Playoff Preview and Prediction: Austin Vandegrift (10-1) vs Cibolo Steele (11-0)

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Austin Vandegrift (10-1) vs Cibolo Steele (11-0), 7 p.m. Friday at Schertz’s Lehnhoff Stadium:

It’s a big time showdown in Region IV as the chief challenger to heavily favored Austin Westlake could emerge from the winner of this one.

Don’t expect a ton of points to go on the board as these are two of the top defenses in the state, so points will be at a premium.

Vandegrift opened the playoffs with an emphatic 52-14 win over San Marcos, the Vipers forced a pair of early turnovers and they raced out to a 42-0 lead at halftime before emptying the bench for most of the second half. Steele was expected to get pushed by San Antonio Brandeis last week, but the Knights were too much in an easy 42-14 victory.

As expected the Knights running game got things done as Jaydon Bailey and Teshaun Singleton combined for 239 yards rushing and three touchdowns, but what was eye-opening was Steele’s balance as QB Connor Vincent completed 13 of 16 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns.

If Steele’s offense brings that type of balance in the playoffs they’ll be a real thorn in the side of the best teams in the state. This will be a physical, low scoring game, but behind this newly discovered passing game, Steele gets it done at home.

Stepp’s Pick: Cibolo Steele by 10

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