From the outside looking in, or for those not educated on the history of the Tigers, it was easy to doubt Katy this year. They lost a close one to Austin Westlake at the beginning of the year, followed by a narrow overtime win over Klein Collins and a drubbing at the hands of The Woodlands. Starting 1-2 is bad, it’s even worse when you just came off one of the best season in school history.
Then district play came around, and Katy got back to doing what Katy does best: crushing your will to live behind a strong running game and a stifling defense. It was obvious that these weren’t the Tigers of 2015, but then again, who is? How can we compare this year’s Katy team, much less any team against the 2015 squad, a team that many believe fielded the best defense in the history of Texas High School Football?
The quick answer is that you can’t, and this Katy team was excellent in their own way. It takes stones to turn around your season like they did, it’s not easy to head into district play holding a single win by a single point. During their district run, Katy beat Cinco Ranch, who made it all the way to the semifinals 45-7. They shut out Katy Taylor 48-0. In the playoffs, they locked down an excellent team from Cy Ranch. It took a goal line stop with time winding down in the fourth quarter for North Shore to secure a win over the Tigers.
No, these weren’t the Tigers of 2015, and that is completely and totally okay. They were excellent in their own right, and we caught a glimpse at the stars of tomorrow that will have Katy back in the statewide running next year as well.
DE Corey Bethley, DE Ryder Anderson, TE Parker Eichenberger, WR JC Angulo
Katy’s going to have to play the next man up game on their defensive front, it’s not easy to lose two guys as powerful as Ryder Anderson and Corey Bethley. The best part of that Tiger defense is their ability to rush the passer while only bringing their three defensive linemen, so we might be seeing much more blitzing out of the Tigers in the future.
Eichenberger was more than just a receiver this year, he was a key blocker that paved the way for that powerful Katy running game. His ability to seal edges and catch passes in the flats will be missed. Angulo was possibly the most underrated portion of Katy’s attack, his ability to make plays after the catch and on deep balls will be something that the Tigers will miss.
RB Deondrick Glass, DE Michael Matus, DT Moro Ojomo, MLB Gavin Spangler, DB KeShon Rowe
If you’re a Texas High School Football nut, you need no introduction to Deondrick Glass. He’s an absolute animal with the ball in his hands, he has the ability to run around you or just run you over. He’ll be a household name in no time, he’ll undoubtedly make a highlight reel play that goes viral at some point.
On the defensive side, I really want to focus on the defensive front, because I think they have a chance at being one of the best in the state. Moro Ojomo is a guy that really pops out at the true nose position (his film against Austin Westlake is particularly impressive), and Michael Matus is a classic Katy defender – a little tall, has some weight on him, and will bull rush just about any tackle back into the pocket. Once the ball clears the line of scrimmage, Spangler is a sure tackler who can lay the wood on anyone who tries to stop on a dime. Rowe will provide the defensive backfield with leadership in his final year in a Katy uniform.
Katy is probably the best example of the dynasty phenomenon in Texas High School Football. To some extent, the name on the front of the jersey matters. The Katy Tigers are an inevitability, they can never be counted out in the playoff hunt. Gary Joesph always has this team peaking in November and December, they are always a threat to end someone’s season, no matter what talent they have on the roster.
In 2017, they’ll have the talent as well. Deondrick Glass is a threat to take it to the house at every part of the field, and even though Katy loses a handful of good defenders, they return stalwart young men on the front lines that will be able to handle most any offensive line. Katy won’t be “back”, persay, because they never really left. They’ll always be a threat to the title out of the Houston area, and this year will be no different.
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