Katy ISD off to slow start on gridiron
Katy ISD had five football teams in action during the first two days of the 2018 season. The district unexpectedly went into September seeking its first victory.
It was up to Mayde Creek, Morton Ranch and Tompkins to lead KISD to victory on Saturday. Cinco Ranch, Katy, Paetow, Seven Lakes and Taylor produced some positive signs in Week 1, but did not get the desired result.
Katy fell 35-21 in a marquee matchup with non-district rival North Shore, bringing the top-ranked teams in the region to Legacy Stadium. The Tigers could not stop Mustangs running back Zach Evans, who rushed for 150 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries.
Katy won the teams’ previous matchup, a 31-3 victory in the regional semifinals in November. The Tigers had to play from behind in the rematch, facing a 21-7 deficit by halftime.
Sophomore quarterback Bronson McClelland was productive in his first start, leading the Tigers on three touchdown drives including a 16-yard strike to Jordan Patrick.
McClelland scored twice on the ground, including an impressive 60-yard run. Deondrick Glass carried 27 times for 141 yards and the Tigers did not commit a turnover.
Katy does not plan to dwell on its opening defeat, particularly with a talented Atascocita team next.
“We’ve lost our first game before and gone on to win the state championship,” McClelland said. “So it’s a tough loss, none of us are happy about it, but we’ve got to get back to work and worry about next week.”
The Tigers host Atascocita at 6 p.m., Sept. 8 at Legacy Stadium. The Eagles began with a 16-0 shutout of Taylor in Chad Simmons’ debut as Mustangs’ head coach.
The Mustangs held Atascocita under 300 yards and forced two turnovers but managed only 169. Brandon Campbell and Casey Shorter did combine for 111 yards on 23 carries.
Paetow made its varsity debut Aug. 31 against an improved Stafford team at Rhodes Stadium. The Spartans scored the first five touchdowns on their way to a 41-14 victory.
The Panthers did earn the first points in school history, as Andrew Jurado rushed for a touchdown late in the third quarter. Calevin Curry added another touchdown run in fourth.
Paetow also nearly had its first 100-yard rusher, as Major Payne carried 27 times for 99 yards.
Seven Lakes and Cinco Ranch fell short on the road in competitive games Aug. 30. The Spartans were in Memorial territory on their final drive of a 17-14 loss. The Cougars lost 32-21 to non-district rival Cypress Ranch.
Cinco Ranch led 14-7 at halftime behind two Sanders Crawford IV touchdown runs, one for 20 and another for 17, both in the final eight minutes of the half.
Cameron Harper gave the Cougars their final lead, 21-18, on a gritty scramble with 6:14 remaining.
Seven Lakes took time to get going in its first game under head coach Jimmy Hamon. But the Spartans displayed more of their ability cutting into a 17-0 halftime deficit.
Led by defensive lineman Tiago Sumbo, the Spartans stopped Memorial during the final two quarters to give Michael Batton and the offense time to find a rhythm.
Using quicker passes and effective pocket management by Batton, the Spartans reached Memorial territory four times including a 75-yard drive that included a fourth-down conversion.
Jaden Embra made four receptions on the drive as part of a seven-catch, 87-yard day. Rasheen Green put the Spartans on the board with a 15-yard touchdown catch with 9:02 remaining.
Seven Lakes did not allow a first down on Memorial’s last three possessions. The Spartans cashed in on a short drive with 5:28 left as Batton scrambled right on third down and found Embra open for a 30-yard touchdown.
Seven Lakes drove from its own 16 to Memorial’s 41 in an attempt to tie the game but was not able to connect on consecutive passes.
The Spartans, like much of KISD, hinted at a better week ahead.
Houston Chronicle freelance writer Jason McDaniel contributed to this report.