“This whole team has been motivated to get here and we’re motivated to get past this round,” said senior safety Johnathan Hall. “Last year, I feel like we were embarrassed with the way we played in that game. But that’s the motivation right there. This year we’re coming in hard and ready to go."
Katy still remembers last season.
The Tigers had an amazing year, reclaiming the District 19-6A state championship winning a Region III championship for the second straight season and reached the state semifinal game.
But there is still a bitter taste in the Tigers mouth from that state semi game when they played Austin Westlake, and it has fueled the Tigers all year to get back to this point.
“This whole team has been motivated to get here and we’re motivated to get past this round,” said senior safety Johnathan Hall. “Last year, I feel like we were embarrassed with the way we played in that game. But that’s the motivation right there. This year we’re coming in hard and ready to go, last year we weren’t prepared the right way. This year, we’re going to be prepared and we’re going to take it all the way.”
The Tigers rolled through the first three rounds of the playoffs before facing a tense game against C.E. King in the Class 6A-Division II Region III Final, but a strong second half performance both offensively and defensively led Katy into the state semifinals as they have kept their quest for the schools tenth state football championship alive.
“We’ve been grinding to get back to this point,” said senior running back Seth Davis. “Last year didn’t end how we wanted and we made it a point to get back here. We weren’t going to let anyone get in our way, now we have to make sure we come out and do this one more time and make it to state.”
Standing in the way of the Tigers mission is a very tough Vandegrift (13-1) team which comes off a close victory over Dripping Springs to claim the Region IV title.
The Vipers are no slouch either and fully deserve to be in this position. They have a very balanced offense with a pass game that has the potential to give Katy’s secondary trouble just as King’s offense did last week.
Brayden Buchanan leads the Vandegrift offense and has thrown for 2,839 yards this year, completing 65% of his passes and averaging over 200 yards per game while he has thrown for 27 touchdowns compared to five interceptions on the year. Miles Coleman is the biggest threat for the team in the air, having caught 87 passes for 1420 yards and 12 touchdowns this season while Jean Middleton has 33 catches for 498 yards and 10 touchdowns. Alex Witt leads the ground game with 1,064 yards and 18 touchdowns. And Defensively, Vandegrift is only giving up 10.5 points per game.
Game time will be 1 p.m. Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, and the Tigers know they will have to be ready for another full, four quarter fight.
“I’m excited about playing another week, I might not be excited about playing Vandegrift, that’s a tough football team, but I’m excited we get to go out there and play again,” said Katy head coach Gary Jospeh. “I think it’s awesome, this program won a state championship and then went to back-to-back state semifinals and it just shows that this program is still up there and not dead yet. I’m proud of our kids and the whole school, that’s what you play for.”
*Note: Katy senior running back is currently at 6,434 rushing yards for his career, and needs exactly 100 rushing yards Saturday to break Rodney Anderson’s school record of 6,533 rushing yards.