All the attention was on the defending national champion North Shore (Houston)
Mustangs, and their five-star running back Zachary Evans
Instead, arch rival Katy (Texas
) and its new stud back Ronald Hoff
stole the show, recording a stunning 24-21 road victory Thursday night before packed crowd and an ESPNU audience.
A transfer from Dutch Fork (Irmo, S.C.), Hoff rushed 33 times for 219 yards and a touchdown, but it was a 5-yard touchdown pass from Bronson McClelland
to tight end Sam Dunn
on fourth down with 4 minutes, 53 seconds remaining that gave the Tigers their first and only lead.
Video: North Shore vs. Katy previewDefending national champs begin 2019 campaign.
North Shore, which led 21-7 at halftime, had negative six yards of offense in the second half before taking over at its own 26 for a potential game-winning drive. The fourth-ranked Mustangs mustered a pair of first downs, but a personal foul and a sack set them back and unranked Katy pulled the upset.
Katy completely controlled the clock and limited Evans to just 10 carries and 37 yards rushing. The Tigers (1-0) controlled play in the first half also, but had little to show for it and trailed by two touchdowns.
Evans was controlled most of the first half, before bursting up the middle untouched on a 25-yard touchdown run, giving North Shore a 14-7 lead with 4:31 left in the half.
After an 81-yard hitch pass from Dematrius Davis Jr.
to Arkansas commit John Gentry
gave North Shore a 7-0 lead, Katy tied things up on a 29-yard touchdown from McClelland to Jordan Patrick
on a 4th-and-12 play. Patrick grabbed the 50-50 ball away to tie it at 7-7 with 4:48 left in the half.
A 52-yard kickoff return gave North Shore back the momentum and on the very next play, Evans, completely bottled up to that point, sprinted into the end zone.
Davis showed off his athleticism, taking a high snap, evading a big rush and finding Charles King
with a pretty 29-yard touchdowns just before halftime, giving North Shore a 21-7 lead.
Katy wasn’t deterred.
Hoff ripped off a 50-yard run, before scoring on an 8-yard to open the second half cutting the lead to 21-14. After North Shore fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, Nemanja Lazic
booted a 19-yard field goal to make it 21-17 with 5:17 left in the third.
After a three-and-out, Katy drove all the way down field and McClelland scored on a third-down 6-yard run. But the Tigers were called for an illegal block and on fourth down, Lazic missed a chip shot field goal on the second play of the fourth quarter.
It was the second short field goal miss of the game for the Tigers, who once again held North Shore without a first down, before going on its game-winning 10 play, 41-yard drive.
Katy sealed the victory with a 41-yard completion from McClelland to Patrick in the final minute.
North Shore and Katy met for the 10th time since 2008. Katy holds the slight edge with a 5-4 record in the series but North Shore swept the two-game set last season.
The two programs have combined for 10 state titles in the 2000s. Both teams captured championships in 2015 with North Shore in Class 6A Division I and Katy in Class 6A Division II.
Follow Live ScoresPlayers To WatchKaty:
WR Jordan Patrick (5-9, 160), QB Bronson McClelland (6-0, 210), CB Hunter Washington (5-11, 180), CB Bryan Massey (6-0, 170), RB Ronald Hoff (5-9, 170)North Shore:
RB Zachary Evans (5-11, 200), QB Dematrius Davis Jr. (5-11, 190), WR Shadrach Banks (6-0, 205), OL Damieon George (6-6, 350), LB Corey Flagg Jr. (5-10, 225)