It was coming.
After an enormous letdown of a loss in the season opener, North Shore (Houston, Texas) has put together an increasingly impressive season as it attempts to defend its Texas Class 6A Div. I state title. It was only a matter of time before they faced a rematch with their season-opening conquerors in the regional playoffs.
That time came Friday. This time, the Mustangs were ready.
North Shore scored 21 unanswered points from the late third quarter to the final horn to dump Katy out of the playoffs for a second consecutive season. This time the final score was 56-35, belying a game that was tight at halftime and got away from the previously undefeated Tigers in the fourth.
Here’s what we learned from one of the most highly anticipated non-title playoff games in ages.
1) Dematrius Davis is a force to be reckoned with
The North Shore junior quarterback was an unstoppable dual threat monster, racking up six total touchdowns (5-star running back Zack Evans had the other two) to pace North Shore throughout. The Virginia Tech commit had 124 yards rushing (with one touchdown) and 123 yards passing (with two scores) at the half and built from there. Hokies fans should be very, very excited with his ability to completely change the game … provided he doesn’t decommit before he can sign on the dotted line in a little more than a year.
2) It wasn’t deer in the headlights, but Katy was outclassed
There’s really no two ways to slice it: This time around, North Shore showed it was far more talented than its higher-ranked opponent. That’s not to take away from the Tigers’ season-opening win. Quite the contrary. It’s just that North Shore had playmakers to deploy in every facet of the game … with more ready to come on as reinforcements. Case in point: At one point in the second half, North Shore deployed superstar recruit Evans on the defensive line. It was the kind of move intended to shake up Katy. It worked, with Evans getting pressure around the left end and forcing Katy to adjust its play.
There might be only a half dozen teams in the country with more talent available on the sidelines than Katy. Unfortunately, one of thsoe was on the opposite sideline Friday.
3) No rest for North Shore’S weary: Duncanville is STILL TO COMe
It would be natural for North Shore to take a deep breath and savor such a monumental victory. That’s not an option for the Mustangs. Just a week after knocking off the team that topped them in the season opener (their only loss in two seasons), North Shore will face off against either Atascocita (11-1) or Katy Thompkins (11-1). If it’s Thompkins, it’s only loss also came against Katy, and by less than North Shore’s regular season setback (35-30).
A win there and a potential semifinal against Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) and Texas QB commit Hudson Card awaits. And a win there would possibly set up the ultimate championship rematch, against Super 25 No. 3 Duncanville (Dallas, Texas) in a state quarterfinal. Yes, that means that the Mustangs path to a second-straight state title will run through both the one team that beat them, a team that only lost to the team that beat North Shore, a Texas 4-star QB commit and the team they topped with a Hail Mary on the final play of last year’s state championship … in back-to-back-to-back-to-back weeks.
Don’t let anyone tell you differently: The Texas Class 6A state football tournament is completely insane. Whichever team survives it deserves some kind of a medal for endurance alongside the trophy.