Written by SportsDayDFW.com
What Cedar Hill can expect in the 5A-II state title game: Katy leans on power-run game yet again to defeat Cibolo Steele
WACO — Katy’s power-oriented offense wore down Cibolo Steele with physical and time-draining second-half drives for a 45-33 victory in a Class 5A Division II state semifinal at Baylor’s Floyd Casey Stadium. Katy (15-0) advanced to its first state final since 2009 to meet Cedar Hill (11-4) at 4 p.m. next Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.
A six-time state champion, Katy outscored Steele, 17-6, in the final 15 minutes as the running back duo of Nebraska commit Adam Taylor and sophomore Rodney Anderson pounded away. Taylor rushed 40 times for 226 yards and three touchdowns. Anderson rushed for a touchdown and caught a scoring pass.
“Katy looks the same on the field as they do on video except you can’t see the physicality until you’re on the field,” Steele coach Mike Jinks said. “They just keep coming downhill at you. I kept thinking we could make that stop and turn around and score, but we just couldn’t do it.”
In its 12th state final, Katy will meet a contrasting Cedar Hill in the state final, but Katy has something of an advance scouting report with Katy coach Gary Joseph’s son, Jeff Joseph, having just prepared for Cedar Hill as Austin Westlake’s defensive coordinator. Cedar Hill defeated Westlake 31-28 on a last-second field goal.
Coming off an ACL knee injury last year, Taylor has picked up momentum in the second half of the season. Katy has scored 70 or more points twice in the playoffs. Taylor has a school-record 39 touchdowns. Katy coach Joseph’s concern headed into Cedar Hill is an injury-plagued offensive line which had two players helped off the field in the fourth quarter. Junior quarterback Kiley Huddleston also was hobbled by an ankle injury in the second half.
Katy has versatility with Anderson, a 6-0, 192-pound speedster. The nephew of NFL defender and former Alabama star Mark Anderson, Rodney Anderson already is being nationally recruited for the Class of 2015. Katy doesn’t pass often, but a favorite target often is 6-4, 240-pound junior tight end Logan Lister off play-action fakes and rollouts.
Katy’s defense is led by the athletic 6-3, 250-pound Dimon, 6-2, 210-pound pound junior end Tim Wilkerson and 220-pound tackle Cody Gessler while Baylor commit Kyle Fulks and Tulsa commit Isaiah Brown primarily cover man-to-man as corner backs.
Steele rebounded from a 21-0 deficit to tie the score at halftime after Katy jumped to an early lead. Taylor, a bruising 6-1, 210-pound running back, scored on a 5-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead. Anderson caught a 25-yard pass swinging out of the backfield on a wheel-route to give Katy a 14-0 lead. Oklahoma defensive end commit Matt Dimon made it 21-0 as he tipped a Steele pass in the backfield, caught it and returned 26-yards for a touchdown.
Steele rallied to tie the score 21-21 at halftime with a series of quick, outside passes to Boise State commit Justin Stockton and senior Matthew Mayle to opening up the middle to run. But Katy took its opening second-half drive and scored on a 1-yard run by Taylor to take a 28-21 lead. Steeled pulled within 28-27 with 4:03 left in the third but missed the PAT as the kick hit the goal.
Katy kept rolling with a 26-yard field goal and a 3-yard scoring run by Anderson for a 38-27 lead.
“What we were doing was working,” Katy coach Gary Joseph said. “We just had some turnovers, gave them a short field and they hit some big plays. I just said, “Take a deep breath,” at halftime and to keep doing what we were doing.”