By George Slaughter
North Shore, the defending state champion, improves to 12-1 and will face the winner of the Tompkins-Atascocita game, scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at NRG Stadium. The Tigers end their season at 12-1.
The Mustangs scored on their first possession of the game on a six-yard run by senior running back Zach Evans. After an exchange of punts, the Tigers scored on a dramatic 72-yard pass from junior quarterback Bronson McClelland to senior wide receiver Steven Stiles with 2:02 remaining in the first quarter.
North Shore then put together a 69-yard scoring drive, which was highlighted by a 62-yard run by junior quarterback Demetrius Davis, and capped by another six-yard touchdown run by Evans.
Katy tied the score with an 86-yard kickoff return by senior Bryan Massey with 33 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Davis scrambled for a 40-yard touchdown to put the Mustangs back in front. But the Tigers responded with another scoring drive of their own, which was capped by a 7 yard scramble by McClelland with 3:56 remaining in the first half.
The Mustangs scored twice more in the first half. The first score, a 25-yard pass from Davis to junior wide receiver Charles King, came with 1:48 remaining. The second score came on a 48-yard pass from Davis to senior wide receiver Ismael Fuller with 22 seconds remaining to give North Shore a 35-21 lead.
Despite the 14-point halftime deficit, Katy showed no signs of panic. Katy trailed North Shore in the season opener, and trailed in both its previous playoff games. But Friday, the Tigers had no answer for Davis, who scored on a 25-yard quarterback draw with 8:03 in the third quarter to give the Mustangs a 42-21 lead.
Katy scored on the next possession, with a 10-yard run by junior running back Jalen Davis to cut the Mustang lead back to 14. Katy’s defense held on the ensuing North Shore possession and forced a punt. But the snap was bad and Katy senior Daylin Johnson recovered the loose ball in the Mustang end zone. At this point, the score was 42-35, and Katy felt it had recaptured the momentum.
North Shore scored on its next possession, on an 11-yard pass from Davis to King, that reestablished a 14-point Mustang lead and all but ended Katy’s hopes.
North Shore’s final score came on a one-yard run by Davis with 7:19 remaining in the game. Davis finished the game with 21 carries for 283 yards. Passing-wise, Davis went 8-of-12 for 134 yards.