SAN MARCOS – Maybe it was the sudden swift breeze and cold front coming through on Friday night as the temperatures dropped to the sub 50s, but it took some time for both the Cibolo Steele Knights and Austin Vandegrift Vipers to warm up in tonight’s area round matchup at San Marcos’ Rattler Stadium.

Just a single field goal kick, a 30-yarder in the second quarter by Steele’s Matthew O’Brien made it’s way on the first half scoreboard, with the game appearing wide open to start the second.

Apparently the Knights warmed up over halftime, while the Vipers didn’t do as much to improve their chilling 25 first half yards, followed by 61 in the second, leading to a 17-0 rout by Steele.


“I feel like it’s just our mentality, like we’re not trying to go home especially in the playoffs. We just know we have to play for each other, for our brothers,” Steele receiver CJ Williams said.

Williams did just that on the Knights’ first trip into the end zone.

On a seven play, 71 yard drive in the third quarter, Steele found success on the ground and through the air. Brenden Brady had two runs for 19 yards, and Xavier Martin was able to move the ball on a keeper, but most of the success came from three consecutive passes from Martin to Williams, a duo that has played together since they were kids.

When Steele got into the red zone, Martin looked Williams’ way again and found the senior receiver in the end zone for a 20 yard touchdown.

Steele WR CJ Williams. (Photo by Frank De Leon.)
Steele WR CJ Williams. (Photo by Frank De Leon.)

Vandegrift tried to answer back, but Steele’s defense got into the backfield quickly to limit quarterback Alex Fernandes to short keepers for minimal yardage.

Late in the fourth quarter, Steele turned to Brady again, but it was Travell Lumpkin who would score the final touchdown for the Knights from two yards away with 3:41 remaining in the game.

The Knights put the exclamation point on the win with a late interception on a deep throw by Fernandes.

For the Vipers, Fernandes finished his senior campaign with 60 yards passing and 10 rushing.

Brady led all rushers with 160 yards, followed by Lumpkin with 65. Xavier Martin bounced back from a rough outing last week and passed at a blistering 78 percent completion percentage for 119 yards and one touchdown. Williams finished with 78 receiving yards and one touchdown.

“It just feels great that it’s not my last senior game. We’re just one step closer to reaching our goal of winning state,” Williams said.

With the win, the Knights move on to the regional round for the seventh consecutive visit. They will play against the winner of tomorrow’s matchup between Del Rio and Weslaco East.

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Michael is the founder and editor of ProjectSpurs.com. He has a long history in journalism, sports and online media. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others.

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