Mid-Season Report: Katy inching Forward

TPI takes a serious look at 5A's preseason No. 1-ranked team, the Katy Tigers. They started off a little shaky in getting a win against Houston powerhouse North Shore. A loss to The Woodlands left the Tigers reeling, but the Katy coaches adjust as well as any staff around. Since then the Tigers have been virtually bulletproof.

Against North Shore in late August, the Katy Tigers learned how to win with defense and belief in themselves despite numerous turnovers.

In September the Tigers fought hard against The Woodlands, but received a meaningful loss. By that, I mean Katy players realized the sting of defeat—and how it can happen when two giants collide. From there September allowed Katy to make adjustments offensively and fine-tune the solid defense.

The Big Red Tiger is now improving weekly while devouring every opponent it faces in District 17-5A play. Of course every District 17-5A football fan is looking forward to the Katy-Cinco Ranch showdown on Nov. 7 at high noon. That will be Katy's next major test before the Region III race begins with a bull's eye on the Tigers' back again.

After not posting a shutout while posting a 4-1 mark against five excellent non-district opponents, Katy's defense has now posted back-to-back shutouts against Morton Ranch and Seven Lakes. It truly demonstrates how effective Katy can be, particularly against teams the Tigers know well.

The Katy defense appears to be at 100 percent, able to halt running teams and take advantage of passing teams. S Sam Holl with three picks and DB Colt Atwood with two. LBs Zach Okruhlik, Grant Clifton and Jonathan Fisher have added to the defensive clout.

Offensively starting QB Michael Stojkovic performed flawlessly last week against Seven Lakes. Backup QB Brooks Haack, however, showed above-average skills in his second-half appearance with a pair of touchdown passes under pressure.

Look at the numbers: Senior starter Stojkovic completed 12-of-12 passes for 243 yards and three TDs. For the year, Stojkovic, who started the season with two interceptions against North Shore, has a 67.9 percent completion rate and seven TDs.

WR Greg Morris, TE Zach Swanson and Ryan Jones lead the receiving corp. with Morris averaging 21 yards per catch and notching three TDs.

Sophomore Haack connected on 3-of-5 passes for two scores and 53 yards as Katy dominated Seven Lakes in his best performance. Haack has not thrown a pick in limited playing time, and Stojkovic has only one since North Shore.

On the ground, RB Will Jeffery continues to power the Tigers with an 8.17-yard average gain as he nears 1,000 rushing yards. His seven TDs trails backfield teammate Vernon Jefferies, who has 10 to go with 494 rushing yards.

Are the Tigers ready for another run at No. 1 in Houston? Are they ready dominate Region III again? And can the Big Red Machine chase down a third consecutive state championship? Odds are, Cinco Ranch gets the next serious chance to battle against the reputation of the Katy football program.

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