Taylor High School, Mustangs, Texas high school football, Katy ISD, Cecil Ivey Jr.

Taylor’s Ivey Jr. earns redemption in regional final win

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 12/9/19

Taylor’s 58-20 Class 6A-Division II Region III final win over Cypress Creek on Saturday, Dec. 7, was emotional for the Mustangs, who gleefully exacted revenge after the Cougars eliminated them in the area playoffs last season.

But perhaps no Mustang took the win as personally as junior cornerback Cecil Ivey Jr.

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Taylor High School, Mustangs, Texas high school football, Katy ISD, Cecil Ivey Jr.

Taylor’s Ivey Jr. earns redemption in regional final win

Posted

Taylor’s 58-20 Class 6A-Division II Region III final win over Cypress Creek on Saturday, Dec. 7, was emotional for the Mustangs, who gleefully exacted revenge after the Cougars eliminated them in the area playoffs last season.

But perhaps no Mustang took the win as personally as junior cornerback Cecil Ivey Jr.

In Cy-Creek’s 24-14 win over Taylor in the playoffs last year, Ivey was torched for all three of the Cougars’ touchdowns. Then a sophomore newcomer to varsity, Ivey was picked on relentless by then-junior Cougars quarterback Julian Uwadia.

A little more than a year later, Ivey was desperate for redemption once he learned Cy-Creek stood in Taylor’s way of a state semifinal appearance. And redeem himself he did, making up for last year with an impressive performance against the Cougars the second time around last weekend.

Ivey had a fumble recovery for a touchdown and interception for a touchdown to go with two tackles and a pass break-up in helping lead Taylor to its first regional final win and first state semifinal appearance.

“I was ready for revenge,” Ivey said. “We didn’t come here just to come here. We want more. We’re ready for more.”

Ivey’s fumble recovery for a score put Taylor up 17-0 with 3:25 left in the first quarter. On a kickoff return, a Cy-Creek player advanced the ball to the Cougars’ 17-yard line before Taylor senior Juan Romero knocked the ball loose.

The ball bounced backwards freely a few yards, was kicked farther back by Taylor’s Zac Terry, and was pounced on by Ivey in the end zone.

“I don’t know how to explain it,” Ivey said, laughing. “I blanked out at that point because I didn’t even know who fumbled the ball. When I looked down, the ball was there, and I took that opportunity and jumped on it.”

And how did he feel afterward?

“Excitement,” he said. “I didn’t even realize it was a touchdown until after.”

Later, in the third quarter, Uwadia dropped back to pass from within the Cougars’ own end zone after faking a handoff and threw a back-shoulder pass that Ivey read the whole way.

Ivey briefly halted to control his grasp of the ball and raced back down the visitors’ sideline 23 yards the other way for a 51-14 Taylor lead.

“The first time, they got me on the out-and-up, so I knew they’d come back at me on that,” Ivey said. “I read it. I was already on top of it, so I cut my split and when he threw that back-shoulder fade I was there.”

Taylor coach Chad Simmons was impressed by the precocious defensive back, who is not big in physical stature at 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds but has incredible skills on the ball.

“He was a sophomore then and they targeted him, as anybody would,” Simmons said of last season’s game against Cy-Creek. “He was new, less experienced. He made up for it.

“He was very opportunistic. He’s got really good quickness closing on the ball, good instincts. Good ball skills.”

Ivey said the Mustangs were coached to watch for any double moves from the Cougars’ receivers. Taylor controlled that, and also defended end breaking routes well.

“I feel like we had a better game-plan,” Ivey said. “Having seen them already, we had a better feel for what they do and what the offense is known for doing.”

He took full advantage.

“It was an emotional game, especially for me,” said Ivey, who has four interceptions and two fumble recoveries this season. “I gave up three touchdowns last year in that game. When I got that pick-6 … it was crazy. This game really meant a lot to me.”

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