It wasn't the most beautiful of wins, but Cibolo Steele quarterback Tommy Armstrong said he would take it.
"We just came out in the first half and some people had a bunch of jitters," Armstrong said. "It was their first Friday night varsity game and we had a bunch of mistakes, had a bunch of turnovers. But our defense gave us the stops we needed in these second half."
The Steele offense gave away five fumbles, including four in the first half, and faced a 28-14 halftime deficit. But the defense pitched a second half shutout and Armstrong and running back/safety Jordan Sterns keyed an offensive revival. Sterns broke his first carry of the second half for 68 yards, setting up a two-play scoring drive that cut the margin to a touchdown and gave the Knights all the momentum. Steele went on to win 35-28.
"(The run) was huge. Coming into the second half, I told them come on, we have to score this first drive," Armstrong said. "Momentum was all in our hands if we could come out and score, and we did that.
"I owe it all to my offensive line and our defense," Armstrong said. "They're the reason we stayed in this game, and they're the reason we won. It was a big team effort. It took all of us to win. That was our motto last year, and that's our motto this year."
The always-humble Armstrong didn't mention his own efforts, which were considerable. After being bottled up for minus-9 rushing yards in the first half, he finished with 82 yards and a touchdown on the night. After missing on his first three passes, he hit on his next six to finish 6-of-11 for 135 yards and two more touchdowns.
Overall, the Steele trio of Armstrong, Sterns and Justin Stockton churned out 238 second-half yards on the ground, with Armstrong directing much of the traffic.
From a recruiting standpoint, Armstrong said he could be drawing to a close. He has plans to visit Nebraska in mid-September, and he has already visited Southern Mississippi, the other school in his final two.
"I'm just hoping to go up there and see how everything is, see how the program is," Armstrong said. "I want to see what their work ethic is, and academics-wise, go up and see the campus. I want to bond with the coaches a little bit and the players. Just see how it feels to be up there and hopefully make a decision afterward.
"I'm just waiting on my visit to Nebraska to see how everything goes and take it from there," he said.
Armstrong said he felt like he fit well into the Nebraska offensive system.
"They both do the spread offense and the power offense," Armstrong said. "When they want to throw, they can throw, when they want to run, they can run. I just feel like both of those programs suit me well."
Armstrong is also teammates with several other prospects, including Sterns, one of the state's top safety prospects for 2013, and Stockton, one of the top running back prospects for 2014. A smaller back, Stockton has earned early comparisons to current Nebraska freshman Aaron Green. Armstrong laughed when he was asked whether he would recruit those players to the college of his choice.
"If they want to come up there with me, that's their decision and I'm not going to pressure them into doing anything they don't want to do," Armstrong said. "Recruiting is hectic during the summer and hectic during the season. You just have to stay focused on one thing, and that's getting to another state championship.
"Right now, I'm just focusing on each week and the opponent we have to face," Armstrong said. "I just want to keep winning."