Katy, TX — There was a different vibe among most football fans in Katy last Thursday. Not an unfamiliar vibe, just one that the town has not experienced for nearly 9 months. August 27 was game day once again for the town-favorite, Katy Tigers. Kick-off was slated for 6:30 pm but fans could not wait until then, crowds arrived and lined up at the gates of Rhodes Stadium, eagerly awaiting the opening. Once the gates were opened, Katy fans poured in to secure their seats for the 2015 season opener. Banners were hung, the band and cheerleaders rolled in and by 6:30, and the sea of red filled Rhodes Stadium. There wasn’t an empty seat anywhere on the Katy side. Fans were standing along the rail anywhere they could get a view of the game. They were even spread out along the grassy hills next to the bleachers. Some fans even found their way over to the Kingwood bleachers. It was football time once again in Katy, Texas.
It was Katy’s first time back on the field since their 23-20 loss to Cedar Hill in the 2014 State Championship. The Tigers busted through the banner and took the field to the cheers of their fans and the sounds of their band. As the team settled down and spread out through out the sidelines, the captains walked across the field to greet the Kingwood captains. The two teams met for the coin toss, Katy had won the toss and deferred to the second half, their fans applauded with approval. Kris Perez, #47, set the ball on the tee and his team lined up as both teams took the field. With Perez’s kick of the ball, the 2015 Texas High School Football Season had finally begun. The ball sailed for a touchback and the Mustang offense and Tiger defense took the field.
After a quick 3 and out by the Mustangs, the ball was given to returning letterman, Garrett Doiron. With Kyle Porter in the backfield, Doiron handed the ball off to Porter. Porter quickly got eaten up by the Mustangs front 7. Katy would go three and out but a great punt would pin Kingwood inside their own 10 yard line. First down for the Mustangs, QB Dawson Trudell fakes the hand-off to his running back and rolls out to pass. When he turned around to scan the field for open receivers, Trudell was met by multiple Katy defenseman and tackled in the end zone for a safety. Katy jumped out to a 2-0 lead, early in the first quarter. On the following possession, Kingwood punted the ball to Katy (safety punt) and Katy scored quickly, increasing their lead to 9-0. On the ensuing kick-off, Kingwood’s Sewo Olonilua returned the kick to the Katy 34 yard-line, 66 yards. The Mustangs sideline came back to life after finding themselves in an early hole. That life in the Mustangs was quickly taken away though because on the next play, Kingwood fumbled the ball and Katy returned it all the way to the house but the TD was called back due to a penalty.
Katy took over from inside the Red Zone and quickly scored. Now leading 16-0, Katy looked to have full control of the game, making it almost impossible for Kingwood to move the ball. Katy scored two more times before halftime, going into the locker room with a commanding 30-0 lead. Many expected Coach Joseph to pull his starters heading into the second half with a 30 point lead but his first-team offense took the field to open the 3rd Quarter. Kingwood made adjustments on defense throughout the second half and during halftime, the Mustangs held off the Tigers for nearly 8 minutes before Katy punched in what would be their last touchdown of the game. Kingwood’s offensive struggles continued into the second half and throughout the game as they did not find the end zone or up-rights all game. Katy followed up their scoring frenzy with 3 late field goals. Katy defeated Kingwood by a final score of 46-0 to start the season.
Kingwood looks to bounce back from the crushing opening to their season against Klein Collins this Friday at Turner Stadium, kick-off is 7 pm. Katy will continue their quest for 8 against Fort Bend Travis on Friday.
Story by Gabe Henderson