Tickets to the state’s Final Four will be punched on Saturday as Region III crowns champions in Class 5A and 4A.
The spotlight matchup will be at Houston’s Rice Stadium early Saturday afternoon as Katy and Pearland face off in a battle of 13-0 titans. This game will feature a couple of the area’s 2,000-yard rushers. The Tigers held off a pair of late charges to advance with a 32-27 victory over North Shore, but coach Gary Joseph’s squad must contend with Oilers RB Dustin Garrison in order to defend their 5A, Division I crown.
Pearland’s impressive 54-7 win over Cy Creek sent a clear message that coach Tony Heath’s team is capable of finally getting over the regional final barrier. While Garrison – the area’s leading rusher and scorer – is the focal point of the Oilers’ attack, versatile WR/DB Myles Kanipes has emerged as a game-breaker who could make an impact on both sides of the ball.
Cy Woods and Houston Memorial will decide the Division II winner in a game that pits two of the area’s hottest offensive players. Wildcats QB Colton Huntsman has been a dual-threat of destruction to opposing defenses this postseason and is coming off a performance in last week’s 52-34 win over Clear Creek that saw him total 390 yards and two touchdowns from scrimmage. RB Frederick Anderson scored four times last week and is a dangerous presence as both a runner and receiver.
Memorial coach Gary Koch has his own big-play duo in the backfield in the form of QB Wayne Taylor and RB Boomer Justin White. The two paired up for 320 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in the 34-10 regional semifinal win over Port Arthur Memorial.
With three of its representatives remaining, District 24-4A is assured of having a spot in the state semifinals.
Friendswood vies for its second regional title in three years when the Mustangs take on Montgomery in the Division I final on Saturday night. Touchdown Club of Houston coach of the year candidate Steve Van Meter’s squad played a near-perfect game in last week’s 35-7 victory over Humble, but the Mustangs are hoping RB Jonathan Johnson is fully recovered from a head injury sustained early in last Saturday’s win.
QB Pete Matezold (Fordham commit) has accounted for more than 4,000 yards from scrimmage and has become a serious running threat. However, Friendswood’s defense will face a bigger ground presence in Montgomery’s Leroy Dobbins, who pounded Dawson for 216 yards in a 24-20 win last week. The Bears also have QB Tyler Bolfing, who has quietly had an impressive postseason.
In Division II, La Marque and Manvel square off in a rematch of a District 24-4A opener that saw the Cougars outslug the Mavericks 41-27 on September 24. Both teams have changed significantly since, especially a Manvel team that has found a dangerous offensive balance behind their QB timeshare of Trevaughn Colwell and Dexter Foreman.
RB Timothy Wright gashed the Mavs for 300 yards in the first meeting, but the Coogs’ top offensive threat has been slowed by an ankle injury. QB Emmanuell Williams has stepped his game up, but it has been a defense which has forced 14 turnovers in the last four games that has picked up the pace.