
The Ragin’ Red used a 22-yard scoring strike from quarterback Cooper Coldiron to Aaron Foy to keep their chances alive. The two-point conversion pass from Coldiron to DaQuellan Scott put the Bulldogs right where they needed to be to have a chance at victory, trailing 35-32.
Jones also ran for 116 yards. He did suffer a pair of interceptions, though. The one to Q. Brewster didn’t hurt, but the other by middle linebacker A.J. Davis came in the fourth quarter and set the stage for Kilgore’s seven-play, 70-yard drive and score, which came with 5:08 left to play.
Kilgore’s touchdowns came on runs of 49 and four-yards by sophomore Kevrin Justice to go with a 70-yard sprint by Austin Jordan with a minute left in the second quarter.
Hector Peralez kicked a 29-yard field goal for the Bulldogs, but missed a 41-yarder on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Stephenville, which has won four state championships, used the hot hand of Jones to score on three of its first four possessions. He completed his first 10 passes for 120 yards.
Justice finished with 135 yards on 11 carries, and Jordan rushed for 131 yards on a dozen carries. Coldiron, a senior, finished his high school career with the Bulldogs, rushing for 55 yards on nine carries.
Coldiron was 10 of 15 passing for 128 yards and a touchdown.
Stephenville 42, Kilgore 32
Class 3A Division I Semifinal
At Vernon Newsom Stadium, Mansfield
Stephenville 21 14 0 7 — 42
Kilgore 7 10 7 8 — 32
STEPH — Tyler Jones 1 run (Luis Garcia kick), 9:51
STEPH — Jones 9 run (Garcia kick), 9:03
KIL — Kevrin Justice 45 run (Hector Peralez kick), 8:05
STEPH — Tyler Jones 1 run (Garcia kick) 4:18
KIL — FG Peralez 29, 4:29.
STEPH — Witt Westbrook 2 run (Garcia kick
STEPH — Jones 29 pass to Alex Sanchez (Garcia kick)
KIL — Austin Jordan 70 run (Peralez kick) 1:01
KIL — Kevrin Justice 4 run (Peralez kick), 6:41
KIL — Cooper Coldiron 22 pass to Aaron Foy (Coldiron pass to DaQuellan
STEPH — Tyler Jones 3 run (Garcia kick), 2:09
First Downs 26 25
Rushing Yards 33-18 149-370
Passing Yards 293 128
Passes (C-A-I) 17-25-2 10-17-0
Punts – Avg. 2-51.0 1-41.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-2
Penalties-Yards 5-40 7-42