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 @GalenaParkISD pic.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 @dctf pic.twitter.com/dbHmOYj49B
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) November 30, 2019
Bronson McClelland will miss the next two games and has been removed as one of the captains for the Katy football team effective immediately.
Not because of injury but due to video surfacing after a 35-30 victory over Tompkins of him using a derogatory racial slur. The video was made on SnapChat, was recorded on the screen and reposted on Twitter.
The original Twitter post by Tompkins player Tunmise Adeleye that had a recording of the Snapchat video was removed by Friday morning but had already gained traction on social media by midnight.
On Friday, McClelland took to social media to issue a statement.
"After last night's win over the Tompkins Falcons, I made comments on social media that were not appropriate under any circumstances," McClelland wrote. "Being in a leadership role, I put my family, teammates, coaches, school and community in a bad light."
VYPE reached out to Katy coach Gary Joseph for a statement but has not had its phone call returned at this time.
McClelland went on to say him and his parents met with Gary Joseph on Friday to discuss his actions. The decision was made for him to no longer to be a team captain and sit out the next two District 19-6A games.
"Giving me time to focus my attention on what it means to be a Katy Tiger."
McClelland will miss games against Morton Ranch and Seven Lakes. The junior quarterback's earliest return can come on October 25 against Cinco Ranch.
McClelland's full statement can be read below.
Katy ISD released a statement to VYPE as well about the incident.
Official Statement from Katy ISD: "On Friday, October 4, 2019, Katy ISD Administration and the Katy ISD Police Department were informed of the inappropriate behavior and language of a student on the Katy High School Varsity Football Team. Campus administration, Katy ISD police and local law enforcement thoroughly investigated the video incident. The student responsible will face disciplinary consequences in accordance with the Katy ISD Discipline Management Student Code of Conduct and Athletic Code of Conduct. However, it is important to note there are other related incidents that continue to be under investigation that would lead to additional consequences for any student found to be involved. This type of behavior and language is not in line with the values of our District, staff and community who work hard every day to instill exemplary character and behavior in all Katy ISD students. The District is committed to keeping students safe, both physically and emotionally. It is our highest priority."
Katy ISD also confirmed to VYPE that a letter had been sent home to parents at Katy and Tompkins High School.