Late in the second quarter Katy running back Adam Taylor fumbled the ball, setting up Steele’s third touchdown in less than four minutes to send the game into halftime tied at 21.
“I could have cost the game with the fumble,” Taylor said. “I just wanted to do it for my team, run hard on every play and protect the ball.”
Katy gave him plenty of chances to redeem himself in the second half. Taylor ran the ball on eight of the nine plays in Katy’s first drive of the third quarter, gaining all 63 yards and finishing it off with a touchdown. Steele never was able to tie Katy again.
In all, Taylor ran the ball 40 times for 226 yards and three touchdowns.
Defense on heels
Katy’s defense had dominated opponents in the playoffs leading up to the game against Steele, but the Knights put 33 points on the Tigers, nearly the amount Katy had given up in the four previous games. Steele had six plays in the game that covered at least 20 yards against the Tigers.
“The speed bothered us a little bit on the edge,” Katy head coach Gary Joseph said. “That disappointed me a little bit, we didn’t handle it very well.”
Huddleston’s value to the team
It was an up and down game for Katy quarterback Kiley Huddleston. He started the game slowly, perhaps a little too excited, and completed just one of four passes in the first half.
“We just had a lot of hype about going deep and stuff. We needed to make big plays and I tried to do it, but I settled down.”
Huddleston left the game briefly in the third quarter after reinjuring his shoulder. His replacement was freshman Garrett Doiron who finished off a touchdown drive by handing the ball to Taylor, but then fumbled the ball away to Steele on the first play of the next drive.
When the Katy offense took the field again, Huddleston was back.
“I wanted to do it for the seniors,” Huddleston, a junior, said. “I know how bad they wanted it and I wanted it. So I had to get it done for the seniors.”
“He’s our quarterback, he’s our leader,” added Joseph. “We expect that from him.”
Katy has made its playoff run look easy because of the hot starts the team has gotten. Heading into the Steele game, Katy had outscored its opponents 87-7 in the first quarter. The Tigers continued that by leading 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, and then made it 21-0 one play into the second when defensive end Matt Dimon intercepted a Steele pass and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown.