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Westlake secured the second state championship in program history at AT&T Stadium in Arlington by relying on one of the oldest coaching clichés in football.

You can’t lose if the other team doesn’t score.

The Chaparrals won the UIL Class 6A Division II crown by blanking Denton Guyer 24-0 at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. An interception by defensive back Henry Smogur secured the shutout late in the fourth quarter.

It was the first state championship since Drew Brees led the Chaps to glory in 1996. This time around, the quarterback was Kirkland Michaux, who capped the season with 2,894 yards passing and 44 touchdowns in addition to 404 yards and another seven scores on the ground.

In the title game against Guyer, Michaux tossed all three of the game’s TDs. The senior signal caller found Jake Misch on a 5-yard score in the first quarter and added a 33-yard strike to Mason Mangum in the second period.

“Our defense really kept us going,” Michaux said after the game. “The momentum they gave us was insane. I was able to give us some big plays.”

Michaux helped extend Westlake’s lead to 21-0 in the third quarter after hitting Jackson Coker for a 39-yard TD toss. Just for good measure, Chaps placekicker David Leadbetter tacked on an 18-yard chip shot late in the stanza to give Westlake a commanding lead.

The Chaps finished the 2019 campaign with a 15-1 overall record, with the lone loss coming against Lake Travis back on Oct. 11. That 26-25 setback cost Westlake a chance at the District 25-6A title, but head coach Todd Dodge’s team bounced back and steamrolled each of its next 10 opponents.

How dominant were the Chaps down the stretch? They won their final four district games by an average margin of victory of 50.3 points per game.

In the playoffs, Westlake continued its roll by winning its six contests by an average margin of 30.7 per outing. That includes a 63-3 bludgeoning of Katy Taylor in the state semifinals.

The state championship was the fifth overall for Dodge, who previously claimed four titles as the head coach at Southlake Carroll. However, the latest triumph was especially meaningful.

“This has been a bucket list wish for (wife) Elizabeth and I to come back to Westlake and be able to win a state championship here,” Dodge said. “After a six-year wait, this means everything to me and my family.”

The Chaps’ fearsome defense was paced by senior defensive back Leo Lowin, who led the team in tackles with 98. Lowin, a 6-foot-1 cornerback, also routinely shut down opposing wideouts, as did senior safety Sage Luther, who added 89 total stops this season.

The duo also tallied seven interceptions between the two of them. 

Up front, senior defensive linemen Austin McClendon and Bobby Duncum kept quarterbacks on their toes all year. McClendon posted a team-high nine sacks, and Duncum added another six. As a team, the Chaps registered 38 total sacks and also notched an impressive 33 total takeaways — 17 interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries.

By comparison, Westlake’s offense only turned the ball over 14 times during the entire season.

Michaux’s top targets in 2019 were senior wide receivers Ryan Lindley and Mangum, who capped the season with a combined 2,325 yards and 34 scores. Lindley hauled in 101 passes, which was a team-best total by a whopping 37 receptions.

On the ground, junior running back Zane Minors supplied 871 yards and 14 scores on 100 carries.

Westlake Advances to State Championship.

At McLane Stadium in Waco, a Texas high school football 6A Division II semifinal took place between the Westlake Chaparrals and the Katy Taylor Mustangs, both teams fighting to advance to the state championship at AT&T Stadium. The Chaps had made it to the semifinals the previous two years but were unable to tell the tale of anything further. The Mustangs, however, were in their first-ever semifinal game. Westlake swiftly eliminated Katy in a massacre ending with the Chaps winning 63-3.

After running through their hand painted banner with the modo ‘Hustle and Heart set us apart’, Katy received to start the game and were immediately welcomed to the semifinal round by Westlake who forced them to punt early. Katy’s defense followed in the same manner forcing Westlake to punt. On Westlake’s next drive they needed to make a play. They started with a 17-yard pass from quarterback Kirkland Michaux to Ryan Lindley. Next Michaux rolled out to his left firing a missile downfield to receiver Mason Mangum for a 33-yard touchdown.

After once again punting Katy’s defense would put up a fight. Mustang linebacker Martian Nowlin was able to sack Kirkland Michaux for a 15-yard loss. Starting in amazing field position on Westlake’s side of the field Katy put a nine play drive together highlighted by Keaton Kubeckas 15-yard catch to set them up for a field goal they would make.

