Stephenville completes comeback with 4 seconds left against Big Spring

Posted Friday, Nov. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Defending state champion Stephenville drove 65 yards in less than 30 seconds in a 47-36 comeback victory over Big Spring on Friday at Wylie Bulldog Stadium.

Jarrett Stidham hit BJ Walker on a 21-yard touchdown pass on second-and-11 to put the Yellow Jackets up 41-36 with 4 seconds left. The Yellow Jackets returned a Big Spring lateral on the last play of the game for the final score.

“As soon as I threw it, I was like, ‘I overthrew him. I overthrew him. Plain and simple.’” Stidham said of his game-winning pass. “I couldn’t believe it happened. It was crazy.”

Stephenville will play the winner of Saturday’s Lubbock Cooper-Burnet game in the Class 3A Division I state quarterfinals next week. If Cooper advances, it and Stephenville will play in Abilene. A site and time has not been determined if Burnet wins.

The Yellow Jackets began their game-winning play trailing by two with 10 seconds left. Coach Joseph Gillespie said the plan was to go for the end zone once, and if it failed, try for the field goal, which would have been around 38 yards into a stiff south wind.

“We’ve been in these situations before — this isn’t our first rodeo,” Gillespie said. “The kids understood we’ve got time for one play in the end zone. You’re either going to throw it for the [touchdown], or you’ve got to throw it out of bounds as fast as you can.”

The Yellow Jackets, whose only loss this year has been to Class 4A No. 1 Aledo on Sept. 6, came close to elimination when Big Spring quarterback Tobyn Tannehill — brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill — scored on a 1-yard run with 35 seconds left.

Tannehill finished with 153 yards rushing and two scores.

But it was Stidham who rallied the Yellow Jackets on their final drive, completing a pass to Walker for 33 yards on the first play of the possession and running it for 12 yards on the next play. Stidham, who holds 12 FBS offers, finished 17-of-23 passing for 390 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

“He’s special,” Gillespie said of his quarterback. “I mean, he really is. But, you know, there’s 10 others out there playing with him that gave him an opportunity.

Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @RyanOsborneFWST

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