Last Thursday was something new for each player on the Mansfield Legacy football team – a playoff game.
The last time the Broncos reached the postseason, the current seniors were freshmen. Any concerns about whether the team might be overwhelmed or nervous didn’t last long. Behind quarterback Kendall Catalon’s seven touchdowns, the Broncos put Cleburne on the mat early to advance to the area round.
After falling behind 7-0 early, Legacy scored seven unanswered touchdowns to take a commanding 49-7 lead. Catalon connected on seven of his eight pass attempts, with four of those going for touchdowns. He added three scores on the ground.
“Having Kendall is just a huge bonus to our football team. His leadership, confidence, preparedness and ability, it’s just a huge benefit. Kendall is a really special football player.”
Now in his third season as a starter, Catalon feels he has developed into a complete quarterback, both as a player and a vocal leader. Head coach Chris Melson couldn’t agree more.
“He really studies,” Melson said. “He pays attention in meetings. He stays after and throws with some of his receivers. He’ll step up and be vocal. He just kind of does a little bit of everything to help our team get better every week.”
The complete quarterback had a complete game last Thursday.
“Efficient,” Melson called it. “About as clean a game as you can have.”
Despite being his first playoff start, Catalon wasn’t nervous. He simply approached the game the same at the 10 previous this season.
“I wouldn’t say nervous,” he said. “You just have so much energy. But every game I go into, I give it all I’ve got, so after any game I’ve got no regrets because I know I did everything I could.”
With his seven total touchdowns, Catalon has moved closer to a milestone of 100. He now has a total of 96, with 66 of those passing and 30 rushing.
“That’s a pretty amazing stat,” Melson said, also pointing out it has come against quality competition.
Melson’s phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook from college coaches inquiring about Catalon, but the coach has no doubt next-level football is in Kendall’s future.
“I have 100 percent confidence that he’ll land somewhere because he’s a great player,” Melson said. “People will see it and realize he’s something.”
Catalon’s immediate future, though, is a 5A Division I area round matchup with Dallas Spruce Friday night at Newsom Stadium, a game most will expect Legacy to win. He admits it’s hard not to look ahead – with potential matchups against Highland Park and even Lake Ridge possible – but he knows that’s exactly what he and the rest of the Broncos need to do.
“It’s kind of hard not to look at the brackets, but we’ve done a pretty good job not thinking about who’s next and just playing who we have,” he said. “That’s the way we approached district, and it worked out well for us.”