SAINT ANTONY – Two of the best high school football teams in the state went head-to-head in a hard-hitting final match of the KSAT Pigskin Classic on Saturday night.
The Steele Knights defeated the Brennan Bears 35-34, on a touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Chad Warner to sophomore Royal Capell with 18 seconds left on the clock.
“I was extremely proud of the way the team fought,” Brennan’s head football coach David Saenz said. “We’re excited that it turned out the way it did.”
The late touchdown pass was the deciding score in a close game that came down to final possession.
Warner was named Jon Wayne Player of the Game, after the game-winning touchdown pass that came from behind.
“It was a lot of fun,” Warner said. “I saw my guy in the middle, and I threw it, he caught it, and we won the game.”
The Knights jumped out early in the first quarter, when senior running back Jaydon Bailey scored on two long touchdown runs. But the Bears showed their mettle and fought back, as star quarterback Ashton Dubose continued to make timely throws.
Dubose finished the game with 316 passing yards and five touchdowns, including a touchdown pass to junior Jason Love with 1:07 left to take a late 34-28 lead.
But ultimately it was the Warner and Steele offense that had the last word.
Steele opened the third quarter with an emphasis on the running game, but a holding penalty pushed back the Knights’ possession. Two more runs got the team into the red zone where they threatened to score, but Bears defensive back Javyn Dolton recovered a fumble on a bad snap, ending the series.
Brennan got aggressive with his possession after the turnover, as Dubose completed a long pass to Acevedo to change field position. His accelerated attack picked up the pace, quickly getting into goal range.
Dubose found his twin brother Aaron with a 15-yard touchdown pass, giving the Bears their first lead of the game.
However, Steele proved they weren’t going to go quietly, as on his next possession, Warner hit Connor Vincent with a big completion pass. Jaydon Bailey finished from three yards to tie the game 21-21. The score capped a six-play, 75-yard drive.
Following a punt by Brennan, Steele’s wide receiver Jalen Cooper caught a 69-yard touchdown pass from Warner to regain the lead.
Brennan then made a big defensive stop on 3rd-22 with 6:24 left, when linebacker Wakil Mateen forced a fumble on Warner, which the Bears eventually recovered.
Dubose completed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Avron Carter to tie the game at 28-28, with 5:04 remaining in the game. After a defensive stop, Brennan recovered the ball with just under four minutes remaining, setting up the excitement of the final minutes.
When the Steele Knights met the Brennan Bears on Saturday, it was a battle between two of last season’s top 6A teams and two of the top 16 preseason picks in Texas this season.
The Bears are ranked No. 12 in the state by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine. The Knights are not far behind, ranking 16th out of the top 50 teams in the state. That was after Brennan finished atop the Top 12 of 12 at 13-1 and Steele at No. 3 after his 11-1 year, with both teams undefeated in district play.
“It’s an experience for our kids to see what it’s like to play on a big stage,” Steele Head Football coach David Saenz said. “There are great stadiums in San Antonio, but there’s nothing like playing at the Alamodome.”
UNTIL NEXT TIME:
Steele: at home vs. Lake Travis, September 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Brennan: vs. Brandeis, September 2 at 7 p.m.
The KSAT Pigskin Classic is the first of its kind in Alamo City and kicks off the 2022 high school football season. The event featured six local high school football teams over three games in one event. day at the Alamodome.
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