(Spring Branch, TX) – The saying of “out of the frying pan and into the fryer” certainly applies to Smithson Valley’s football team. After playing a tough-as-nails Round Rock team to close out non-district play last week, the Rangers aren’t getting any reprieve in their schedule as they open 27-6A play tonight against perennial state power Steele.
Smithson Valley (1-1) came up short in its second road game in as many weeks last Friday in a 20-14 loss to Round Rock, a game that saw the Rangers commit too many mistakes to beat a well-rounded Dragon team. Two penalties erased would-be touchdowns for the Rangers and Smithson Valley committed three turnovers, the last coming with just over three minutes to go in the game, sealing the Rangers’ fate. The week prior, Smithson Valley looked impressive in a 60-20 season-opening win at Austin Anderson.
Of course, the Rangers were supposed to have opened their season a week before the Anderson game but Smithson Valley’s Week 1 game against Pflugerville Hendrickson was cancelled due to lightning. That game was also supposed to serve as the Rangers’ home opener, which will now come tonight against Steele (2-1) as the Rangers kickoff 27-6A play.
The Knights are coming off of a short week, having last played last Saturday, defeating SA O’Connor 45-24 at Heroes Stadium. Steele opened its season with a 37-7 rout of SA Madison but sandwiched around the Knight’s two victories was a 59-56 double overtime defeat against Lake Travis, Steele’s first regular season loss since 2014.
Steele, which didn’t field its first varsity football team until 2006, has become not only a force to be reckoned with in the greater San Antonio area the past 9+ seasons, but statewide as well. Since 2007, the Knights have compiled a record of 112-17, a run highlighted by a state championship in 2010.
This year’s Knight’s team is led by senior quarterback Xavier Martin, a second year starter who guided Steele to a 14-1 record last year capped off by an appearance in the State Semifinals. As a junior in 2015, Martin racked up over 2,700 total yards of offense and accounted for 29 touchdowns and he’s well on pace to match (if not surpass) those numbers again this year. In just three games, Martin has over 1,000 yards of total offense and has six touchdown passes to go along with five touchdown runs.
Smithson Valley quarterback Josh Adkins has five touchdown passes of his own through two games and will be looking to bounce back after throwing a pair of interceptions and losing a fumble in last week’s loss at Round Rock. More often than not, Adkins has gotten up off the mat successfully. In the nine games following losses Adkins has suffered as a starter, he has come back to lead the Rangers to victory seven times.
District play opening with a match-up between Smithson Valley and Steele isn’t anything new. The Rangers and Knights have kicked open the district door in each of the past two seasons with Steele coming out victorious both times, posting a 31-20 win at Ranger Stadium in 2014 and a 42-16 win last year in Schertz.
Kickoff for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7:30 at Ranger Stadium and live radio coverage of the game will be available here on the Rangers Network starting at 7:15. The television replay of the game will first air this Sunday night at Max’s Roudhouse and later posted to the Rangers Network website. For continuous updates on Ranger Football and Smithson Valley athletics, text the word RANGERS to 42828.