Game of the Week
By Jason McDaniel
Now may not be the perfect time for Katy Taylor to face Cinco Ranch, which went into last week as the sixth-ranked Class 5A team in the Houston area. The Cougars are coming off a bye week, so they're well-rested and no doubt well-prepared for the District 17-5A opener.
But now is as good a time as any for the Mustangs, who rebounded from a disappointing 28-0 shutout loss to Lamar after their own bye, stomping Baytown Lee 52-13 last week. They're 3-1 on the season.
ABOUT THE GAME
Matchup: Cinco Ranch (5-0, 0-0) vs. Katy Taylor (3-1, 0-0)
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Rhodes Stadium
What's at stake: A strong start to district. With only six teams in 17-5A there isn't much room for error and no team wants to begin district play in an 0-1 hole. Taylor also would like to prove last season's playoff appearance was no fluke. In the postseason for just the second time in 13 years, Taylor went three rounds deep.
Cinco Ranch players to watch: QB Zach Myers, RB K.C. Nlemchi, LB James Radcliffe, DB Zack Velliquette
Katy Taylor players to watch: QB Lee Rodgers, TE Trent Guiberteau, DT Keba Agostino, DT Nico Carlson
Cinco Ranch: The Cougars abused the Mustangs last season, rolling up 399 total yards in a 35-0 whooping, but their key offensive players in that win are all gone. QB Shane Ros and RB Adam Hirtz each rushed for 100-plus yards and combined for three scores. Devin Friar added a 45-yard interception return for a TD. Cinco Ranch has averaged 37.4 points per game this season and rolled through its first four opponents, winning by an average of 23 points, but things got much tougher two weeks ago against College Park. The Cougars trailed 14-0 at halftime and 21-7 after three quarters before scoring a school-record 31 points in the fourth quarter to win 38-35.
Katy Taylor: Taylor's only other playoff appearance before last season in the previous 13 years came in 2006, when it fell 35-7 to Cy-Fair in bi-district. But in just his first season, Taylor coach Flint Risien led the Mustangs to postseason wins against Memorial (17-3) and Lamar (17-13). They opened this season 2-0 with wins against Cy Springs (41-14) and Terry (21-6) before stumbling in Week 4 against Lamar, which was looking for a little payback. After taking a week off, the Mustangs bounced back big-time against Lee. Risien was looking for a more physical effort and he got it, along with a much better performance by QB Lee Rodgers, who threw for 196 yards and a TD without an interception and rushed 74 yards and two scores.