LINCOLN — It's fourth-and-one at midfield in the fourth quarter of the Texas 5A Division II state title game. Adam Taylor's team is behind 24-21, and Taylor is getting the ball. There is no deception or surprise coming. Just suspense. Just years and years of training and pain and pressure to reach this carry in this game. He grew up in a football-mad town of Katy — the “Neiman Marcus of football centers,” as Taylor's mom, Fedora, calls it — deep in the heart of a football-mad state. That's why more than 40,000 fans are in Cowboys Stadium watching Katy's offense line up against Cedar Hill's defense for the decisive play. Full house backfield. Toss pitch right. Fullback and guard to lead. “Everybody's eyes are always on you,” Taylor says later, explaining why he likes the running back position. “You're the focal point. They want to stop you, and you gotta make something happen.”
Fourth and one. Taylor catches the toss. He gets a perfect cut block from his fullback. He'll have the first down.