Friday night’s game had no implications on playoff seeding or district standings, but it pitted two of the best teams in state history as Nolan Catholic and Celina have won a combined 15 state football championships.
It also featured two premier running backs in Emeka Megwa and Logan Point, but it was Nolan Catholic wide receiver Brandon Chatman that shined the brightest.
Chatman posted nine catches, 154 yards and three touchdowns as the Vikings beat the Bobcats 27-12 at Doskocil Stadium.
“I felt disrespected when I realized they were playing man on defense,” he said. “So when the play call was for me, I had to get the rock and take it to the end zone.”
After a scoreless third quarter, Celina (1-2), which trailed 20-12, fumbled after getting to the Nolan Catholic 30-yard line. J’Dan Burnett, who holds offers from Kansas and Boston College, recovered the fumble. He also recorded 3 1/2 sacks.
“He’s all over the place and always around the ball,” Nolan Catholic coach David Beaudin said. “He’s unbelievable and a talented young man. He has elite quickness, but what makes him special is that his motor is always running.”
On the ensuing Vikings’ possession, quarterback Jimmy Taylor and Chatman connected on their third touchdown of the night, from 12 yards, to push the lead to 27-12 with under five minutes left.
The play was set up by a 47-yard pass from Taylor to Rodney Talton.
“Brandon was an honorary captain this week and he’s really stepped up,” Beaudin said. “But to see practice translate to Friday night, we’re fired up. He’s a special kid.”
The Vikings (3-0), who are ranked No. 5 in Dave Campbell’s Texas Football’s private school state rankings, recorded five sacks and held the Bobcats to 244 yards of total offense.
“Against a good offense like that, our guys fought and battled,” Beaudin said. “I’m proud of them.”
After both teams traded punts to begin the contest, Megwa, whose 24 offers include Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio State, LSU and Georiga, scored on a 78-yard TD with 8:35 in the first quarter.
Chatman’s first TD catch was from 61 yards to put the Vikings up 13-0 early in the second and his 22-yard TD made it 20-0 with 7:25 to go in the half.
Celina got on the board with Point’s 23-yard TD run with under four minutes until the break. Point, who led the Bobcats with 20 carries and 109 yards, added a 1-yard TD rush late in the second quarter.
Megwa finished with 166 yards on 17 carries and Taylor was 14 of 21 for 201 yards and three TDs.