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
What a night of Texas high school football.
Zach Evans goes bananas against Pearland Dawson, rushing for 354 yards on 20 carries; Strake Jesuit's Dylan Campbell rushed for more than 200 yards and seven ... yes count them seven touchdowns as the Crusaders dismantled last year's state runner-ups Beaumont West Brook in a 63-35 area-round victory and Katy's defense stuffed LJ Johnson and the previously undefeated Cy-Fair Bobcats.
Shadow Creek, Second Baptist, The Woodlands Christian Academy, Manvel and Katy all improved to 12-0. To go along with Cy-Fair's perfect season ending, Huffman saw its perfect run end with a 19-14 loss to Palestine.
Check out all of the Houston-area teams and how they did this week.
Class 6A Division I – Region III
Katy 27, Cy-Fair 14
North Shore 58, Dawson 35
Regional Semifinals: Katy vs North Shore - Friday, Nov. 29 at NRG Stadium - 4 p.m.
Tompkins 30, Cy Falls 27
Atascocita 46, Dickinson 27
Regional Semifinals: Tompkins vs Atascocita - Saturday, Nov. 30 at NRG Stadium - 2 p.m.
Class 6A Division I – Region II
The Woodlands 34, Cypress Woods 28
Regional Semifinals: The Woodlands vs Prosper - Saturday, Nov. 30 at Baylor's McLane Stadium - 7 p.m.
Area Round – Cy Ranch vs Klein Oak - Saturday, Nov. 23 - Waller ISD Stadium - 3 p.m
Class 6A Division II – Region III
Cypress Creek 35, Mayde Creek 14
Strake Jesuit 63, West Brook 35
Regional Semifinals: Cypress Creek vs Strake Jesuit - Friday, Nov. 29 at NRG Stadium - 8 p.m.
Katy Taylor 21, Memorial 14
Area Round – George Ranch vs Humble - Saturday, Nov. 23 - TDECU Stadium (University of Houston) - 4 p.m.
Class 6A Division II – Region II
Westfield 36, Tomball Memorial 26
Regional Semifinals: Westfield vs Waco Midway - Saturday, Nov. 30 at Merrill Green Stadium (Bryan, Texas) - 2 p.m.
Klein Collins 28, Vandergrift 14
Regional Semifinals: Klein Collins vs Dallas Jesuit - Friday, Nov. 29 at Baylor's McLane Stadium - Kickoff TBD
Class 5A Division I – Region III
Shadow Creek 63, Hutto 14
Foster 52, Georgetown 14
Regional Semifinal: Shadow Creek vs Foster - TBD
Manor 45, Porter 6
Area Round – Friendswood vs Cedar Park – Saturday, Nov. 23 at NRG Stadium – 6 p.m.
Class 5A Division I – Region II
Highland Park 63, Magnolia 28
Class 5A Division II – Region III
Fort Bend Marshall 32, A&M Consolidated 27
Area Round – Huntsville vs Crosby – Saturday, Nov. 23 at Randall Reed Stadium - 2 p.m.
Manvel 62, Lamar Consolidated 34
Barbers Hill 47, Whitehouse 24
Regional Semifinals: Manvel vs Barbers Hill, Friday Nov. 29 at NRG Stadium at Noon
TAPPS Division II
Second Baptist 21, St. Joseph 0
Regents 43, Lutheran South 13
State Semifinals: Second Baptist vs Regents - TBA
TAPPS Division III
The Woodlands Christian Academy 49, Texas School for the Deaf 21
State Semifinals: Geneva vs The Woodlands Christian Academy - TBA