STEPHENVILLE — Krece Nowak ran for two touchdowns, including an 80-yarder, and Stephenville beat Gatesville 31-3 on Friday at Tarleton Memorial Stadium.
Gatesville came into the game sporting a 1-1 record in 5-4A, Div. I after the Hornets defeated China Spring 29-25 on Oct. 19.
Gatesville’s defense played its heart out for much of the contest, but ultimately Stephenville made more plays offensively and outlasted the Hornets.
Gatesville got on the scoreboard first after a 32-yard field goal by Mason Johnson with 6:50 left in the first quarter. The kick capped off a 12-play, 61-yard drive that took more than five minutes off of the scoreboard. The drive featured a 37-yard pass from Preston Preciado to Tyler Lewis on a third-and-13 to keep the drive alive.
Late in the first quarter, Stephenville (6-3, 3-1) took over on its own 20-yard line. Nowak found a hole and took it the distance for 80 yards. The Yellow Jackets got back on the board with 7:18 left in the second quarter on a 4-yard run by Kason Philips. The extra point made the score 14-3 in favor of Stephenville.
Gatesville’s defense came up big in the first half, forcing two turnovers and two sacks. The two sacks came on consecutive plays, with Braden Luensmann and Martin Romero each recording half of a sack. Jim Hitchcock recorded a full sack.
The drive-ending turnovers were an interception by Zach Mueller and a fumble recovery by Kyle Stifflemire.
In the second half, Stephenville scored on three of its five offensive possessions. They scored touchdowns on a 16-yard run by Nowak and a 30-yard pass from Kade Renfro to Kyle Lindsey. Sandwiched between the two touchdowns was a 36-yard field goal by Chase Carrillo.
Offensively for the Hornets, Preciado was 14-of-27 for 167 yards. Mueller had nine rushes for 47 yards and four catches for 27 yards. Lewis finished with eight catches for 125 yards.
Gatesville (3-6, 1-2) will play its final 5-4A Div. I game of the season Friday against Waco La Vega at 7 p.m.