The field goal was a bright spot for Katy and would remain so as their nightmarish first half would drag on and on. Westlake had the ball and were looking to end the game early. Jackson Coker, a jack of all trades, was lined up at running back, Kirkland Michaux found him on a middle seam route for a 60-yard catch and run straight into the endzone.

Westlake’s dominance would continue as defensive end Austin McClendon sacked quarterback J Jensen III. Capitalizing on the short field Kirkland Michaux would find Jake Misch in the back of the end zone for yet another Westlake score. Michaux also found freshman receiver Jaden Greathouse on the quick slant for a 6-yard touchdown.

With 45 seconds remaining in the half, Katy was just trying to make it to halftime alive but Westlake would not let that happen as they hunted the Mustang’s returner down forcing and recovering a fumble. As the Chaps had all game they threw the ball deep and on this play all-time leading Westlake receiver Mason Mangum was the recipient of a 38-yard touchdown.

Mason Mangum catches a 38-yard touchdown pass from Kirkland Micheaux.

Heading into halftime Westlake was up 35-3 and showed no signs of slowing down. On offense, the Chaps were finding holes and exploiting them as Kirkland Michaux had five first half passing touchdowns. The defense was doing their part and I would attribute that to the defensive ends. They collapsed the pocket on passing plays and more importantly played the inside zone and option hand-off incredibly well.

Westlake received to start the second half and the game was all but over as they quickly reasserted their dominance. It started out with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Coker who was left wide open in the end zone without a defender in sight.

Westlake defensive back Lucas Mireau then intercepted J Jensen III’s pass setting up yet another deep Westlake throw. Mason Mangum would run a great corner-post pattern to find himself once again open in the end zone for his third touchdown and Kirkland’s seventh. Kirkland Michaux wanting to add a little extra scrambled for a 29-yard touchdown to put yet another nail in the coffin.

Kirkland Michaux totaled 215-yards on scoring plays alone, and 302-yards on the day. Mason Mangum lead in the receiving game with 143-yards, all three of his touchdowns were in the 30-40 yard range. Jackson Coker who had 100-yards on the night averaged 33.3-yards per touch as well as a 66% touchdown rate for every touch.

Coach Todd Dodge talks with his Quarterback after a touchdown drive in the 2nd quarter of the 6A Division II semifinal at McLane Stadium in Waco TX Saturday December 14th 2019.

Westlake’s backups came in to the game for the remainder of the fourth quarter. Head coach Todd Dodge and his 2019 Westlake Chaparrals are heading to AT&T Stadium next Saturday to attempt what has not been done in the last 23 years…Bring a championship title home to Westlake. The Chaps will face the number four ranked Texas team Denton Guyer, who is fresh off a 35-17 win over Westfield.

Westlake Advances to Semi-Final Round defeats Brandeis 42-14

Eight teams entered the Texas high school 6A Division II Regional playoffs, only four teams emerged with a shot at the state championship. The Alamodome was where the Westlake Chaparrals took on the Brandeis Broncos in what turned out to be a one-sided affair as the Chaps dominated in a 42-14 win over the Broncos and took their next step towards a ring.

Westlake received the ball to start the game, hoping to repeat last year’s victory in which they over powered Brandeis 26-0. It was a shaky start for Westlake after quarterback Kirkland Michaux’s first pass was nearly intercepted. On third down receiver Jackson Coker threw the ball on a reverse play to Mason Mangum who dropped it, luckily for them, Ryan Lindley was in the right place at the right time as he caught the tip for a 33-yard gain. Kirkland Michaux threw a fade to 6’4″ freshman Jaden Greathouse who elevated over the defender to make an epic 21-yard touchdown grab.

Unlike Westlake, Brandeis was looking to change the result of last year’s game, starting with an explosive kick return the Broncos would be positioned at Westlake’s 34-yard line. After six moderate gains and a holding penalty, the Broncos were on the 18-yard line. Star running back Corion Holmes was lined up at tight end and for good reason, as Holmes sneaked past the defense finding himself wide open in the end zone for the touchdown.

Westlake would get the ball back and look just as dominant. Brandeis may have them in a 3rd & long but Kirkland Michaux and company would always find a way to move the chains. A great example is 3rd & 14 in which Michaux found Jackson Coker for 16-yards to keep the drive moving. The Chaps would than find themselves on the 1-yard line and the call was obvious, quarterback keeper, Kirkland Michaux powered his way in for Westlake’s second touchdown.   

