KATY— Early in the season, Katy was not playing good football. However, the Tigers, ’tis their M.O., still found ways to win, escaping state-ranked Atascocita and then-state ranked Tompkins by a combined eight points.
Now Katy is back to being Katy again.
The Tigers won their third straight game by at least 49 points on Thursday, dismantling Paetow, 54-0, at Legacy Stadium. In a battle of two recent state champions—Katy the 2020 Class 6A-DII champ and Paetow last year’s Class 5A-DI champ—the Tigers quieted any noise about who’s the biggest and baddest in Katy ISD.
“They’re getting better, and that’s the big thing,” coach Gary Joseph said of his team improving to 7-0 overall, 5-0 in District 19-6A. “Early on, we knew it was going to be a work in progress. We’re getting better, and that’s a good thing if we want to win a district championship and advance in the playoffs.”
It was the first shutout of the season for the Katy defense, which held Paetow to 74 total yards and forced two turnovers.
“It was really stopping the QB and stopping the show routes,” said senior linebacker Chisholm Hill, who was persistently in the Panthers’ offensive backfield all night long. “We’d been having a hard time stopping that but we proved ourselves tonight. We were getting more pressure on the QB.”
\u201c.@FootballKaty senior LB @chisholm_hill talks about tonight\u2019s 54-0 win over Paetow. Hill helped lead a Tiger defense that held the Panthers to 74 total yards, forced two turnovers and produced the first shutout of the season. #txhsfb @KatyTigerMedia @KatyISDAthletic\u201d— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1665110427
Penalties and turnovers plagued Katy during the early part of the season. The Tigers were making silly, sloppy mistakes and executing poorly. It was all uncharacteristic.
All of that now appears to be bygones.
Thursday’s game was the Tigers’ third straight without a turnover. They’ve also only committed five total penalties over the last two games against Jordan and Paetow, two teams with legitimate postseason aspirations.
“We’re doing everything we typically do,” said senior quarterback Caleb Koger, who completed eight of 14 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a touchdown. “It’s great. I feel like our games are getting cleaner.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Katy led 14-0 after the first quarter behind scoring runs of 2 and 50 yards, respectively, from star senior tailback Seth Davis, who missed last week’s win over Jordan due to injury.
Davis finished with 118 yards on 16 carries.
Katy’s No. 1 receiver, senior JR Ceyanes, has been sidelined since the second game of the season with a shoulder injury. But the Tigers are getting prolific production from others on the perimeter.
Against Paetow, Koger connected on passes to six different receivers. Junior Oliver Ginn had three catches for 74 yards. Senior Micah Koenig had two catches for 84 yards. Senior Adam Jackson and junior Luke Carter each caught two passes.
Paetow forced Katy to beat it with the pass. The Tigers obliged.
\u201cAfter another Paetow 3-and-out, @CalebKoger3 finds @Mikedyy1 on a 63-yard scoring bomb on the first play from scrimmage. 24-0 @FootballKaty, 6:37, 2Q. #txhsfb @KatyISDAthletic @KatyTigerMedia\u201d— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1665100753
“It was great to see the other kids who made some big catches,” Joseph said. “Micah made a big catch. Adam Jackson. (Ginn) made some big catches. That’s what we needed. You have to have different people step up, and they did.”
Katy scored on its first seven drives before it had to punt with 1:41 left in the third quarter. The Tigers’ offense totaled 464 yards and averaged 9.8 yards per play.
“We were firing on all cylinders,” Koger said. “Linemen played well, running backs played well. Seth played a good game. (Fullback Chase) Johnsey is always good and my receivers balled out. I can’t forget about Luke. I love everybody on this offense. It’s fun.”
\u201cWhat a catch! @ajacksonjr22 with the terrific dive to take in this 24-yarder. #txhsfb @FootballKaty @KatyTigerMedia\u201d— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1665103702
Paetow threw in a new wrinkle by starting a new quarterback in sophomore Brock Nichols but it ultimately didn’t matter. The Panthers ended up alternating Nichols with senior Koby Truehill often after their second offensive series.
Nichols completed 11 of 22 passes for 59 yards and threw an interception. He was sacked four times. Truehill completed four of eight passes for 24 yards and threw an interception. He was sacked twice.
The Panthers’ running game was worse. Paetow had minus-nine yards on 20 carries.
“(Junior defensive back) Jed Olotu-Judah has really helped our secondary and defensive coverage,” Joseph said. “He’s worked himself into a starter and he’s a real positive. Our secondary is playing better and keeping people in front of them and tackling when catches are made. The pass rush is getting better, and I know our secondary kids appreciate that. It makes them better.”
WHAT IT MEANS
Katy is soaring heading into next week’s bye.
Paetow has lost two straight games, is indecisive at quarterback, has yet to establish a potent running game and its vaunted defense—anchored by the No. 1 defensive linemen in the country in senior David Hicks Jr., four-star front-seven recruits Loghan Thomas and Daymion Sanford, and a slew of other young high-profile recruits—has surrendered 29, 17, 41 and 54 points, respectively, over the last four district games.
Koger offered a reason for Katy’s concerning start—by its standards—to the season.
“Typically, we’d start district two games ago,” Koger said. “So we’ve been trying to get into season form. We’re there now.”
This year, 19-6A teams played two non-district games instead of four and started the district schedule earlier because the league expanded from seven to nine teams with the addition of Jordan and Paetow.
Katy goes into its bye and will take the field again Oct. 21 versus Cinco Ranch (4-2, 3-1 19-6A). If the Cougars take care of Paetow next week, the Katy-Cinco Ranch game will have serious district title implications.
Paetow (3-3, 2-2 19-6A) plays Cinco Ranch on Oct. 14.
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