Tuesday, Dec 13 at 3:07 AM
Steele beat Port Arthur Memorial 51-31 on Saturday to extend its winning streak to 28 games and move within one victory of back-to-back Class 5A Division II state titles.
Steele (15-0) plays Spring Dekaney (13-2) for the state championship at 8 p.m. next Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
While the Knights rolled on at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Madison's season ended with a 54-35 loss to Fort Bend Hightower in the Class 5A Division I state semifnals Saturday at the Alamodome.
Sparked by senior quarterback Bralon Addison, who ran for five touchdowns and passed for another, the Hurricanes scored on their first eight possessions. The game was a slugfest in the first half, which ended with the Hurricanes on top 41-27.
Madison, which bounced back from a 1-3 start to make the state semifinals for the third time in school history, finished 10-5. The Mavs dropped to 0-3 in the state semifinals.
Steele senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong paced the Knights in the Division II semifinals, running for four first-half touchdowns that helped his team race to a 37-10 halftime lead.
Armstrong, who has committed to Nebraska, rushed for 139 yards on only 10 carries and scored on runs of 10, 4, 81 and 9 yards and completed 6 of 10 passes for 109 yards and another TD.
Sophomore running back Justin Stockton burned the Titans for 198 on just 11 carries and scored on a 93-yard run.
Steele outgained Port Arthur Memorial 520-281 in total offensive yardage.
The victory was the 28th in a row for Steele, which improved to 15-0 this season. Armstrong, who has committed to Nebraska, has been the Knights’ starting quarterback in every game of the streak.
Steele won the state championship in only its fifth varsity season last year, winning 13 straight after stumbling to a 1-2 start. The Knights were expected to slip a few notches after losing five seniors who signed with FBS schools, but they’ve already won one more game than last year’s team.
Addison compared with ex-Kerrville Tivy standout Manziel
Hightower (13-2) will play Southlake Carroll (15-0) in the 5A Division I state final at 4 p.m. next
Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.
Addison, who has committed to Texas A&M and is expected to play wide receiver, scored on runs of 42, 1, 66, 7 and 5 yards, and threw a 36-yard scoring strike to Donald Weathersby. Addison rushed for 228 yards on only 14 carries, a 16.4 average.
“By far, he’s one of the best we’ve played against,” Madison junior nose guard Vincent Taylor said. “Coming into this game, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We tried to prepare for him in practice, but going against our JV is nothing compared to going against that kid.”
Mavs defensive end Isaiah Carter said Addison gave him flashbacks of former Kerrville Tivy quarterback Johnny Manziel, now a freshman at Texas A&M.
“I would give running to this guy and throwing to Johnny,” Carter said when asked to rate the quarterbacks.
Madison kept it close for nearly a half against Fort Bend Hightower, but was blown away by the Hurricanes after pulling to a 27-27 tie with 3:46 left in the first half.
Running back Joshua Wilhite capped Hightower’s last two possessions of the second quarter with TD runs of 24 and 4 yards to put the Hurricanes ahead 41-27 at the half. Wilhite’s second TD came with only 26 seconds left before intermission.
“We let them get that one with 30 seconds left in the half, and we wanted to go in with a one-possession game at halftime,” Streety said. “When these guys get up two (touchdowns) on you, it’s tough. They’re a heck of a football team.
“For us to stay in there, we had to get some stops and we never got a stop until the second half. We said that from the get-go. We had to get some stops.”
Hightower’s opening drive of second half clinched win
Streety was succinct when asked about Addison.
“That guy is Houdini, I’m telling you,” he said. “He’s going to be in Las Vegas one of these guys. He’s something else, but we knew that. We knew that we had to tackle him some, and we didn’t tackle him very much.”
Hightower started the opening possession of the second half at its 2, but methodically carved out a nine-play drive that ended with Addison’s 5-yard scoring run. The extra-point kick failed, but the Hurricanes’ 47-27 lead proved insurmountable.
“I know my teammates are going to have my back, whether I play a good game or not,” Addison said. “They had my back again today. It’s just great to have the opportunity to play for a state championship.”
Senior quarterback Justin Jones carried the Madison offense, throwing four touchdown passes and running for another. The extra-point kick after Jones’ 55-yard scoring run gave the Mavericks a 14-13 lead with 3:27 left in the first quarter. The lead turned out to be the only one of the game for Madison.
“He’s a winner and hard worker, and a great leader,” Streety said of Jones. “We expected him to play well and he did.”
Streety: Our guys never wavered
The Mavericks won nine of their last 10 games after their 1-3 start, the worst in Streety’s 38-year as a head coach, before getting outmatched by Hightower. Madison entered the state semifinals riding a six-game winning streak.
“We’re proud of our guys,” Streety said. “We ran into a buzz saw today. They’re pretty good.”
Streety, who completed his 21st season at Madison, praised his players for staying the course after stumbling early.
“We knew since last January that we had a great group of kids, because they worked hard and did everything we asked them to do,” Streety said. “We knew that we had hope. We got off to a bad start, but our guys never wavered.
“Our guys kept coming to practice every day and kept working hard. When kids do that, eventually something good happens. I truly believe that.”
Carter probably expressed the sentiments of all his teammates when he assessed Madison’s season.
“I said before the game that I would be crying tears of joy or tears of pain when the game ended, but I feel I still have tears of joy because it was a fun ride with my brothers,” he said.