Lone Star Gridiron

Steele trips Heights

There was a notion, floated on Internet message boards, that the winner of Friday's District 27-4A finale between Steele and Alamo Heights would actually end up a loser in the long run.

That's because the “reward” for such a victory, a likely matchup with unbeaten Austin Lake Travis in the second round of the Class 4A Division I, didn't really seem like one.

Yet the second round of the playoffs was the last thing on the Knights' minds at Orem Stadium. Not with a first-round game to win before that, and especially not with a share of the first league title in school history to celebrate, thanks to their 49-31 victory.

“We're going to face them one way or another,” quarterback Jacob Trevino said. “Two weeks, four weeks, it doesn't matter.”

If his comment rang of teenage bravado, Trevino surely didn't intend it to. He chafed at even the slightest praise after outdueling the Mules' Oklahoma-bound quarterback, Drew Allen, with a career-high five touchdown passes to four different receivers.

Teammate Dedrin Jones had two fourth-quarter interceptions, returning the second 35 yards for a score that removed all doubt.

It was a textbook gut check by Steele (9-1 overall, 6-1 in district), which finished in a three-way tie with the Mules (7-3, 6-1) and Kerrville Tivy (8-2, 6-1) for the league championship.

Not only did the Knights rally from a 10-point deficit after blowing an early 11-point lead, but they shook off news earlier in the week that star running back Malcolm Brown would likely miss the rest of the season with a fracture in his foot.

If there was any hangover lingering from that bombshell, it was long gone by the fourth quarter, in which the Knights bludgeoned Heights 21-0.

“They're a very athletic, very good team,” Mules coach Don Byrd said. “We fought them tooth and nail for three and half quarters, we just couldn't make plays when we needed.”

Having rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat Kerrville Tivy last week, the Mules were hardly fazed after falling behind 14-3 in the first quarter.

Indeed, they were already in front by halftime, 24-21, thanks to a trio of touchdown drives fueled by Allen. As good as he was, not even he could offset a career performance by Trevino.

Three of his first four touchdowns — 63 yards to Sheldon McClain, 25 yards to Cameron Chandler and 22 yards to Anthony Foster — came on jump balls against Heights' undersized cornerbacks. The fifth, a 5-yarder to Cory Anderson, put the Knights ahead for good, 35-31 early in the fourth quarter.

“We've got great kids, and I just wake up every day feeling blessed that I get to coach them,” said coach Mike Jinks, whose team will play Jefferson in the first round. “Malcolm is a huge part of our football team. But we felt all year we've had a good team. I couldn't be prouder of those guys.”

By Dan McCarney - San Antonio Express-News

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