WICHITA FALLS -- Two of the top three teams in the state, according to the final Associated Press Class 3A poll, met in a Class 3A Division I state quarterfinal Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
No. 2 Abilene Wylie and No. 3 Stephenville did not disappoint.
It was a close game at the half, but in the end, the Bulldogs' defense just didn't have an answer for quarterback Tyler Jones and the Stephenville offense as the Yellowjackets pulled away in the second half for a 59-28 victory.
Stephenville (11-1) will meet Kilgore (11-1) in the state semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Newsom Stadium in Mansfield.
Jones' second-half scoring runs of 1, 2, and 8 yards, and a 7-yard touchdown pass to Chase Varnado allowed Stephenville to build a comfortable lead as the Yellowjackets' defense came alive after the half.
Jones finished the night with three touchdown passes, four rushing TDs, 323 yards passing and 78 yards on the ground.
Stephenville scored on every possession except for one in the game, while the defense allowed only one Wylie touchdown in the second half.
Preston Brown led Stephenville defensively, picking off a pass with 2:12 left in the third quarter. When Jones carried it in from 2 yards out the Yellowjackets had a 45-28 lead with 11:37 left in the game.
Witt Westbrook led Stephenville in rushing with 150 yards on 21 attempts. His final carry was a 1-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring with 1:26 left in the game.
Stephenville was able to hold Wylie (12-1) without a first down on the Bulldogs' first possession before marching downfield for a quick 7-0 lead.
Jones found Brice Gunter on a 3-yard slant to cap a seven-play, 61-yard drive, highlighted by a 31-yard reception by Gunter on the Yellowjackets' first play from scrimmage.
The only drive for either team that didn't end in a score in the first half was Wylie's opening drive and a Stephenville fumble with 4:07 left in the first half that led to Wylie's first lead of the game.
Stephenville was on the march when Sterling Bristow pounced on the loose ball at the Wylie 35.
Six plays later, Taylor Grant found Patrick Walker for a 7-yard scoring pass and a 22-21 Wylie lead with 1:07 left in the half.
The Yellowjackets drove from their own 23 to the Wylie 9 in the final 1:01 of the half.
They took a 24-22 lead when Luis Garcia connected for a 26-yard field goal as time expired.
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