In a back-and-forth fight between two Texas heavyweights, No. 3
was left standing with a 45-33 victory over No. 13 Steele (Cibolo, Texas)
to advance to the Class 5A-II final.
The Tigers received a huge game from Adam Taylor
, who rushed for three scores - including one late in the fourth that put the game out of reach.
With the victory, Katy (15-0) will return to the state final, where it will play Cedar Hill (Texas)
. It is Katy's first finals berth since 2009.
Katy raced to a 21-0 lead thanks to a Taylor rushing touchdown, a 25-yard Rodney Anderson
receiving touchdown and a Matt Dimon
interception return for a score.
Just when it seemed like the Class 5A-II semifinal could slip into another blowout win for Katy, Steele responded.
Quarterback Breylann McCollum
piloted a methodical drive deep into Katy territory and punctuated it with a QB sneak to get on the board, 21-7. Steele (14-1) continued to heat up on its next possession as Jordan Sterns
found a seam in the Katy defense and raced 29 yards for a touchdown.
Following a Katy fumble, Steele drove inside Katy's 10-yard line with less than a minute to play in the half. That set up a McCollum pass to LG Williams
for a 9-yard score to even the game 21-21.
Katy regained its composure and scored on its first drive of the second half on Taylor's second touchdown run to make it 28-21.
With four minutes remaining in the third, Sterns found the end zone again for Steele. However, the PAT hit the upright, and Steele trailed 28-27.
Shortly before the quarter ended, Katy expanded its lead thanks to a 26-yard field goal from Manny Mendoza
to make it 31-27.
Anderson scored again for Katy minutes later as the Tigers took a 38-27 lead with seven minutes to play.
Steele wasted no time responding. A Justin Stockton
62-yard run set up Sterns' third touchdown. The conversion attempt failed, leaving Steele trailing Katy 38-33 with 6:41 remaining.
After driving into the red zone, Katy converted on a crucial third down to keep the chains - and the clock - moving. That's when Taylor put the game out of reach with his third touchdown of the game.
The trip to the state finals will be the 18th for Katy, which has won six state titles including two under current head coach Gary Joseph.
Cedar Hill earned its spot in the Class 5A-II final earlier in the day by defeating Westlake.
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