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Ridge Point vs. Katy Taylor
6:45 p.m. Pre-game, 7:00 Tipoff
Ft. Bend Crew: Roger C Smith
Ending the regular season with an even 5-5 record, the Taylor Mustangs have advanced to the state semifinals.
The Mustangs outlasted the Cy Creek Cougars by a score of 58-20 in NRG Stadium on Saturday. They showed up to play and maintained their high intensity throughout the whole game.
Practically every key player on Taylor's offense and defense contributed to the win. Touchdowns were scored by six different players, three of which were scored on defense and special teams. Once the Mustangs gained the slightest bit of momentum in the first quarter, they were off to the races.
Katy Taylor was led by junior quarterback J. Jensen III and a backfield of CJ Tolbert and Casey Shorter, who were able to get the game running going early in the first quarter. On the second drive of the game, Shorter was able to make big yardage plays, including a 15-yard run for a first down that put the Mustang's offense into field-goal range. CJ Tolbert capped off this drive with a four-yard touchdown rush that put the Mustangs up 7-0 with 7:07 left in the first quarter. The high energy from the players and fans would definitely carry on to their next drive.
Taylor's next 17 points would be scored within a span of one minute and thirty-seven seconds of game play. A 30-yard run from Tolbert set up a successful 43-yard field goal from junior kicker Renan Baeta, who was perfect on the day. The score would then be 10-0 with 3:37 left in the first quarter.
From that moment onward, the Mustangs' defense turned up the energy. On the ensuing kickoff after the recently made field goal, a swarm of Taylor players forced Cy Creek's returner to fumble. The ball bounced into the end zone where junior defensive back Cecil Ivey II jumped on it for a touchdown. Once the Mustangs' defense returned to the field, they scored again right away as junior safety Trevor Woods picked off Cy Creek's Julian Uwadia for a 25-yard score with 2:39 left in the first quarter. The Mustangs ended the first quarter winning 24-0.
The Cougars would put up some points on the board, including a kickoff return for a touchdown and 25-yard reception from senior receiver Legend Grigsby and another 25-yard reception from senior running back Eddie Jimmerson. Despite Cy Creek's ability to find the end zone at times, Taylor remained dominant throughout the whole game.
At one point with 7:03 remaining in the second quarter, Taylor had an 11:1 ratio of first downs over Cy Creek. Jensen was able to get comfortable with the passing game, he found his star receiver Griffin Dougherty open on two consecutive plays and later found the end zone on a 35-yard pass to senior Tanner Isola, allowing the Mustangs to go up 34-7.
Cecil Ivey II was definitely the player of the game. On top of his touchdown that he scored on the kickoff team, Ivey picked off Julian Uwadia and ran it back 20 yards for another score.
When asked how he plans to lead his defense heading into the next round, he responded with "We didn't come here just to come here. We got to keep moving forward. We got to execute, play it day-by-day, and continue to move on."
Taylor's defense and special teams played one of the best games they have played all season. Two touchdowns, three interceptions, one forced fumble, multiple deflections, and a sack are only a few of the many contributions they made to the team's victory.
While Cy Creek finishes off a great season with an overall 9-5 record, Katy Taylor prepares for next week's game against Austin Westlake on December 13 at McLane Stadium. As long as the Mustangs' momentum stays persistent into the next round, they will be a difficult team to overlook.