At 5-foot-4 and 140 pounds, North Shore’s Kerrion Hadnot is usually one of the smallest players on the football field. Yet in a matchup of two Houston area high school powerhouses, he had the biggest impact.
With North Shore trailing eight-time state champion Katy 17-13 with less than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of a Class 6A Division I Region III semifinal game at NRG Stadium, Hadnot did what he does best.
“I had to pull one out for my teammates,” said the junior running back. “It was an outside zone play and that’s my specialty. I’m a short, fast guy so I like to get the ball on the outside and make people miss. That’s my game plan, to make people miss.”
Hadnot accepted the handoff from senior quarterback Bryant Badie and began probing the left side of his offensive line for an opening. After bouncing off several would-be Katy tacklers, Hadnot turned the corner and raced 48 yards for the game-clinching touchdown with 5:03 left in the contest.
The late-game heroics of North Shore’s little big man had yet another chapter.
North Shore’s defense withstood four Katy run attempts inside the two-yard line, including Katy’s last effort on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line with one minute, 38 seconds left in regulation.
“We have at a tremendous defense. We practice hard every day and stay calm and keep our composure,” Hadnot said. “We pray to God and he helps us find a way.”
Then the mecurial Hadnot sealed the deal much to Katy’s chagrin.
With his team needing a first down to nail down a 20-17 victory that would propel the Mustangs into the Region III-6A Division I finals against district rival Atascocita, Hadnot moved the first-down sticks with a run to the 12-yard line.
“My coach is always telling me, ‘Little run, little run, little run, big run’” Hadnot said. “Something good is going to happen, so just stay calm, stay patient and stick to your game plan.”
North Shore, 12-1, and the defending Class 6A Division I state champion, will face 11-1 Atascocita Dec. 2 in NRG Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Katy, the defending Class 6A Division II state champion, closed out a 10-3 campaign.
Hadnot was a member of the North Shore varsity squad last year, but his sophomore season was derailed by an injury.
“The main goal for me coming into this season was just to go hard and don’t worry about my size,” he said. “Run over anybody that I see and play as hard as I can.
“My mother always told me that it’s not about the size of the dog, it’s about the fight in the dog. So I just take that and run with it,” Hadnot said.
North Shore is seeking to add a third state football championship to the one last year (2015) and the first in 2003.
“We’re going to move ahead and focus up,” Hadnot said. “We never want to make this game bigger than what it really is.”