The Chaps were driving down the field with force. A 26-yard pass to receiver senior Jake Ramos put Westlake in Cy-Fair territory as Westlake marched towards the end zone.
A sack and an incomplete pass made it third-and-19 with under a minute left in the ball game. Quarterback junior Taylor Anderson dropped back, firing a pass straight up the middle to senior wide receiver Cary Andreo, who took the ball two steps before fumbling, concluding a Westlake loss.
The Cy-Fair Bobcats defeated Westlake at NRG Stadium Saturday afternoon by a score of 14-6, ending the Chaps’ undefeated season.
“I just told myself, ‘No matter what [the obstacle] is, do your part,’” Nakia said. “I told myself not to panic. I had to play as hard as I could until the clock hit zero, [even in a] loss.”
Head coach Todd Dodge delivered what was a bittersweet post-game talk. While there were varying degrees of disappointment between the players, each of them listened intently as Dodge let them know how much they meant to him.
Meanwhile, the traveling Chaps crowd stayed to support their team.
“We could feel [the fans] all throughout the playoffs,” Dodge said. “Westlake Nation has been showing up. [They’ve been] loud and proud, and we appreciate everyone in our community.”
Cy-Fair held a lead at 7-6 when they got the ball back on their own 45 in the third quarter. Defensive lineman senior Braden Cassity stormed through the offensive line and sacked the quarterback for a loss of 15 yards.
A controversial late-hit call against Westlake helped the Bobcats escape with a first down. Four plays later, it was a fourth-and-16 from the 30-yard line. A lob-pass into double coverage by quarterback senior Cam Arnold found the receiver to give Cy-Fair the lead 14-6 with 9:05 left in the game.
Success on the ground for the Bobcats was key, as they were able to take lots of time off the clock and hold possession. Running back senior Trenton Kennedy finished with 24 attempts and 80 yards rushing.
“Hats off to Cy-Fair,” Dodge said. “They played the type of game that they wanted to play. They [hung] onto the ball and [capitalized] on turnovers so congratulations to them.”
Looking back on the season, the Chaps exceeded many expectations. There were plenty of holes in the team that were filled well, and now a promising roster is in Dodge’s hands for next year. With another year of experience, the team will look towards next season with optimism.
“[My takeaway] was joy,” Dodge said. “I don’t feel joyful now, but in a couple of days, we are going to be able to reflect on what we’ve accomplished. When last season was over with, there probably [weren’t] a whole bunch of people that would’ve given this group a chance to play 15 games with the people that we had to replace. The players are fighters, and I absolutely love every one of them.”