Taylor playoff win ends 22-year drought

At TexasPrepInsider our tag line is ‘We are There.' And unlike some publications, we try and get out to the entire Greater Houston (and statewide) area in our coverage. Tonight we bring you updates from the bi-district playoff match up Friday night between Katy Taylor and Houston Memorial. Game-day coverage from TPI is free so check it out.

It seems like it has been a long time since the Katy Taylor team tasted a playoff victory. But today is a new day and this Mustang team will not be denied. So when they faced off against another Mustang team from Houston Memorial, all facets of the game were on point as Taylor won the Region III Division I bi-district match up 17-3 Friday night at Rhodes Stadium.

"I tell you what I was pleased with our kids because we have been inconsistent of the past few games," Taylor coach Flint Risien said. "We came out tonight and we put four quarters together. Offensively, defensively, and special teams, everybody contributed. It's a great win for the kids and our program."

Risien took over the program this past spring and came in looking to bring more winning ways to the Taylor program. As far as the last time a Taylor team won a playoff game, it was the same year Haley's Comet appeared (again), the FOX Network got started, and the Oprah Winfrey Show went national. 

Yes, that was 1986. But for Risien, he can only go on what he knows for sure, which is right now.

"Being the new guy, I really don't know all of that. For me this is kind of what you are supposed to do," Risien said. "I'm excited for our fans, our community, but most of all for these kids who have worked so hard. They earned it."

Memorial got on the board first when Kevin Soto was good with a 39-yard field goal in the first quarter. But from then on, it was all Taylor. One of the big keys in the win was the play of the Taylor defense.

Defenders like Andrew Pujats and Harry Hughes each recorded sacks while Dan Daugherty and Mfon Ubaha kept constant pressure on Memorial quarterback Davis Miller. Nevin Sneed intercepted a pass and the defensive front held Memorial on a couple of critical fourth downs.

"I think our short-yardage defense really made some big plays for us and there is no question about that," Risien said. "They had a big challenge this week and did a wonderful job."

As for the offense, Taylor running back Steven Sartory scored the game's only offensive touchdown when he capped off a 16-play, 77-yard drive that ended with him going over the top for a 2-yard touchdown. Sartory ended the game with 106 yards on 22 carries and a score. Kicker Marshall Bond score Taylor's final points with a 35-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter.

And while Risien was pleased with that, he looked at what made all of that possible.

"Our offensive line created the ground game for us and Lee (Rogers) made some good decisions for us at quarterback," Risien said. "We did not have a bunch of turnovers and penalties. So I'd say we put together a pretty decent game."

For Memorial, the 50 yards of penalties were big on more than a couple drives. Miller was 10-of-22 for 155 yards and an interception. Daniel Neumann caught four passes for 69 yards and Davis Miller had 52 yards on the ground.

Taylor will advance to the area round and play the winner of the Kingwood/Houston Lamar game that will be played Saturday afternoon.

Listen to the Sartory audio after the bi-district win over Memorial:

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