When comparing himself to former coach Scott Lehnhoff, new Cibolo Steele head coach David Saenz referred to himself as “a little bit more quiet on the outside, but I’m just as fiery as he was in making sure everything goes right.”
Lehnhoff — who guided the Knights to the Class 6A Division II state final last year — went 53-7 in four seasons at Steele and is now athletic director of the district. Saenz — a former defensive coordinator — was promoted to the position and tried to carry his “fiery” mentality into his first game with the Knights — a consensus top five program in Texas high school Football.
Steele had an easy bounce back game from their heartbreaking UIL State Championship loss to DeSoto last year, effortlessly dispatching Madison 36-3 at Lehnhoff Stadium. Madison has their third coach in the same amount of years and has struggled to get acclimated to the new system.
The first quarter saw the Knights rack up 22 unanswered points; Madison initiated the headache by turning the ball over at the 26-yard line during their second series. Following a five play drive, former Knights wide receiver and new quarterback Onyx Smith carried for a nine-yard touchdown run, lowering his shoulder and barreling his way into the end zone.
The offensive line held strong and gave the Steele offense every opportunity they could scrounge. Sophomore workhorse De’Quavian Thomas took over the game’s running starting duties, scoring two touchdowns, capping three consecutive scoring drives for the Knights.
The following two possessions brought Steele within 10 yards of the end zone that were blown — a field goal that was called back and blocked and a fumble by Smith at the one yard line after the center failed to give a clean exchange.
The defense — lead by Caden Sterns — were able to stifle the Madison offense, suffocating them to only 20 yards of total offense in the first half.
After a silent third quarter, Tylee Tyson put up more Steele points with a four-yard score with seven minutes remaining.
Madison scored their first point with a 37-yard field goal, ridding themselves of the goose egg at the very end of the fourth quarter. The celebration of the 3-pointer quickly vanished when Sterns swooped up an onside kick for a 53-yard score.
Thomas won the game ball with 21 carries, 195 yards and two touchdowns; Tyson managed 104 yards and a touchdown.Notably absent from the fray was Brendan Brady, who suited up but was held off the field by coach’s decision. According to his father Andre Brady, the Rice commit will be “back doing what he does” next Friday.
378 of the 384 total yards of offense were on the ground, leading some to wonder how effective quarterback Smith will be against a tough Lake Travis foe next Friday; he finished his varsity quarterback effort 4-of-7 for a mere six yards.
“It’s all a game plan, depending on what the defense gives us,” Coach Saenz said, addressing the lack of a Steele passing game. “It’s what was in the recipe tonight.”
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