Take 5: Katy
At home in finals
Katy is no stranger to the state championship game. The Tigers are making their fourth consecutive appearance – a feat matched only by Lake Travis (5 in 4A, 2007-11), Southlake Carroll (5 in 5A, 2002-06), Fort Hancock (5 in 6 man, 1988-1992), Celina (4 in 2A, 1998-2001), and Sealy (4 in 3A, 1994-97). This is Katy’s 14th championship game appearance. The Tigers are 7-6 in those games with wins in 2012, 2008, 2007, 2003, 2000, 1997 and 1959. Cedar Hill beat Katy for the title in each of the last two seasons. Katy topped Cedar Hill for the title in 2012. Katy is also no stranger to NRG Stadium. Located just outside of Houston, the Tigers have played twice already this season and a half-dozen times in recent years. They haven’t lost there.
One look at Katy’s game-by-game results makes one thing painfully clear: the Tigers are twice as likely to shut out their opponents than not. In 15 games, Katy has shut out 10 opponents. Of the five who have managed to score, only two have scored in double figures, though both of those came in the playoffs. Katy allowed just eight points in October, shut out five opponents in a row and has given up 55 on the season (an average of 3.06 per game). That means if the offense can generate anything more than a field goal, the Tigers usually win. The Tigers average a bit more than a field goal per game – 49 points per game.
Katy always boasts a solid running game and this year’s no different. Kyle Porter, despite missing time with an injury, has rushed for 1,750 yards and 33 touchdowns. Kadarius Page (684, 8) and Deondrick Glass (628, 14) add to the Tigers’ rushing depth. Quarterback Garrett Doiron has passed for better than 2,600 yards with 26 touchdown and just six interceptions. Tony Mullins and JC Angulo have combined for 1,951 yards and 24 touchdowns receiving. Defensively, Katy’s taken the ball away from opponents better than 25 times and relies on leaders Collin Wilder and JoVanni Stewart, though any number of players contribute to the defensive effort.
Since taking over as head coach in 2004, Katy coach Gary Joseph’s put together a remarkable resume. In 12 seasons, Joseph’s Katy teams have never lost more than three games – and that year they won the state championship at 13-3. He’s won 167 of the 181 games he’s coached the Tigers heading into Saturday, a percentage of 92.2. Joseph’s coached at least 13 games each year and the 2015 Tigers are hoping to become his third team to finish 16-0.
A pair of former Katy quarterbacks have made their marks in professional football. Andy Dalton guided Katy to the state finals in 2004 before guiding TCU to prominence, winning the Rose Bowl before quarterbacking the Cincinnati Bengals to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons prior to suffering a broken hand last week. Bo Levi Mitchell took a different path after guiding Katy to the 2007 state title. After transferring from SMU to Eastern Washington, Mitchell headed north and won the Grey Cup MVP award after leading the Calgary Stampeders to the championship of Canadian football this past season.