Varsity football plays the lights out in defeat of Austin High

The visitors’ side of Ebbie Neptune field was packed with traveling Austin High fans, ready to watch their team take on their long-hated rival, Westlake. Vulgar chants, powder in the air, a camo color scheme and more contributed to the fiery atmosphere that epitomizes the rivalry in and of itself. After two years away, the Maroons returned, only to be overpowered by Westlake, 57-0. The game ended early, as with three minutes left, the stadium lights went out.

“We can’t forget what happened against Cy-Ranch,” defensive lineman senior David Neil said. “We want to, but we can’t. We have to use that as the fuel for the fire. We had two choices — light the match or let it go out —  and I think the defense lit that match in the Akins game and today. We’re rolling.”

Right off the bat, head coach Todd Dodge unleashed the offense on Austin High. The Chaps went up 7-0 just over a minute into the game thanks to a 62-yard lob from quarterback senior Taylor Anderson to wide receiver junior Mason Mangum, who finished the day with four receptions for 94 yards and two touchdowns. By the end of the first quarter, Westlake had already scored 21 points.

The second half was more of the same, with the Chaps adding on another 19 points to their first half total, closing out the game. Linebacker senior Blake Chambers was ejected after throwing a punch at an Austin High player midway through the third quarter, adding a bit of fire to a game that was mostly burnt out.

“Blake just lost his cool,” Dodge said. “It was one of those plays where he threw the second punch and was ejected, but we’ll address that on Monday.”

Dodge was not hesitant to contain the offensive dominance of Westlake throughout the game, running continuous pass plays and going for it on fourth down despite the large lead. 

“We are just trying to run our base offense and base defense,” Head coach Todd Dodge said. “This was gonna be a great challenge for our defense because of how [Austin High] was scoring 46 points a game in [its] first three games. The defense was very motivated to play against this offense and this team. This was a rivalry game and our kids have a lot of pride about it.”