By George Slaughter
The Tigers finish their season at 12-1.
Lake Travis improves to 13-2, and will face Allen next week at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Allen defeated Cedar Ridge earlier Saturday to earn its berth in the game.
The Cavaliers opened the scoring with one minute remained in the quarter, when junior wide receiver Garrett Winston scored on a two-yard run.
Katy scored on the next drive on a 15-yard run by junior running back Deondrick Glass with 9:35 in the second quarter. Senior kicker Seth Small’s extra point tied the game.
Things were looking hopeful for the Tigers, especially after their defense forced the Cavaliers to punt on the ensuing drive.
But that’s where things fell apart for Katy.
The Tigers drove the ball deep into Lake Travis territory, but junior wide receiver Trey Brown dropped a sure touchdown pass on a third down. On the next play, Small missed a 32-yard field goal attempt.
The Cavaliers then put together an 80-yard drive, culminating in a trick play in which senior quarterback Matthew Baldwin threw a lateral pass to sophomore wide receiver Hudson Card, who in turn completed a 43-yard pass to junior wide receiver Garret Wilson for the go-ahead touchdown.
On the ensuing drive, Tiger quarterback Austin Marshall fumbled a shotgun snap, and Lake Travis recovered at the Katy 34. On the next play, the Cavaliers struck again, this time on a pass from Baldwin to senior tight end Kyle Wakefield with 35 seconds left in the half. Senior kicker Cameron Decker’s extra point gave the Cavaliers a 21-7 lead they took into halftime.
In their previous playoff games this season, the Tigers played either in good weather or under the roof at NRG Stadium. With a strong rushing attack, one would imagine that wet conditions would have favored Katy.
But Saturday was a different story. San Antonio had some rainfall before the kickoff, and the rain resumed during the game. The wet conditions might have played a factor in missed snaps between the center and quarterback, particularly on some plays run from the shotgun formation.
The Tigers suffered four fumbles during the game and lost two.
The Tigers pulled to within a touchdown late in the third quarter, when senior quarterback Austin Marshall hit senior tight end Jacob Lighter on a four-yard play action pass.
The Cavaliers came back on the next drive and scored using the same lateral trick play as before. This time the play went from senior quarterback Russell Thamm to Wilson, to Card, for 32 yards.