by Jeff Fisher
Baylor’s brand new McLane Stadium will host Thursday night’s showdown between #5 DeSoto and #22 Cibolo Steele that will pit the Dallas area against the San Antonio area.
Both teams are no strangers to deep postseason runs with DeSoto advancing to the Class 5A Division I state semis two years running and the Knights winning the 5A Division II title in 2010, which was follow-up by a runner-up finish in 2011, a semifinal appearance in 2012 and the state quarters last year.
DeSoto is a perfect 3-0 after last week’s 53-13 win over South Oak Cliff that was impressive because it was the Eagles first game without its star quarterback Tristen Wallace, who broke his ankle in the team’s Week 2 game against Maryland’s Eastern Christian Academy. Sophomore Jaylin Nelson, who transferred from First Baptist, picked-up the slack throwing for five touchdowns and running for two. Nelson was 16-of-19 through the air for 193 yards, plus he added 77 yards on the ground.
As a freshman, Nelson played quarterback and running back at First Baptist that won the 2013 TAPPS Division III championship. You can watch Nelson’s 2013 highlights above.
Over the years, head coach Claude Mathis has built the Eagles into an offensive juggernaut that routinely hangs 50 points on opponents. So far this year, the Eagles have scored 55, 54 and 53 points.
On defense, DeSoto is giving up 25 points a game. It should be pointed out that the Eagles played the last two games without defensive lineman Bryce English, who is a UCLA commit. English has been recovering from a concussion.
Steele on the other hand has been rock solid on defense, only allowing three points all season with two shutouts. The Knights have plenty of experience on both sides of the ball from last year’s 12-2 team after losing only 15 seniors to graduation.
On offensive, dual-threat QB LG Williams has thrown for 275 yards and rushed for 294 yards while accounting for eight touchdowns.