Westlake rolls over Akins

Before its Oct. 8 game against Akins, the Chaparral football team had trailed at halftime during every one of its games this season, but that all changed against the Eagles, as the Chaps raced out to a 42-0 lead at the half en route to a 62-0 victory.  On the opening kickoff, linebacker junior Michael Severt caught the ball on his own 3-yard line and weaved his way through the Akins tacklers before being knocked out of bounds at the Eagle 35-yard line, following a return of 62 yards. On the next play, tailback senior Alex Chavez took the handoff and ran 35 yards for the Chaparral touchdown, putting them up 7-0 early in the game. Westlake forced a punt on the Eagles’ first possession and five plays later, Chaparral tailback senior Ben Slaughter found the end zone from four yards out, making it 14-0. On the next Westlake drive, quarterback junior Sean Rollings scored on a 9-yard run, making it 21-0 heading into the second quarter. “Sean will do whatever he has to do to help us win,” linebacker coach Daniel Hunter said. “He’s a pretty special athlete.”The Chaps continued to roll in the second quarter, taking a commanding lead behind rushing touchdowns by juniors Malek Jacobs and Breckyn Hager and a touchdown pass from senior Jon Rhoads to tight end senior Zach Dansby. Breckyn, normally a linebacker, started playing on both sides of the football during the week, and began the game at defensive end and scored two touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball. “[Breckyn can] carry the ball and do the dirty work and be a blocker,” Hunter said. “He does whatever we ask of him.”Westlake pulled most of their starters in the second half, giving some role-players and younger athletes much needed game experience. “[Putting our backups in] gave us an opportunity to get some game reps and build depth across the board,” associate head coach Ted Willmann said. “There’s a night and day difference between the reps these guys get in practice and the reps they get in games.”Jon and Sean, both of whom usually play receiver, split time at quarterback for the Chaps, as regular starter senior Jordan Severt was unavailable due to illness. Jon threw for a pair of touchdowns and Sean ran for one, showing that the Chaps have capable backups at the quarterback position. “It’s always good having depth at quarterback,” Hunter said. “We need to have guys that can step in and make plays there if someone goes down.”Westlake’s defense, after struggling early in the season, locked down on the Eagles’ offense, holding them to just 79 yards. The performance showed the players what they are capable of.“It was really eye opening for us,” Alex said. “We had a lot of position moves going on during the week, and it made us believe that we are pretty good [because of it].”It will be a short week going into Thursday’s game against Anderson at North Austin’s Nelson Field, and for the coaches, that means having to be ultra-efficient with their preparations.“We need to be really prepared [early in the week],” Hunter said. “We will basically only have two days to prepare.”As for the players, it will be business as usual.“We still need to practice hard,” linebacker junior Hudson Hall said. “That never changes.”