Westlake snaps Allen’s 57 game winning streak

No one had Westlake. Not at the beginning of the season, not in the start of the postseason, and especially not in their Semi Final match up against one of the most dominant teams in Texas football history. The 6A Division I Semi Final game on Dec. 11 at Waco ISD stadium pitted the Chaps against Allen High School who was undefeated and on the nation’s second longest winning streak of 57 games. In those 57 games, the Eagles won three-straight State Titles.

That record failed to faze Westlake, who dominated for most of the game, never conceding the lead. The Chaps’ defense has been lights-out for the whole postseason, but came out even hotter than usual, recording multiple sacks against an offensive line that features the second highest rated prep player in the nation, Allen senior Greg Little. The Chaps took a 16-0 lead into the locker room at half, shutting the Eagles out in a half for the first time this year. Despite a late fourth quarter comeback, Allen was unable to add a 58th win to their streak, giving Westlake a 23-17 win. After the win, students stormed the field in celebration, despite the assistant principals asking for students to remain seated.

“It was probably the craziest game I’ve been in attendance at,” senior Owen Strickland said. “Some people thought it was in classless to storm the field, but when you beat a team like Allen, what how do you expect the fans to react?”

December is a month that continues to define head coach Todd Dodge’s already legendary coaching career. For the sixth time, Dodge will play for a chance at the greatest prize in all of high school football — a State Championship. Dodge won four titles in five State Championship appearances with Southlake Carroll. Now, in only his second season at Westlake, he’ll try to add a fifth title to his name and the second for the Chaps.

While Dodge has fared well in State Championship games, Westlake (14-1) has historically faltered under the bright lights, losing six out of their seven appearances in the title match. The last time Westlake claimed the prize, the Chaps had future NFL Hall of Famer Drew Brees under center. But in their last trip to the Championship game in 2009, Westlake lost to Euless Trinity in a 38-41 shootout. Despite the bad track record, the players have no doubt in their abilities.

“We know exactly what we’re capable of,” captain senior Mack Kelley said. “What’s more important — that the school, under several different coaches and over many years, has lost six times when playing for a State Championship, or that our [current] coach has won four championships in five appearances? We know Dodge will put us in the best position to win. The past isn’t a reflection of what’s to come.”

Despite all the good that came from the game, in the first quarter, Westlake’s all-time leading receiver, senior Reed Klubnik, went down with an apparent foot injury, something that will likely keep him out of next week’s big game.

“It’s unfortunate, no doubt,” captain senior Brycen Foreman said. “This won’t hold us back, though. We saw Max [Mangum] go down before the postseason, and we’ve been able to step up in his place. I have no doubt that we’ll be able to do the same for Klubnik.”

In anticipation of the big game, Nike, who has a massive deal with Allen, will gift a pair of their new, unreleased cleats to all Westlake football players.

“It just shows how far we’ve come,” Brycen said. “At the beginning of the year, people counted us out, wrote us off for bigger names like Allen or Katy. Now, we’re making national headlines for beating one of the best teams in the country. We’re ranked 10th in the nation, and Nike is giving us all a pair of cleats several months before their release. It’s been an awesome ride, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.”

Westlake will face off against Galena North Shore (12-3) at 4 p.m. Dec. 19 in NRG Stadium, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans. Tickets are available at the stadium box office and in the Chap Court daily.