By George Slaughter
Black Friday marks what is perhaps the busiest shopping day of the Christmas season. But for high school football fans, Friday could instead be called Red Friday, as it marks the renewal of the North Shore-Katy rivalry.
The Mustangs play the Tigers at 4 p.m. at NRG Stadium in a Division I regional playoff game. The Tigers are the home team.
The Mustangs are the defending state champions and won the District 21-6A championship this season. They are 11-1 and last week defeated Dawson, 58-35. Senior running back Zach Evans had 20 carries for 354 yards and two touchdowns to lead North Shore in that game. Junior quarterback Dematrius Davis was 11-of-21 for 208 yards and a touchdown.
North Shore’s only loss this season came against Katy, which won 24-21 in the August 29 season opener for both teams. The Tigers are 12-0 and won the District 19-6A championship this season.
Last week, Katy defeated Cy-Fair, 27-14, which won the state championship in 2017. Against the Bobcats, junior quarterback Bronson McClelland was 12-of-23 for two touchdowns. Junior Jalen Davis had 29 carries for 92 yards.
The Tiger defense did its job, holding Cy-Fair to only 144 yards total offense and five first downs.
Last season, North Shore defeated Katy both in the season opener and in the regional round of the playoffs. Those two losses were the only ones Katy suffered last season.
In 2017, the Tigers defeated the Mustangs, 31-3, in a regional playoff game.
In 2016, the Mustangs defeated the Tigers, 20-17, in a regional playoff game
Here’s a preview of the other playoff games involving Katy-area teams. Seating is general admission, with the home team on the west side of the stadium and the visitors on the east side. Parking is $15.
Tompkins Falcons vs. Atascocita Eagles
Both Atascocita and Tompkins are 11-1. Atascocita is the District 22-6A champion. Last week, the Eagles defeated Dickinson, 46-27.
Tompkins is the District 19-6A runner-up. Last week, the Falcons defeated Cypress Falls, 30-27.
The Eagles are led on offense by senior quarterback Bruce Matthews, who has completed 166 of 271 passes for 2,792 yards and 35 touchdowns against only nine interceptions. His favorite targets are senior wide receiver Dylan Robinson, who has 46 catches for 848 yards and 12 touchdowns, and senior wide receiver A.J. Bobb, who has 36 catches for 392 yards and eight touchdowns.
Junior running back Quincy Thompson is Atascocita’s leading rusher. He has 94 carries for 647 yards and 17 touchdowns.
The Falcons look for a continued strong performance from junior quarterback Jalen Milroe, who last week completed 11 of 20 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown against Cypress Falls. He’s got several talented receivers to catch his passes, including senior Taurean Muhammed, who last week had seven catches for 127 yards.
Senior running back R.J. Smith, who last week had 26 carries for 157 yards, is also expected to play a leading role in the Tompkins offensive attack.
Humble Wildcats vs. Taylor Mustangs
Humble, the District 22-6A champion, is 11-2. Last week, the Wildcats defeated George Ranch, 28-21. Taylor, the fourth seed from District 19-6A, is 7-5. Last week, the Mustangs defeated Memorial, 21-14.
The Wildcats are led by senior quarterback Dexter Wyble, who last week was 11-of-20 for 166 yards and a touchdown against George Ranch. Junior wide receiver Robert Williams, who caught that 42-yard scoring pass, is a leading receiver. He finished last week with two receptions for 49 yards.
Sophomore running back X’zavier Sydney had 12 carries for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
The Mustangs are led by junior quarterback J Jenson III, who last week was 14-of-18 for 217 yards and a touchdown. Junior running back Casey Shorter had 16 carries for 69 yards and two touchdowns, as well as three catches for 48 yards.
Senior running back C.J. Tolbert had 11 carries for 76 yards for Taylor.