Round 2 Goes to North Shore; Mustangs beat Tigers 56-35 to advance to State Quarterfinals
HOUSTON – This was the heavy-weight fight everyone has been waiting for since the end of August.
Ever since Katy rolled into Galena Park ISD Stadium and held defending state champion North Shore to just 15 yards and no points in the second half on the way to a 24-21 victory on National TV. The Tigers' chants of "West Side" echoing out of their locker room that night of Ron Hoff's unforgettable Katy debut of 206 yards and a score.
Both coaches and teams knew the road to AT&T Stadium would have to come to this, again. For a fourth-straight year – North Shore holding a 2-1 advantage in that stretch – they would meet and one team that had rattled off 11-straight wins to get here would be going home.
Round 2 was upon us and it didn't disappoint.
Dematrius Davis passed for 134 yards and three scores and rushed for another 283 yards and three scores, Zach Evans carried the rock for 115 yards and two touchdowns and North Shore exacted its revenge in the game that mattered in the 2019 season to end Katy's run with a 56-35 victory in the Class 6A Division I Region III Semifinal on Friday at NRG Stadium.
"You know when you play North Shore-Katy both [teams] are going to be ready to go," North Shore coach Jon Kay said. "Gary [Joseph] said they had a great week of practice. We had a great week of practice. You come out here and lay it on the field. Not necessarily your traditional North Shore-Katy with the amount of yards and points.
"Really proud of the win, just have to turn the page and move forward."
North Shore moves on to play the winner of Atascocita and Katy Tompkins next week in the State Quarterfinals. Katy finishes the season 12-1 and falls to 1-3 against North Shore in the playoffs since 2016.
"[North Shore] played a better game today than we did, credit to them and credit to Coach Kay and the job they've done," Katy coach Gary Joseph said. "We just got hit by a buzzsaw."
The two teams traded blows the first quarter – North Shore striking with a pair of Evans six-yard touchdown runs and Katy hurting them with the big plays including an 82-yard kickoff return by Katy's Bryan Massey.
Tied at 14-14, North Shore and Katy's quarterbacks showed off their running ability, Davis busting off a 40-yard score, while Bronson McClelland scampered in from seven yards, pushing the game to 21-21 with 3:56 left in the half.
McClelland finished 9 of 17 for 138 yards and one score.
The final 3:47 of the half would be owned by North Shore.
Davis hit Charles King over the middle for a 25-yard score and the dagger came on a 48-yard pitch and catch to Ismael Fuller down the sideline, taking the air out of the sea of red that was the Katy faithful and putting Katy down 35-21 at the break.
TOUCHDOWN: @NSNationFB QB @Dematrius09 to Charles King for a 25-yard touchdown across the middle. #txhsfb
2nd Quarter - 1:48@NSSH_Mustangs - 28@Katyfootball - 21 @dctf@abc13sports@joeagleason@ShadrachBanks@Runzekerun01@damieongeorge@GalenaParkISDpic.twitter.com/9yUUKU7IbA
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) November 29, 2019
Unlike in the first meeting between these teams, there would be no triumphant Katy second-half comeback, even though they came close.
Despite jumping out to a 21-point lead just minutes into the third, Katy fought back. A 10-yard rushing score from Jalen Davis and then a fumbled punt recovered for a touchdown made it 42-35 with 3:21 left in the third quarter.
That's as close as they would get with the running game being stifled all game long.
Davis finished as Katy's leading rusher with eight carries for 44 yards and the lone score. No Katy running back broke the 50-yard mark for the game. Hoff, who had missed the previous two games with an injury was limited to just 10 carries for 27 yards.
"We're not that kind of team, we have to be able to establish something running game wise and we just didn't do it," Joseph said. "I credit North Shore. We have to find a way to be more physical up front."
An 11-yard touchdown pass to King and one-yard touchdown run by Davis would seal the deal on the way to a 56-35 victory.
"This is round 11 in my mind," Kay said. "It's been going back and forth. Every time we get together it's never easy unless it was 2017 or some of those early ones. It's what you expect. You knew you'd be in a war and we got it."
.@NSNationFB coach Jon Kay moments after @NSSH_Mustangs 21-point victory over Katy. #txhsfb@joeagleason@abc13sports@Dematrius09@ShadrachBanks@TXHSFB@dctfpic.twitter.com/dbHmOYj49B
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) November 30, 2019