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Tag: Westlake Beat Hays

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.”

Chaps “Shellacked” Rebels in District Route

Westlake raced out to a monster first quarter lead and never looked back in a 70-14 beat-down of Hays Friday at Chaparral Stadium in Austin.

The Chaps (7-1 overall, 6-0 District 25-6A) got three touchdown passes from senior quarterback Taylor Anderson and a pick-six from senior linebacker Ben Pankonien to build a 28-0 advantage in the opening period. 

From there, it was smooth sailing as the Chaps were able to empty the bench late in the third quarter of a game that was supposed to be more competitive.

“(Getting off to a strong start) is what we talked about all week because against a team like that you never know how often you’re going to get the ball back,” said Westlake coach Todd Dodge. “Every possession has got to be crucial. Sometimes, it’s running the ball, keeping the ball away from them. Tonight, it was we got the matchups we wanted in the passing game. We were able to exploit that.” 

Hays (7-1, 5-1) came into the game undefeated but had yet to play an opponent of Westlake’s caliber. The Chaps quickly put the Rebels back in their place.

Typically reliant on a stingy defense and powerful run game, Westlake decided to let loose on this night and Anderson threw for more yards (199) in the first quarter than he had in a single game all season.

He finished the evening 11-of-14 for 260 yards with five touchdowns and no turnovers. Senior wide receiver Mason Mangum led all pass catchers with five receptions for 169 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Jackson Coker had two highlight-worthy scoring grabs in the first half and finished with three catches for 60 yards as the extra attention the Rebels gave to Westlake’s leading wideout, senior Penny Baker (two receptions, 14 yards), freed things up for his speedy teammates.

“They ran man coverage a lot, which can be effective if you have the defensive backs for it, but I don’t think any team has the defensive backs for our four wide receivers,” Anderson said. “If they try to double one guy and leave another guy in man coverage, it’s going to be a touchdown every time and I think tonight showed for that… (Mangum and Coker) are both track guys. They run 4.5s. They’re the fastest guys I’ve ever seen. I trust them every time beating a guy one-on-one even if he knows he’s going deep.”

Westlake’s defense proved ready for the challenge of Hays’ run-heavy offense as they forced five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumble recoveries), had four fourth-down stops and held Hays to 265 yards on 63 plays for 4.2 yards per play.

The first two turnovers were especially crucial. Hays had driven into the red zone on its first possession before senior safety Drew Webster got in the backfield and forced a botched exchange which he jumped on to extinguish the threat.

Down 21-0 late in the first period, Hays went away from its base slot-T look and instead threw the ball out of a shotgun, four-receiver set. The results, however, were catastrophic as Pankonien read the quarterback and stepped in front of his pass for a 33-yard interception return for a touchdown that felt like a Mike Tyson first-round knockout punch.

“All year long you watch (Hays) and they put 15, 16-play drives together, and you look up and the first quarter is over with. Hats off to our defense for not allowing that to happen,” Dodge said. “It helped that we played against a similar type of offense last week. We prepared for Del Valle and played that game, so I think that’s part of it. The second thing is we got a lot of veterans on defense. A lot of kids that got a lot of pride. A very intelligent bunch over there (that’s) very much in tune with what (defensive coordinator) Tony Salazar is putting into a game plan and we came out and executed.”