Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Cedar Hill vs. Katy rematch leans in favor of defending champ for Houston area
Cedar Hill (13-2) vs. Katy (15-0)
8 p.m. Saturday, AT&T Stadium (FSSW Plus)
How Cedar Hill got here
d. Denton Guyer 38-28, lost to Allen 39-20, d. Beaumont Ozen 48-0, lost to DeSoto 47-20, d. Duncanville 23-6, d. South Grand Prairie 35-24, d. Grand Prairie 57-6, d. Mansfield Timberview 44-6, d. Mansfield 42-17, d. Midlothian 40-14, d. Temple 39-35, d. Hebron 42-21, d. Abilene Cooper 28-23, d. Denton Ryan 52-29, d. Lake Travis 19-10.
How Katy got here
d. Klein 41-3, d. Alief Taylor 49-0, d. The Woodlands, 37-14, d. Katy Mayde Creek 42-0, d. Katy Morton Ranch 28-3, d. Katy Taylor 44-0, d. Katy Seven Lakes 17-12, d. Houston Strake Jesuit 49-7, d. Katy Cinco Ranch 40-7, d. Houston Memorial 35-0, d. Houston Madison 70-0, d. Houston Cypress Woods 51-7, d. Fort Bend Elkins 56-26, d. Manvel 56-14, d. San Antonio Johnson 52-0.
When Cedar Hill runs
Aca’cedric Ware (1,146 yards), Larry Hill (1,070), Peter Lewis (887) and Denvre Daniels (379) comprise Cedar Hill’s running back committee. The quartet has combined for 42 touchdowns. Katy’s defense flexed its muscle in a shutout of San Antonio Johnson in the state semifinals. Katy allowed only 24 rushing yards on 20 carries. The Katy defense owns six shutouts and allows just 6.2 points per game. LB Jake Blomstrom has FBS offers.
When Cedar Hill passes
Junior QB Justin McMillan has thrown for 2,315 yards and 28 touchdowns. His favorite target is junior WR DaMarkus Lodge, who has 1,229 receiving yards and 21 scores. Lodge owns offers to more than two dozen FBS programs. Junior DB Sy Slater has eight interceptions, and sophomore DB Collin Wilder has five. Katy has averaged 122.6 passing yards against in its last three playoff victories, all of which have come by 30 points or more.
When Katy runs
One of the state’s best rushing attacks starts up front, where OLs Grant Sims, Clay Jinks, Brandon Dalton, Luke Spies and Hunter Bell dictate the action. Junior RB Rodney Anderson, who is committed to Texas A&M, has run for 1,763 yards and 32 touchdowns. LB Richard Moore is Cedar Hill’s leading tackler with 114. Cedar Hill held Lake Travis RB Shaun Nixon, another Texas A&M pledge, to just 61 yards in the state semifinals.
When Katy passes
Katy’s convincing victories haven’t necessitated a strong passing game, but sophomore QB Garrett Doiron has been solid. He has completed 58 of 94 passes for 879 yards and five TDs since taking over the starting role in November. Cedar Hill DE Xavier Washington has a team-high 21 sacks. Senior CB Marcus Green, an Oklahoma pledge, has 11 pass breakups. Cedar Hill averages 127.9 passing yards against.
EDGE: Cedar Hill
Katy K Manny Mendoza is 11-for-14 on field goal attempts and 77-for-80 on PATs. Sophomore DB Collin Wilder returned a kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown in Katy’s regional final win against Manvel. Cedar Hill’s best opponent, No. 1 Allen, blocked three kicks — two punts and a PAT try. Two of them were returned for points. Cedar Hill also surrendered a 77-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Hebron. Kicker Brooks Ralph is 4-for-5 on field goal tries with a long of 38 yards.
Katy, which has appeared in more state finals than any other program in Texas, holds the state’s longest active winning streak at 31 games. It beat Cedar Hill in last year’s state championship and can polish off a second straight unbeaten season if it beats Cedar Hill again. EDGE: Katy.
Prediction: Katy 24, Cedar Hill 16