By George Slaughter
North Shore sophomore quarterback Dematrius Davis threw five touchdown passes to lead the Mustangs past Katy, 49-38, Friday night at NRG Stadium in the regional round of the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
North Shore improves its record to 13-0. The Mustangs will play the winner of the Cy-Fair-Atascocita game, which is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at NRG Stadium.
The Tigers end their season at 11-2, with both losses coming against North Shore. The Mustangs won the season opener by a 35-21 score.
North Shore got to work immediately on Friday, scoring on its first play from scrimmage, a 61-yard pass from Davis to sophomore wide receiver Shadrach Banks.
North Shore forced a Katy punt and scored again, this time on a 29-yard pass from Davis to Banks.
Katy had started slow in spotting North Shore the two-touchdown lead, but the Tigers rallied and scored with a touchdown of its own on the ensuing drive. Sophomore quarterback Bronson McClelland hit junior wide receiver Matthew Stanley with a six-yard scoring pass with 1:55 left in the first quarter.
Katy tied the game with a 57-yard touchdown pass from McClelland to junior wide receiver Jordan Patrick with 5:56 seconds left in the second quarter.
North Shore needed only two plays to reclaim the lead. The score came on a 78-yard touchdown pass from Davis to senior wide receiver Chance Pillar.
Katy put together a 69-yard drive and tied the game with a two-yard touchdown run by senior running back Deondrick Glass at the 1:07 mark.
North Shore needed only one play to reclaim the lead. It came on an 80-yard touchdown from Davis to Banks, their third touchdown connection of the game, with 52 seconds left in the half. The score put North Shore up 28-21 at halftime.
“He made all the difference in the world,” Katy coach Gary Joseph said of Banks. “He’s a great football player.”
Katy got the ball to begin the second half, and put together a scoring drive that culminated with a 32-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Nemania Lazic.
North Shore responded with a 75-yard scoring drive, capped by a 13-yard touchdown pass from Davis to senior defensive lineman Jordan Revels, who was an eligible receiver on that play.
Katy fought back and scored again, this time on a one-yard quarterback sneak by McClelland with 10:18 remaining in the game. But this was as close as Katy would get. North Shore scored the clinching touchdown on a 59-yard run by junior running back Zach Evans with 4:33 remaining.
On the ensuing possession, McClelland threw an interception, and North Shore junior defensive back Upton Stout returned it for another North Shore touchdown.
With a 49-31 lead at this point, the game was all but over, but Katy put together a final scoring drive, with Glass scoring on a two-yard run with 11 seconds left in the game. It was a nice finish for Glass, who expects to continue his football career in college. He has made official visits to Alabama, Ohio State, and Oklahoma State, and made unofficial visits to LSU and Texas A&M.
Joseph said he told the team after the game that he loved them and was proud of them. He said coaches ask the players to give the team a chance to win. They did that, he said, but the team couldn’t follow through with the win.
“We had our chances,” Joseph said. “They converted and we didn’t.”