It was a cold night for some Texas High School Playoffs but that didn’t stop the fireworks. The Anna Coyotes came into the match up undefeated (10-0), and one of the hottest teams in 4A-I. However the Stephenville Yellow Jackets are the defending champions and have something to prove too.
Anna High School would start out with the ball but both defenses came out to play early. After trading punts the Yellow Jackets finally were able to get some action going. Ryder Lambert would complete a deep shot down the field to Payton Poston to get Stephenville into Coyote territory. They wouldn’t be able to move the ball much from there and settled for a field goal with a little under five minutes left in the 1st quarter.
It wouldn’t take long for Anna to strike back though. Evan Bullock and Jacob Emmers would connect on a deep shot of their own but this one would get into the endzone. Less than 45 seconds later the Coyotes defense came down with an interception to really swing momentum their way. Star running back Jambres Dubar would then slide into the endzone to give the Coyotes 14-3 lead.
Both defenses started to take over from here. Ryder Lambert broke off a huge run to end the first quarter but immediately coughed up the ball while being sacked. Stephenville’s defense would return the favor, getting after Evan Bullock as well on the next drive. The next score wouldn’t come until the eight minute mark of the 2nd quarter.
Tate Maruska got the Yellow Jackets offense going with a huge 52-yard run. Ryder Lambert connected with Tristian Gentry to cap off the drive, and make it a 14-10 game. However Anna once again did not take long to respond.
Bullock & Emmers connected once again to immediately flip the field for Anna. A few plays later Sean Steens was able to catch a quick slant, spin himself out the way of a defender right into the endzone. Anna would attempt a 2-point conversion but fail, bringing the game to a 20-10 score. Not long after that Stephenville would find themselves moving down the field again. With a minute left before halftime Ryder Lambert scrambled for his life and found Maruska for the score.
Stephenville continued to build momentum by stopping the Coyotes at the goal line before halftime. They would get the ball to start the third quarter and score in less than three minutes. Ryder Lambert & Payton Poston would connect again on a deep shot, this one going for a touchdown. On the very next drive the Yellow Jackets defense punched loose the ball and forced a quick turnover.
Ryder Lambert continued his hot night and got the Yellow Jackets rolling with another completion to Poston. On the very next play though the Anna defense would catch Lambert slipping, and get a strip sack on the next play. Less than two minutes later the Coyotes would take a 26-24 lead with 2:45 left in the third quarter.
The Yellow Jackets wouldn’t go away easily though. Lambert moved the ball down the field once again, and connected on his 4th touchdown pass of the night with 10:30 left in the game. Sophomore Tristian Gentry punched in a two point conversion to give the Yellow Jackets a 32-26 lead. Jambres Dubar didn’t let Stephenville rest as he broke off a huge run as soon as Anna got the ball back. Just three minutes later Jacob Emmers would get into the endzone and give the Coyotes a 33-32 lead.
With just six minutes left the pressure was on Stephenville to at least get into field goal range. The Anna Coyotes had a different idea however. Jonathan Brown decided he wanted to go home, and called game with an INT to seal the game with 1:10 left on the clock. Evan Bullock would kneel out the rest of the clock and help the Coyotes advance to the 4A-I quarter-finals. Next week Anna will face off against another state champion from last season in China Spring High School.
Stephenville’s Ryder Lambert finished the night with 285 total yards, and four touchdown passes in their loss. Evan Bullock wrapped up the night with 289 passing yards along with two touchdowns. Both Jonathan Brown and Jacob Emmers finished the match up with over 100 yards receiving. Boise State commit Jambres Dubar finished with over 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns as well.