Cibolo Steele and San Antonio Churchill set to square off in the Alamodome

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Photo via USA TODAY High School Sports

 

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In a town predominately known for its prowess in the NBA spectrum, the eyes of the Alamo City will be predominately fixed on the titanic matchup between two of the San Antonio areas best in Cibolo Steele and San Antonio Churchill. It’s a tale of two different stories for these teams with Head Coach Ron Harris’ Churchill team, who didn’t even win their district title, but now find themselves one win away from the state semifinal. Steele, a stalwart come this time of year are looking to bring state glory back after reaching the state semifinals in four of the past five seasons. With a multitude of star talent, outstanding coaching staffs, and storied programs past and present, here are a few things that will surely be on display at the Alamodome Saturday afternoon.

Players to watch: 

Offense

  • Churchill QB Jordon Billups: Regarded as one of the most elusive dual-threat play callers in the state, Jordon Billups has shown great poise behind center, particularly in the later stages of the season. Accounting for 24 total TD’s thus far, if Churchill is to have any success against the tough Steele defense, look for this senior to have a big day.
  • Steele QB Xavier Martin: Not to be outdone by his counterpart from Churchill, Steele’s Xavier Martin should be worth every penny of admission Saturday night. A dual-threat weapon himself, look for this Texas Tech commit to add to his 25 total TDs this season. With a plethora of weapons on offense, Martin could be well on his way to leading his team to another state semifinal.

Defense

  • Churchill LB Cort Jacquess: When Churchill has been up to the task defensively, which is more often than not, Cort Jacquess has been at the heart of the action. The fiery senior linebacker, who is averaging around 11 tackles a game, will have to be up to the challenge as the Chargers try to negate the high-powered Knights offense.
  • Steele DL Joshua Croslen: In a defense full of star players, Joshua Croslen stands out as a player to change the game on Saturday. The Minnesota commit will be tasked with the assignment of containing the elusive Jordon Billups. With 9.5 sacks to his name, he has the potential to give the Chargers offensive line fits all day. Look for the Knights’ senior to be a prominent presence in the Chargers backfield.

X-Factor

  • Steele ATH Caden Sterns: With a recent commitment to SEC powerhouse, LSU, Caden Sterns is looking to show the state what he can do on the big stage. Playing both sides of the ball at receiver and safety, while also returning kicks, Sterns can impact the game at any juncture. The junior is predominantly known as a defensive back, but will be valuable for many reasons on Saturday, especially open field tackling if Billups is out of the pocket.

Notables:

  • This is Churchill’s first appearance in the State Quaterfinals since 1996, while Steele has been in this game the past seven seasons, but for the first time in 6A.
  • This game will be played in the Alamodome, former home of the San Antonio Spurs. The Stadium has hosted many major events throughout the years and is the venue which hosts the Valero Alamo Bowl for the NCAA. Constructed in 1993, the seating limit reaches nearly 65,00 at full capacity and is located adjacent to San Antonio’s Downtown.
  • The winner of the contest will await the winner of Houston Cypress Ridge (11-2) and Katy Cinco Ranch (10-3), who also play Saturday afternoon.

Keys to victory: 

With Steele being the odds-on favorite, they will not take this Churchill team lightly. Churchill, who suffered early season tragedy with the passing of one of their players have been riding an emotional high and look to be on a mission. Scott Lehnhoff will have to channel Steele’s championship pedigree and bank that the Knights, who have not lost since they took Lake Travis to overtime in Week 2, have enough experience to rise to the occasion.

Both sides are coming off shutout wins last round, so as trends continue with both offenses showing they have the ability to get into a shootout, the game will be won on the defensive side of the ball. Whatever the result, this should be a great showcase for the South Texas football and will have a qualified representative in the state semifinal.

 

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