On Dec. 8 the varsity football team took on the Plano West Wolves for the Region II Championship and state quarterfinals at Waco ISD Stadium. The Chaparrals, who had the same record as the Wolves, 9-4, were favored by two touchdowns. With the blue and black that filled up the stands on one side, and red, white and blue on the other side, the energy was high and the crowds were rowdy as the teams took the field.
“I was really pumped for the game,” senior Keith Carter said. “We were confident as a team and it showed on the field.”
Not even six minutes into the first quarter, Keith scored a touchdown followed by a kick from senior Michael Barden, giving Westlake a head start in the game. The rest of the quarter was an intense battle in which Plano was able to score, however Keith was able to score another touchdown as well, ending the quarter 14-7.
“I’m always a little nervous for games,” Keith said. “But some say you play better like that. You have to play with ‘controlled anger’ as Coach Allman would say.”
The second quarter proved to be even more exciting than the first. Fifty-two seconds in, junior Patrick Elliott scored a touchdown followed by the extra point by Michael. Later, a touchdown by junior Alex Chavez brought the Westlake crowd to its feet with excitement as the quarter was coming to an end.
By the end of the third quarter, an interception from senior John Dodd enabled yet another touchdown by Keith and a kick from Michael. The quarter ended with a score of 35-21.
“Scoring is a great feeling,” Keith said. “But I wouldn’t be anything without the other 10 that are fighting alongside with me, especially the offensive line.”
The fourth quarter was a vigorous fight to the end as Plano tried to catch up to Westlake. As Westlake fought again to seal their win, Alex scored another touchdown with two minutes and five seconds left.
“After my last touchdown I was ecstatic,” Alex said. “The whole team went crazy because we knew that it would be the last offensive drive of the game and with that touchdown we went up by a good amount.”
But Plano didn’t give up and scored with 30 seconds left. As everyone was on the edge of his or her seats to see what the outcome would be, senior Derek Cohen caught an interception with 19 seconds left, ending the game with a final score of 42-35.
The team now prepares to go to the semi-finals. The community’s hopes are high and the players are confident and continue to work hard every day.
“Going into the semi finals I think we as a team are very confident,” Alex said. “Our offense is starting to click together and our defense keeps getting better. I think we have a good chance to do something special.”
Practicing for the playoffs, the entire team, JV included, dedicate hard time after school Mondays through Thursdays for two to three hours and on Fridays for an hour and a half.
“The underclassmen really mean a lot to us,” Keith said. “They are out-practicing us every day and we couldn’t do what we have done without them.”
The Chaps will face Dallas’ Cedar Hill, who won their quarter final game 42-34, at 2 p.m. Saturday at Waco ISD Stadium.
“Being in the semi finals is really a once-in-a-lifetime chance for us seniors,” Keith said. “It’s something that I dreamt of as a kid so it’s definitely an exciting time for the team and the whole community.”