By George Slaughter
There’s a cliché in football that defense wins championships. But defense also plays a big role in winning regular season games, also, as Katy showed in its 47-0 win over Seven Lakes Friday night at Legacy Stadium.
The Tiger defense held the Spartans to only four first downs, and 17 total yards, in posting the shutout. The win improves Katy’s record to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in District 19-6A. The win is also Katy’s 70th consecutive district victory.
The Spartans fall to 3-4 overall and 0-3, respectively.
The Katy defense even got into the scoring act. With an early 3-0 lead, Katy sophomore defensive lineman Malik Sylia sacked Seven Lakes junior quarterback Cristian Beltran, causing a fumble that Katy junior linebacker Shepherd Bowling recovered for Katy’s first touchdown.
Katy coach Gary Joseph complimented his defense.
“They played pretty well all year long, with the exception of the Tompkins game (a 35-30 Katy win),” Joseph said.” I think they learned a lesson there, too, and hopefully they’ll get better, more physical. I think they’re playing with some confidence again, and I think that’s what we have to do.”
The Tigers opened up the game in the second quarter. Senior running back Dylan George scored on a 49-yard run at the 10:38 mark, and on their next possession, senior quarterback Jacob Bernard hit senior wide receiver Steven Stiles for a 27-yard touchdown pass. Junior kicker Nemanja Lazic’s extra point attempt following that score failed, but he kicked a 40-yard field goal as time ran out in the first half.
Katy’s only score of the third quarter came on a 20-yard pass from Bernard to senior wide receiver Jordan Patrick at the 5:39 mark. Bernard finished the game with 10 completions on 16 attempts for 139 yards.
Katy junior running back Jalen Davis scored two touchdowns, one from 34 yards out, and the other from 21 yards out, to conclude the scoring. Davis finished the game with 13 carries for 130 yards and those two touchdowns. Senior running back Ron Hoff finished with 19 carries for 120 yards for Katy.
Seven Lakes returns to action next week against Mayde Creek. Kickoff is 6 p.m. Thursday at Legacy Stadium. Katy returns to action next week against Cinco Ranch. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. Friday at Legacy Stadium.
“It’s always about the next one,” Katy coach Gary Joseph said. “We keep focused on that. Right now, our focus is on Cinco Ranch and winning that one. We have to sit there and take them one game at a time. I told the kids in there, we’ve got to keep ascending, getting better.”
Friday’s game was the second consecutive without junior quarterback Bronson McClelland, who has missed the games for disciplinary reasons. Joseph was noncommittal when asked about McClelland’s expected return to the team next week.
“We’ll see,” Joseph said. “It depends on how our conversation goes. I think he’ll respond. He needs to if he’s going to be part of it.”
Joseph said it was a “humility thing” and added that McClelland must be able to handle the scrutiny and the situation when some fans start cat-calling him.
“He’s got to be above all that,” Joseph said.