Westlake rolls to 56-12 win over Austin High in Homecoming game

Dylan Webber

The Chaps continued their perfect start last Friday with a 56-12 beatdown of cross-town rival Austin High. While many Westlake fans assumed before the first whistle even blew that the game would be a blowout, the Chaps stuttered out of the gate, giving up a few crucial penalties that allowed Austin High to stay in the game until the end of the first half, which ended 28-12.

“It took us longer than it should have to get everything in check,” captain senior Mack Kelley said. “Had this been against a bigger and better opponent, we could’ve been in for a rough surprise. But thankfully, we’ll be able to learn from this game and start quicker against Bowie.”

Austin High was able to exploit an uncharacteristic weakness in the Chap’s offense, as Westlake was finding unusual difficulty in the passing game. Nonetheless, the Chaps turned to their ground game, where captain junior Sam Ehlinger totaled 255 yards rushing with five touchdowns. But Sam and Westlake eventually found their groove through the air, as he threw two touchdown passes to receivers seniors Chase Cokley and Reed Klubnik in the third quarter. But they weren’t the only ones to see the end zone, as senior Canaan Clark-Bateman took a 44-yard handoff to the house for the last score of the game.

When schools schedule a team for their Homecoming game, it’s usually a sign of a good old fashioned beat down. But the Maroons refused to believe this game would be an easy win for the Chaps. On the morning of the game, Austin High held a pep rally to rile up their students, but the excitement was carried out of the pep rally and into the halls of the school. Students were reportedly spraying lighters with Axe to create large flames in the commons of the school. In the process of all this, the school saw four students and even a faculty member suffer injuries.

But there was one Austin High student who didn’t share the same optimism as his peers, and that student just happened to be Austin High’s starting quarterback and captain, senior Beau Kalbacher. Earlier this year, Beau told the Austin-American Statesman, “I am realistic that we cannot normally compete with them in football,” Beau said. “Since my freshman year, I have heard and seen that athletic support in our school district is nothing like I see in Westlake or Lake Travis.”

Westlake will have a bye-week to prepare for its game against Bowie High school Oct. 2 at Burger Center. While the team is feeling confident in its ability to beat the Bulldogs, too much confidence can be dangerous. Bowie is off to a 4-0 start as are the Chaps, but the past two years, the Chaps have been upset by Bowie. Those are two games the team wishes they could have back.

“In back-to-back years, we’ve played some of our worst football against Bowie,” captain senior Brycen Foreman said. “We’re trying to make sure it doesn’t happen a third time.”