Katy coach Gary Joseph said he is treating the temporary absence of his starting quarterback like an injury situation.
Junior quarterback Bronson McClelland, District 19-6A’s second-best passer statistically, will miss the next two games as punishment for using a derogatory racial slur in a social media video on Oct. 3.
“The biggest thing for us is not making a big deal of it,” Joseph said. “You take it like you have an injury. It’s next man up. These kids have been coached and hopefully they can step up.”
Those kids are senior Jacob Bernard, the Tigers’ No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart, and sophomore Bryce Nirider, Katy’s No. 3 quarterback.
Joseph said Bernard is the probable starter for Friday’s game against Morton Ranch.
“Both of them are going to play,” the coach said. “We’re trying to decide how we’ll set the rotation up. If one of them gets the hot hand, obviously they’ll continue playing. But we’ll play with both.”
Joseph said the 6-foot, 185-pound Nirider is the better athlete, but the 6-foot, 170-pound Bernard is more cerebral and knows and understands the offense better.
Bernard and Nirider have played sparingly in two games this season. Bernard has completed 4 of 6 passes for 58 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions.
The secondary issues of last season reared their ugly head during last week’s win against Tompkins.
The Tigers played without discipline and got caught up emotionally, Joseph said.
“We weren’t very smart, like with the stop-and-go coming out when they double-moved us,” Joseph said. “Pros get beat by that; that doesn’t bother me. It’s about being smart and understanding when people are going to do things like that.”
The Tigers missed tackles. They didn’t cover hitch routes appropriately.
The Falcons set a single-game program record with 405 passing yards. Joseph said Tompkins was able to complete three long passes just because the defensive backs played undisciplined.
“It comes back to getting involved in the emotion of the game and trying to do too much,” Joseph said. “Just do your job. Now (the secondary) going to have to regain their confidence. Obviously it was broken pretty bad.”
Joseph said his players have always been able to go into a game knowing they will be disciplined in what they do and unselfish about doing their jobs.
Now the priority is regaining the discipline and confidence lost for a secondary that has otherwise played exceptionally this season.
The 1959, 1989, 1999 and 2009 Katy High football teams will be recognized and honored before the Tigers’ game against Seven Lakes on Oct. 18 at Legacy Stadium.
Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. Members from those teams are invited to attend, with free admission into the game and a complimentary dinner afterward courtesy of Los Cucos.
For members who wish to RSVP or would like more information, please contact Becky Frankum at 713-702-7922 or firstname.lastname@example.org.