After an Austin Mcclendon sack Brandeis would be forced to punt the ball away to the dangerous Chaps offense. Kirkland Michaux was getting it done on the ground as he rushed for 49-yards at this point. He was basically a human bowling ball knocking over the Broncos like pins. The Chaps offense would not get a strike or a spare that drive in fact they had a gutter ball as they missed the field goal.

The next Westlake possession was similar to the second and dissimilar to the third. Jaden Greathouse would once again make his presence felt with an 18-yard catch, in the first two-quarters Greathouse had four catches for 55-yards and a touchdown. This helped set up Kirkland Michaux for yet another 1-yard touchdown run moving the lead to 21-7.

Heading into halftime Westlake’s offense was looking good and in my opinion had one standout, Jackson Coker. Coker is essentially playing the Taysom Hill (Saints quarterback) role on this team. Coker totaled 109-yards throwing, running and receiving the ball. One player the Chaps needed to get involved was junior running back Zane Minors who had four carries up until this point for 18-yards.

Brandeis would get the ball to start the second half and they were looking for any glimmer of offense they could find. Junior quarterback Jordan Battles sparked that with a 36-yard run that would be put to waste as Brandeis missed the field goal. Westlake now in possession took my advice and feed the beast in Zane Minors.

Minors would get the first four touches on the drive and earn 17-yards. Much like Brandeis, Westlake would not be able to put up any points after turning the ball over. With reinvigorated energy Brandeis was fired up, so was Westlake’s Bobby Duncan as he would strip Battles of the ball and Taevin Brown would recover for Westlake.

Westlake would later go onto run the score as well as stat lines. With a 20-yard pass to Ryan Lindley, an 11-yard touchdown run by Zane Minors, a 22-yard touchdown throw from Michaux to Greathouse, a 6-yard touchdown run by Zane Minors and just for fun an interception by Westlake safety Sage Luther.

Kirkland Michaux (who would be taken out later in the game) threw for 153-yards and a touchdown while completing 17/24 passes, Michaux also added 50-yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Zane Minors would rush for 66-yards on 13 carries. Ryan Lindley had 93-receiving yards, Jaden Greathouse totaled 93-yards.

In the end, Westlake played very well on both sides of the ball. They will face a formidable opponent in the State Semi-finals round that has been somewhat challenging in recent years. Westlake will look to change that narrative as they face the winner of the upcoming Katy Taylor/Cy Creek game next Saturday in Waco.

Westlake Dodge gets 200th career win over Brennan 24-6 in Area playoff.

A rematch of last year’s second round Texas high school football playoffs took place at Bobcat Stadium. Friday night the fans cheered on their championship dreams as the Westlake Chaps squared up against the Brennan Bears. Westlake were the kings of the matchup coming into tonight after winning 49-7 last year and they looked to defend that crown in an elimination game. Last year there were fireworks with 99-yard touchdowns and blocked punts and though this game did not light up the sky, it was a fun watch. Westlake stifled Brennan 24-6 in a defensive game.

“We took it more seriously”, says Westlake quarterback Kirkland Michaux about preparation for this game. “Each round it gets tougher and tougher. It’s a lot of being in the film room and practice on the field so I think we prepared well and that showed up.”

Brennan received to start the game. Looking for early momentum the Bears looked deep to speedy receiver Jalen Spells. Spells beat the coverage but could not bring the ball in as it hit off his hands for what would have been a walk-in touchdown. The Bears would eventually punt later in the drive.
Starting in great field position due to a weak punt, Westlake was in a prime position to score. After a 7-yard pass to Mason Mangum, Kirkland Michaux scrambled for 5 yards and got an additional 15 on a facemask. Mason Magnum would than slash the Bears defense for a 24-yard touchdown reminding Brennan of last year when he caught a 99-yard touchdown on the opening drive.

Brennan needed to muster up a strong drive to not give Westlake momentum or a bigger lead. It did not help that Brennan started inside their own 10-yard line. Senior quarterback David Varela finally connected on the deep ball as he found Keion Thomas 55-yards downfield for a field-position flipper. Trying to press the advantage the Bears would opt to go for it on 4th down and ultimately come out empty-handed. 

