By George Slaughter
Katy fans are celebrating Friday’s 52-7 victory over Fort Bend Travis for several reasons. The first is that the win gets Katy off to a good start in the playoffs. The Tigers have now won 10 straight after losing their season opener.
A second reason is more sentimental, in that the win marks coach Gary Joseph’s 200th head coaching victory. Following the game, Joseph was cited for the record and saluted by both his players and the home crowd on the Legacy Stadium field, named in honor of his predecessor, Mike Johnston.
“It’s a great honor to be a part of this,” Joseph said. “It’s not the 200 wins as a head coach but 200 wins as an assistant coach. It’s a great compliment to our kids and coaching staff. I’ve had some great coaches, and it was great to see some of them come back today. It’s been a great experience for me, my wife, and family.”
Joseph became Tigers coach in 2004 after serving as an assistant to Johnston. Joseph has made his mark, leading Katy to four state titles. Last year’s team made the semifinal round.
The story for this year’s team is still being written. Friday’s win marks the third consecutive year in which Katy has defeated Travis by a lopsided margin in the bi-district round.
Katy’s first touchdown came on its second possession of the game, when sophomore running Sherman Smith scored on a 25-yard run with 3:54 remaining.
Katy blew the game open with 24 unanswered points in the second quarter. Two of those second quarter touchdowns came from Smith, who replaced the injured senior running back Deondrick Glass, who sat out the game while recovering from a shoulder injury. Glass was suited out to play if events warranted.
Smith’s second touchdown, a two-yard run, came with 11:12 in the second quarter.
Katy forced a Travis punt and, on the next possession, scored on a 45-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Bronson McClelland to sophomore wide receiver C.J. Baskerville. Smith’s third touchdown came on an electrifying 45-yard run with 5:37 left in the first half.
A last-second field goal gave Katy a 31-0 halftime lead and the game was effectively out of reach for Travis.
McClelland threw a 18-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Ja’Koby Kennedy, and later, a 10-yard touchdown pass to junior Matthew Stanley, in the third quarter.
Junior running back Jonathan Jolly finished Katy’s scoring with a five-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
The Travis touchdown came on a 10-yard run by junior quarterback Eric Rodriguez.
Katy, 10-1, faces Jersey Village Friday afternoon at Legacy Stadium.
Travis finishes its season at 8-3.
Ridge Point 14, Seven Lakes 10
In a classic protégé-faces-his-old-team matchup, the Seven Lakes Spartans fell to the Ridge Point Panthers, 14-10, Friday at Hall Stadium.
Jimmy Hamon, in his first season at Seven Lakes, is the former defensive coordinator at Ridge Point. Hamon led the Spartans to a 6-4 record and the program’s first playoff berth since 2014.
Ridge Point, 10-1, will play Cy-Fair Friday at Rhodes Stadium.
Seven Lakes finishes its season at 6-5.
Taylor 28, Fort Bend Dulles 13
Taylor raced to a 21-0 first half lead and cruised to a 28-13 victory over Fort Bend Dulles Friday at Mercer Stadium.
Friday’s game marked the first postseason victory for the Mustangs since the 2016 season. The program has made the playoffs for fourth time in the past five years.
Taylor, 6-5, will play the winner of the Heights-Cypress Creek game, which is set for Saturday afternoon at Delmar Stadium.
Dulles finishes its season at 8-3.
Tompkins 35, Fort Bend Elkins 20
Tompkins won its first-ever football playoff game with a 35-20 victory over Fort Bend Elkins Friday at Rhodes Stadium.
The Falcons were leading 14-6 in the third quarter when they broke the game open with two long touchdown runs by junior running back R.J. Smith. The first of these touchdowns came on a 55-yard run. The second came on a 32-yard run.
Tompkins will face the winner of the Cy Falls-Westside game, which is set for Saturday afternoon at Pridgeon Stadium.
Elkins finishes its season at 7-4.