By George Slaughter
The Katy Tigers continue their quest for a state title Saturday when it faces North Shore, a familiar opponent which defeated Katy 20-17 in last year’s regional round of the Class 6A Division I football playoffs.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at NRG Stadium.
This year the Mustangs come in with a 9-3 record, and defeated Houston Lamar, Clear Springs, and Deer Park in the regional, area, and bi-district rounds, respectively. The Mustangs are one of the runner-up teams in District 21-6A.
“Jon Kay (North Shore coach) has done a great job of continuing that program,” Katy coach Gary Joseph said.
The Tigers are 11-0 and defeated Atascocita, Cy Ranch, and Fort Bend Travis in the regional, area, and bi-district rounds, respectively.
In last year’s game, the Mustangs were the defending state champions. Katy took an early lead, only to see North Shore score the game-winning touchdown late in the contest. That game was played at NRG Stadium.
“It was a dog fight last year,” Joseph said.
But this is a new season, and the Tigers have reason to feel confident. Katy’s defense shut out Atascocita and Cy Ranch, and allowed only one touchdown, late in the game, in the win against Fort Bend Travis.
An obvious key for Katy is to move the football on offense. The Tigers are led by their dynamic running back duo of junior Deondrick Glass and senior Josh Oglesby. The passing game, led by senior quarterback Austin Marshall, has also been effective.
Freshman quarterback Bronson McClelland has also seen action as coach Gary Joseph develops depth on the roster. Marshall had two touchdown passes against Atascocita Friday and McClelland had one.
Katy has confidence in its defense, which has also scored points. In the Atascocita game, for instance, senior linebacker Matt Kississamis did the honors with a 23-yard interception return for a Tigers touchdown.
The defense allowed no scores against Atascocita or Cy Ranch. (The Cy Ranch touchdown came when its defense returned a Katy fumble for a touchdown.) It allowed only one touchdown, late in the game, in the bi-district win against Fort Bend Travis.
The winner advances to the quarterfinal round.