STILLWATER — Carl Albert coach Gary Rose knew Steven Thompson was eventually going to be a good quarterback for the Titans.
He just didn't expect it so soon.
Thompson's emergence as the Titans' top playmaker, leader and workhorse has paved Carl Albert's way to Saturday night's Class 5A championship game.
Expect Thompson to get 30-plus rushing attempts in the finals as the Titans try to take down No. 1 Tulsa East Central at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Oklahoma State's Boone Pickens Stadium.
“He's been a huge surprise,” Rose said. “We knew he'd be good, but he's gotten good really quick.”
The Titans lost five of Thompson's first six starts at quarterback, but as he slowly began to learn his role, the team began to find more and more success.
Now they've won seven straight heading into the title game with Thompson carrying the majority of the load.
In the mold of past Carl Albert quarterbacks, most recently J.T. Realmuto, who guided the Titans to a title in 2009, Thompson runs with a combination of power and speed.
“He doesn't look like it, but he's got great quickness, speed, vision and toughness,” Rose said of the 5-foot-11, 176-pound junior. “He's quiet, very humble, but he's a very good leader. That's the biggest quality in a quarterback that has to develop, and I think he already had that in him.”