John Kelly breaks down Katy's big win
For 20 minutes Katy's game was just like the Tigers' other four playoff games. At that point, everything got scrambled and Katy had to fight its way through to a 45-33 win over Cibolo Steele in the 5A Division II semifinal.
The Tigers led 21-0 midway through the second quarter before Steele showed any fight. Steele clawed its way back slowly at first, getting its first touchdown after a 14-play, 57-yard drive that included a pair of fourth down conversions. That score closed the gap to 21-7 with 3:53 in the half but the Knights were just getting started.
Once the seal was broken on the scoreboard, the points flowed for Steele. The Knights got the ball back with 1:46 left and 18 seconds later they were on the board again. Two long passes set up a 29-yard Jordan Stems run for a touchdown.
Katy running back Adam Taylor fumbled the ball on the Tigers' next offensive play and Steele recovered the ball on the Katy 47. Three plays later the game was tied on a nine yard pass from Breylann MCCollum to L.G. Williams.
"We lost our composure more than anything else," head coach Gary Joseph said. "That's what I told them at halftime, you just panicked a little bit. They'd never been put in that situation, turned the ball over. We needed to take a breath at halftime and just relax a little bit."
Katy did just that and started the second half the way they started the first. Taylor, still smarting from the fumble in the second quarter, gained all of Katy's 63 yards on its opening drive. Scoring on his eigth carry from one yard out to put the Tigers up 28-21.
"I could have cost the game with the fumble," Taylor said. "I just wanted to do it for my team, run hard every play and protect the ball."
The news wasn't all good on the drive, though. Quarterback Kiley Huddleston reinjured a sore shoulder and had to leave the game. Katy replaced him with freshman Garrett Doiron, who fumbled on the first play of Katy's next possession, turning over to Steele in Katy territory.
Starting at the Tigers' 46, it took the Knights seven plays to score, Sterns capped the drive with a one-yard plunge, with just under four minutes in the quarter. But Steele missed the extra point and Katy held on to a one-point lead.
Huddleston returned on the next possession, and the Tigers extended the lead, first to four points on a 26-yard field goal and then to 11 on a three-yard run by Rodney Anderson with 7:05 remaining in the game.
"I injured my shoulder a couple of weeks ago and re-injured it a little bit," Huddleston said. "They taped me up so I was ready to go."
Steele fired right back, though. Sterns followed up a 62-yard run by Justin Stockton with a three yard touchdown to close the lead to five. The Knights failed on the two point conversion try, leaving the score 38-33 Katy with 6:41 to play.
That's when Taylor and company went to work, chewing up yards and the clock. Katy went on an 11-play drive that took 5:02 off the clock and scored on a Taylor seven-yard run, giving the Tigers a 45-33 lead with less than two minutes left.
With the win Katy advances to the state championship game for the first time since 2009. The Tigers will face Cedar Hill, which beat Austin Westlake in the other half of the bracket, next Saturday at Cowboys Stadium for the title.