Sweats’ pick seals Katy win over Tompkins as Tigers survive another thriller
KATY—Last week against state-ranked Atascocita, Katy rode Seth Davis’s go-ahead 57-yard touchdown run with 61 seconds left to victory.
On Friday against state-ranked and district rival Tompkins, it was opportunistic defense the Tigers manufactured into a win.
With Katy up one point and Tompkins threatening with 4th-and-2 on the Katy 42-yard line with less than two minutes left, Tigers senior defensive back Micah Sweats cut in front of Falcons quarterback Chris Gilbert’s throw to senior receiver Matthew Ogunrin along the right sideline and raced the other way before being tackled at the Tompkins 21-yard line. From there, the victory formation salted a thrilling 14-13 Katy win over Tompkins on Saturday evening at Legacy Stadium.
“I knew they’d been running a whole bunch of stop routes on those short-down routes,” Sweats said. “I trusted my other guys to get to the quarterback. I read the route and was able to make the play, did my job. I did what I was supposed to be doing out there.”
\u201cDown 1 with 4th-and-2 on the Katy 42 with 1:53 left, Tompkins QB Chris Gilbert is intercepted by @sweats_micah. Clutch for @FootballKaty. #txhsfb @KatyISDAthletic @KatyTigerMedia\u201d— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1662859362
Katy improved to 3-0, 1-0 in District 19-6A. Tompkins dropped to 2-1, 0-1.
Neither team played particularly well. Katy had three turnovers, all in the first half, and six penalties for 50 yards, most of them false starts. Tompkins had two turnovers, including the big one on its final drive, and on its next-to-last drive committed three consecutive penalties in Katy territory after being charged with just three penalties, total, in the previous three quarters.
“We talked in there (the locker room postgame) about how disappointed we would’ve been if we would’ve played good and lost,” Katy coach Gary Joseph said. “We were able to do what it took and do enough to win, and that’s the most important thing. I can’t fault their work ethic. We’ve just got to get going. We can’t be that inept on offense and we’ve got to be better on defense and the kicking game.”
Tompkins outgained Katy 236-223 in total yards but had to rely on Andrew Horner field goals of 31 and 25 yards, respectively, twice in the red zone in the first half. Katy averaged 4.7 yards per carry as Davis had a tough go against an unrelenting front seven for the second consecutive game.
Still, Davis’s touchdowns of 8 and 2 yards, respectively, were enough, especially his go-ahead score on fourth down late in the third quarter that ultimately proved to be the winner.
\u201c.@FootballKaty back in front on this @_SethDavis21 2-yard gash. Tigers lead 14-13, 2:48, 3Q. #txhsfb @KatyTigerMedia\u201d— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1662857061
“It was fun,” said Davis, who rushed for 118 yards on 26 carries. “Both crowds were yelling, and I was excited. Just found a way to score. It helped us get the lead. It was big.
“We made a lot of mistakes, but in the second half we started picking it up and just driving the ball down the field. We ran it hard and did a better job taking care of the ball.”
Defense won Katy the game after offense headlined the Atascocita win.
\u201c.@FootballKaty 2023 DB Micah Sweats (@sweats_micah) talks about tonight\u2019s 14-13 win over Tompkins. Sweats had the game-sealing interception late in the fourth quarter to lift the Tigers to a 3-0 start. #txhsfb @KatyISDAthletic @KPRC2RandyMc @Katyfootball\u201d— VYPE Houston (@VYPE Houston) 1662861522
The Tigers forced two turnovers on interceptions by junior linebacker Connor Johnsey and Sweats and held the Falcons to 4.3 yards per play and one touchdown, Wyatt Young’s 11-yard snare from Gilbert in the left corner end zone with 11 seconds left in the second quarter.
Tompkins did not score the rest of the game.
“It started with the D-line,” Johnsey said. “They had to get the gaps open for the linebackers and the safeties. We worked hard this whole week, and I felt we were very prepared for this game.”
Uncharacteristic Katy miscues allowed Tompkins the momentum most of the game. The Falcons twice held the lead: 3-0 early into the second quarter and 13-7 from late in the second quarter through most of the third.
\u201cCody Chapman interception as @othsfalconfb collects its second takeaway of three Katy drives. #txhsfb @OTHSABClub\u201d— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1662852384
False starts stunted Tigers drives. A ball was inexplicably downed at the Katy 1-yard line by a Tiger on a kick return. Another Tiger fumbled a kick return.
Over the last two weeks, against two of the top teams in the region, Katy has 11 penalties for 80 yards. Most of the mishaps are non-sensical.
“They’re learning that having to fight is much different in close games than winning games big. It’s about growing up,” Joseph said. “We did some of the dumbest things, and we keep on doing it. Pretty soon, it’s got to stop. That’s what I told them. If we have to make changes, we’ll make changes.”
But there’s the flip side that is significant, and it’s that the Tigers are 2-0 over the last two weeks and not 0-2. A rosy picture that Joseph acknowledged.
“That’s the tough thing about playing a district game this early in the year,” he said. “You’re still going to have growing pains. But I’m proud of the kids for hanging in there. They did exactly what they needed to do to win the game.”