After both teams were forced to punt Westlake wound up with the ball. The Chaps were running the ball straight down Brennan’s throat as the drive totaled nine carries for 32-yards most of which were due to stud running back Zane Minors. Senior quarterback Kirkland Michuax would then find Jackson Coker on a quick slant for 8-yards and a touchdown giving the Chaps a two-score lead. 

Another drive, another score, was the Chaparral’s mentality as they would once again march downfield towards the Bear’s endzone. The drive was highlighted by a 20-yard catch by freshman receiver Jaden Greathouse and Ryan Lindley’s 10-yard TD grab. 

“The whole offense had a great game. The offensive line kept me off the ground. The receivers made a lot of catches when the balls were on them. The defense definitely carried their weight, we could not have done it without them”, said Michaux praising his team.  

Strangely enough, the first half of this game was not too dissimilar to last year’s game between Westlake and Brennan. In both games Westlake dominated the first half, and held Brennan to a goose egg on the scoreboard. If that is not enough, Jackson Croker and Mason Magnum had both caught touchdowns, giving fans a sense of déjà vu.

Coming out of halftime Westlake got the ball and had one goal in mind: put the game away. It would be a long journey to do that as they were backed up inside their own 5-yard line. Zane Minors did not care as he broke loose for 30-yards giving the Westlake offense some breathing room. After that the Westlake offense did nothing, I mean nothing, in fact, they went backward and were forced to punt the ball away. 

Brennan was once again forced to punt the ball as Westlake’s defense stood strong. The punt ended in Brennan’s favor as Westlake’s punt returner Sage Luther fumbled the ball and Brennan recovered. The Bears offense did nothing with the ball and were unable to put up points. This was a testament to how the entire game went, the Bears offense was simply not able to move the chains, Brennan quarterback David Varela had only completed 2 passes in the first half.  

“We’ve got a lot of veterans that have played a lot of football and all the guys that were brand new at the beginning of the year, are not rookies anymore”, said Westlake head coach Todd Dodge of his defense. “We’re experienced, we’re healthy and our kids have been consistently good on defense.” 

Westlake’s offense showed flashes of greatness throughout the whole game. Westlake quarterback Kirkland Michaux made better reads and made them quicker. Michaux stepped up his game completing 8/11 passes in the first half, including three touchdowns as well as going turnover-free.

When asked about what Michaux did differently in practice coach Dodge had this to say, “Get more reps out of fewer things. I think that’s important, the one thing is that we got a whole lot of offense installed at the 12-week mark and if you are not careful you try to do everything a little bit well. One thing we did this week is we went back and really kind of cut the fat in both run game and pass game, screen game. Everything else is really just adjustment based. We did a great job throwing the football in the red zone.”
Westlake will go onto the third round of Texas high school playoffs where they will face Weslaco East who are fresh off a 24-10 win against Rowe. This is a game where Westlake is favored but you never know what is going to happen on any given Friday.

When asked does this Westlake team have what it takes to go all the way, Kirkland Michaux said, “Yes, it does. We are one of the most close-knit group of guys you will ever see on a team and I feel like that is a big deal. I feel like we have a pretty good chance.”

Coach Todd Dodge talks to his team after the 2nd round playoff victory and 200th overall win.

For Westlake head coach Todd Dodge this was a special day for two reasons. First of all, he won a playoff game but that win was also his 200th career win as a head coach. Dodge has this to say about his 200th win, “It means a lot. The biggest thing that I think when I think of 200 wins, is I am so blessed that we did it here with this group of kids here at Westlake. Our Seniors were 7th graders when we first got here, we’re all they know and they’re all we know as far as a football program so it is really special to get that 200th win with them. Now we’re going to try and fit 3 or 4 more wins in there.”

Westlake takes down Hays

For the second straight year, Hays went into the Westlake game undefeated and within reach of a district title. And for the second straight year, Westlake turned it into a laugher. The Chaps scored touchdowns on each of their first nine possessions and got another outstanding game from their defense in a 65-7 route Friday night at Bob Shelton Stadium in Buda, TX.

After spending the season’s first eight weeks rotating quarterbacks, Westlake finally handed the keys to senior Kirkland Michaux. The tall righty showed exactly why the coaches put their trust in him by completing 15-of-23 passes for 287 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also added a touchdown on the ground.

