Strong first half propels Steele past Churchill
Steele jumped out early on Churchill on Friday, scoring touchdowns on its first two possessions en route to a 23-0 halftime lead.
However, the Knights had to hold on for a 30-20 win in their final tuneup before District 26-6A play begins.
The Knights (2-1) saw four different players score touchdowns, including Tylee Tyson rushing for a 2-yard score to cap the Knights’ first drive of the game.
The Chargers (1-2) had problems finding their offense in the first half, fumbling on their first two possessions and gaining just 94 total yards.
One play after Steele’s Jalyn Reed recovered a Chargers fumble at the Steele 37, sophomore quarterback Wyatt Begeal connected with junior wideout Daniel Jackson on a highlight reel 64-yard scoring strike.
Jackson got two steps behind a Chargers defensive back and Begeal launched a pass that hit the receiver in stride at the 25-yard line. Jackson trotted in for the score and a 13-0 lead after a failed two-point conversion.
Steele added a Robert Collins 16-yard run and a Zachary Simmons hit a 30-yard field goal in the final 2:20 of the first half for a commanding 23-0 lead.
But Churchill rebounded in the second half, utilizing a ball-control offense that ate up huge chunks of the clock. Their first drive, a 14-play, 80-yard march, consumed the first 8:02 of the third quarter and ended with an Isaac Aleman 2-yard touchdown run, trimming the lead to 23-6.
After forcing Steele into a three-and-out, Churchill took 16 plays to go 78 yards in 9:24 for another touchdown, a 3-yard outside burst by David Rezentes for a 23-14 Steele lead.
With 5:08 remaining in the game, Churchill had run 30 plays in the second half to Steele’s three. But the Knights displayed some ball control of their own, answering with a nine-play, 55-yard drive that culminated in a De’Quavion Thomas 7-yard TD for a 30-14 lead with just 1:39 to play.
Churchill added a late touchdown pass with 10 seconds remaining for the 30-20 final.
Steele travels to face district rival Judson on Friday. The Rockets (2-0), the area’s No. 1 team, saw their game Friday at Harlingen called because of expected storms.
Steele will be looking for a measure of revenge, as Judson claimed its first victory in the series last year with a 35-28 win. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at D. W. Rutledge Stadium in Converse.