Whenever DeSoto threw a punch, Cibolo Steele threw a counter punch. Steele couldn’t land that last counter punch to wear down the loaded DeSoto Eagles team. Down 28-10 heading into halftime, the Knights made it 35-29 with 8:22 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The back breaker was a fumble by senior quarterback Xavier Martin – a Texas Tech commit – at the Steele 39-yard line while he was scrambling trying to make something happen. The Knights lost the 6A Division II state title game 38-29 in front of 40,318 at AT&T Stadium.
“Its hard to come back when you are down 28-10 at the half, especially with that touchdown as time expires.” Steele head coach Scott Lehnoff said about the first half performance. “Tough whole for us to dig out of but at halftime we talked about the character of this ball club, the heart of this team, forget the scoreboard and just play football.”
The Knights did just that in second half, they came out and played football. On DeSoto’s first drive of the second half, they forced a Shawn Robinson fumble and converted the turnover into a Xavier Martin to C.J Williams 44-yard touchdown pass, making it 28-17.
Steele had difficulty containing DeSoto’s stand out quarterback, who accounted for 423 total yards and three touchdowns. Steele allowed a 51-yards touchdown on the very next possession as Laviska Shenault Jr. broke a couple tackles and tiptoed the sideline.
“Shawn (Robinson) is the head of the snake, the offense goes as he goes and we had trouble stopping him tonight,” Senior defensive lineman Landon Williams said.
As the Knights do, they threw a counter punch in the second half and this one was spectacular. Martin was scrambling, running for his dear life and threw up a prayer down the right sideline. Running back Brenden Brady made an acrobatic catch on the sidelines, turned and ran into the end zone to make it 35-23.
— Greg Riddle (@DMNGregRiddle) December 18, 2016
They would get another stop, and convert that into points getting, the closest they could at 35-29 after Martin kept it himself for a 20-yard score.
“I really thought we were going to complete the comeback after that touchdown,” Martin, who finished the game with 256 yards passing, 61 yards rushing and four total touchdowns, said. “I made a mental mistake, I should have held onto the ball.”
This was the Knights’ third appearance in the title game, first since they won it in 2011.
“It hurts for sure,” Martin said. “But coach (Lehnoff) says its just football so got to move on to bigger and better things.”
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