“There comes to be a point where you have to give one of them more reps than the others,” Westlake coach Todd Dodge said of the quarterbacks. “Kirkland has been in our quarterback room since he was a freshman. A lot of people don’t remember, but he was the guy that was a play away during his freshman season, so he’s been around a long time… I thought he played really well against Lake Travis before his injury. He led us on some big-time drives, ran the ball well, was very accurate and he continued it tonight.”

Most of Michaux’s completions went to senior wide receiver Ryan Lindley, a crafty slot-man who finished the night with nine receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown. Arkansas commit Mason Mangum – also a senior – had two touchdowns on his three catches for 62 yards. Freshman Jaden Greenhouse (3 catches, 62 yards, TD) continues to flash talent beyond his years and junior running back Zane Minors (10 carries, 87 yards, 3 TDs) gave the running game a punch that will come in handy as Westlake chases down a state title.

“We’re becoming harder to defend by personnel. We’re spreading the ball around to a lot of different people. Our running game is starting to pick it up,” Dodge said. “We’re getting so many more people involved, not only in the passing game but in the run game. Grey Nakfoor and Zane Minors are really stepping up at the running back position. It’s a nice little 1-2 punch. Our quarterbacks are running the ball well. A lot of the night tonight, even though he made some big plays, they chose to double Mason Mangum and we went in some different directions and spread the ball around, so that’s where we are. We are getting a lot of production from a lot of different people.”

Hays came into the game averaging almost 400 rushing yards a game with its old-school slot-T offense. The scheme is so different from what most kids are used to that it can cause major problems, even for the most talented defenses. Westlake’s resistance, however, was ready for what came at them. Hays mustered only 112 yards on the ground on 2.4 yards per rush. The Chaps also got a blocked punt from senior Jackson Coker and an interception from senior defensive end Austin McClendon deep in Hays territory to set up easy touchdowns.

“Absolutely great preparation. This is a tough team to prepare for because of the slot-T. You only see it probably once a year, and I’m so proud of our defense,” Dodge said. “It’s just about kids just being gap sound, being unselfish. You really have to be unselfish when you play a team like this. The defensive line, we tell them, if you don’t make a tackle, you could play a great game just by holding up, not getting trapped, staying in your gap, getting hats to the ball. In today’s era of spread offenses, our kids are pretty physically. But, boy, you have to really turn it up against a team like this and put your big boys pants on in this kind of physical matchup.”

Micheaux Chaps QB in 2019

Westlake has taken an impressive leap this 2019 season, when they score at least 30 points they are undefeated. Lake Travis is there lone loss during the season when they barely lost 26-25.

The Chaps are rolling this season otherwise. Kirkland Micheaux leading behind center has taken his team to dominant wins over Lehman, Del Valle, Akins, and Austin High. Standing at an impressive 6’5 the senior has played smart football throwing less than 5 interceptions so far in the middle of the season and has 14 touchdowns under his belt. A 73% completion rate at a little over 13 yards per completion it’s amazing to think that for every pass he gains a first down on every drive.  

There are three receivers that have over 350 yards this season all averaging over 13 yards per catch. When you pass to Lindley, Greathouse, and Mangum you will get a first down. It’s nice to think that you have three receivers you can rely on to assist in moving the ball down the field against opposing defenses in the Central Texas area. They will be relied on heavily as the season goes along.  Micheaux last season had a taste of playoff football before losing to the West Brook Bruins in the Semifinals. A game away from state, he has experienced the playoff atmosphere and is more than ready to lead them deeper in the playoffs this season. A state championship is ready for the taking, can they take that next step?

After loosing Senior QB Taylor Anderson last year to injury late in the season; Coach Todd Dodge has tried a different strategy in 2019. This year he has kept defenses on edge playing three Quarterbacks in the trio of Kirkland Michaux, Cade Klubnik and Drew Willoughby. Should any player go down then all three have had plenty of playing time this season and will be ready for NEXT MAN UP football Friday Nights in late November and December this year.

Micheaux carries his leadership from last season giving Westlake another hope of the prized State Championship in 2019. Coach Dodge has kept his program at an elite level for years reloading with players across the board. With just a few weeks before playoff time Kirkland Micheaux can’t lay off the intensity and therefore must give his team hope into the playoffs. Texas football takes it to another level when the playoffs start. Teams are either pretenders or contenders. This Chaps team along with their quarterback will contend come playoff time.