Two brutally hard running offenses will go toe-to-toe in the first round of the 6A Division II playoffs as the 7-3 Fort Bend Kempner Cougars will square off against the 8-2 Katy Taylor Mustangs Saturday, November 12 at Rhodes Stadium in Katy.
The Mustangs are riding a six game win streak, but can’t afford to slow down now. They will need all of what’s left in the tank to keep up with District 20-6A’s top rushing offense. The Cougars rushing attack is led by running back Billy Reagins Jr. Reagins leads all of 20-6A with 1,492 yards rushing on 267 attempts and 16 touchdowns. Alec Carr and Joel Adams were also significant members of the Cougars running back stable. Both Carr and Adams finished with more than 500 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. Reagins and company may prove to be tough men to stop for Katy Taylor. The Mustangs defense was ranked 4th against the run in 19-6A this year, allowing 180 yards a game.
If the Katy Taylor defensive front is unable to hold, their offense will be able to go stride-for-stride in what would be an entertaining foot race. Carrying the baton for the Mustangs will be running back Ean Beek. Beek won the regular season race in 19-6A, running for 1,850 yards on 286 attempts and pounding his way for 15 touchdowns on the ground. Beek may be primed for a statement game on one of high school football’s grandest stages. The Mustangs workhorse running back will be knifing into what was the second the worst rushing defense in 20-6A. The Cougars were pierced for 2,118 yards rushing this year, surrendering over 210 yards a game.
While predominantly a run heavy team, Katy Taylor can find success through the air when opponents stack the box against Beek. Look for Mustangs quarterback David Perkins to roll out of trouble on third downs and find one of his talented receivers open beyond the sticks. Perkins has thrown for 1,198 yards this season, but more impressively has thrown 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
Kempner’s ineffectual passing game does not afford them the same luxury. The Cougars rank near the bottom in 20-6A passing, accumulating only 855 yards in ten games this season.
The Mustangs and Cougars have shared two common adversaries in the regular season: 7-3 Ft. Bend Travis and 1-9 Mayde Creek. The Mustangs escaped Ft. Bend Travis 43-40 and throttled Mayde Creek 42 – 14. The Cougars got by Mayde Creek 38 – 31, but fell to Fort Bend Travis 46-39.
Whoever comes out on top of this hard nosed, first round matchup will move on to challenge the winner of Houston Westside – Cypress Ridge. The Wolves and Rams will be in action Friday night at Pridgeon Stadium.