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September 27, 2012
By Doug Johnson of The Grind


“Oh, make no mistake. It's not revenge he's after. It's a reckoning.” (Doc Holiday, Tombstone 1993)

Gary Joseph, the head coach of the Katy Tigers, marched his team into the hostile territory of Woodforest National Bank Stadium Saturday ready to take on the Woodlands Highlanders the way Wyatt Erp took on the “Cowboys” in the movie Tombstone.

Just like Erp, who warned the Cowboys that he would get them all, Joseph’s Katy Tigers sent a message that they are to be recognized (as a contender for a State Title) with a 63-10 dismantlement of the Highlanders.

The Tigers have faced the Highlanders eight times and tied the win record of four wins each to a full crowd on a beautiful Saturday night in Montgomery County.

In 2008 Katy had to reconstruct the team after a 47-0 blowout by the Woodlands. Then in 2009 the Tigers lost 27-31 in the second game of the season. None of the players that suited up Saturday night were there to experience 2008 game and how it felt to be shut out. Trust me when I tell you that the 2012 tigers were there for “A day of Reckonin’).

Everyone in attendance Saturday night at Woodforest National Bank Stadium could see the intensity Katy brought with them on the first kickoff as they smothered the Highlanders deep in their own territory.  

The Tiger defense then showed its dominance by forcing the Highlanders to a quick three and out on their first possession.

One of the keys to Katy’s success was the kickoff and punt return plays by sophomore running back Rodney Anderson and senior defensive back Isaiah Brown. On the first punt return Anderson sets up Katy’s first drive in great field position with a 25 yard return.

Katy took their first possession on the 32 yard line of the Woodlands side of the field and instantly went to work wearing down the Highlanders defense with the power and strength of senior running back Adam Taylor. Taylor who started in only his third football game after having ACL surgery back in September of 2011 appears to be bigger and stronger than he was before the surgery. This was evident in his first five plays of the game against The Woodlands. Taylor marched the team down the field 32 yards in five plays scoring with 8:09 left in the first     quarter.

The Woodlands second possession was cut short after seven plays when senior db Quinn Atwood intercepted the pass intended for Houston Brown.

Katy started its second possession on the 50 yard line and went to work with a 12 yard rush by qb Kiley Huddelston. Then Taylor rushed for six and Anderson carried the ball another 12 yards. Everybody got in the act as senior fullback Alex Fisher picked up ten more despite the cast on his broken right hand. Taylor finished the drive off with two rushes the latter for six yards and the score with 2:52 left in the first quarter. Manny Mandoza was two for two on PAT’s for the day making the score 14-0 Katy.

As this battle of state ranked teams moved into the second quarter both teams traded three and out possessions two to one for The Woodlands.

Katy got their composure back after a nice 30 yard punt return by Brown that set up a first play 34 yard pass from Huddleston to Anderson who was knocked out at the one yard line by The Woodlands defenders. Taylor then walked into the endzone from one yard out on his third of five rushing touchdowns in this game. Mandoza added one with another good PAT with 9:45 left in the half.

The Tiger defense continued to show its fangs and prove that is one of the best defenses in the state first by forcing another three and out and then the Tulsa commit defensive back  Isaiah Brown has another nice 20 yard punt return.

That set up a one play drive as Huddelston hit Anderson on a 42 yard pass for the teams fourth touchdown of the game. Mandoza did his thing with another good PAT making the score 28-0 with 8:04 left in the second quarter.

On The Woodlands next possession the Tiger defense again shut down the Highlanders run game. On the second play junior quarterback  Blaine Gillespie hit senior Houston Brown for a nice 73 yard touchdown pass where Brown showed off his speed and agility avoiding tackles for his first and only score of the game. Alex Garcia added a PAT with 7:14 left in the second quarter.

The Tigers answered The Woodlands score with a six play 68 yard drive that ended with a 35 yard rush by Anderson for the fifth score by Katy in just the first half. The Mandoza PAT left the score 35-7 with 4:03 left in the half.

As the second quarter came to a close the Highlanders capitalized on a fumble by Anderson and some missed tackles by the Katy defense, setting up a Alex Garcia 29-yard field goal with 0:00 left in the 2nd. The score at the half was 35-10 Katy.

Coming out of the locker room you would expect a quality team like the Highlanders from The Woodlands to make adjustments and make a game of it. This was not the case as the Highlanders had no answer for the Katy defense.

Even thoough Anderson lost another fumble, which is very uncharacteristic of the young running back, The Woodlands defense had no answer for the Katy running attack.

Taylor scored the next two touchdowns rushing for 183 yards. His total of five touchdowns tied the Katy High School record for touchdowns in a single game set by Bill Jatzlau back in 1993.

By the start of the fourth quarter Joseph was letting the underclassmen and second and third string players get some reps and the exhausted Highlanders defense couldn’t stop the fresh players.

Next to score for Katy was senior running back/receiver Ricky Bickham for 37 yards. The last touchdown of the game was by senior running back Demonte Davenport.

One of the biggest stories of the game was kicker Manny Mandoza went nine for nine on extra points for the game finishing off Bickham and Davenport’s touchdowns leaving the score 63-10 which shocked everyone who follows Texas 5A football including the Katy coaches.

Katy held The Woodlands to 47 rushing yards forcing them to try and throw the ball and the pressure by the Katy defense forced a 40 percent completion rate for the Highlanders. This pressure is what kept them out of the game on Saturday night and earning the recogning Katy deserves after losing the last two meetings between The Woodland and Katy.

Katy will have their bye week and then face the 3-0 Morton Ranch Mavericks at Rhodes Stadium on September 27th, as they start their run through the 19-5A district.

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