Stars shine bright as varsity football defeats Lehman, earns third straight win

Kicker senior Gabriel Lozano has made a name for himself over his last two years on varsity football, earning a five-star recruiting status and garnering a lot of attention from colleges. After a slow start this season, missing his first two field goals, he is back in form, and, in Friday night’s victory over Lehman, he nailed a 43-yarder, a career long. The Chaps as a whole were triumphant over the Lobos, 54-0, earning their fourth win of the season.

“It felt really, good immediately afterwards,” Gabriel said. “I’ve been working on my game mentally. I started off kind of shaky, but after a week with coach Baker, I worked to fix my mental. I just take it one kick at a time.”

Westlake kicked the ball to Lehman to start the game and immediately forced a three-and-out courtesy of a sack by defensive lineman senior William Robertson. Once the Chaps got the ball, they drove down the field, and quarterback senior Taylor Anderson hit wide receiver senior Penny baker on a 16-yard pass for a touchdown to put them up 7-0 with 9:21 left in the first quarter. From there, the offense let loose, scoring 40 points in the first half alone.

“This particular week was our very best week of work all season,” head coach Todd Dodge said. “Stringing three really good days of work together, we had really great weight room workouts and great video study. Our team is really starting to understand everything that we want from our culture on our day-to-day operations.”

Receiver junior Mason Mangum was impactful on the evening, with perhaps his biggest play being a 63-yard drop kick return after a Lehman safety.

“Mason is a big-time athlete,” Dodge said. “We saw what he could do in the open field. He got a view good blocks to spring him and the rest of it was pure ‘make you miss’ athleticism.”

The Chaps’ run offense was in sync, with multiple running backs getting a significant amount of touches. This was in part thanks to an offensive line that dominated for almost all of the game. Overall, the team was in its groove and functioned like a well-oiled machine in its third straight win.

“Going into this season we weren’t expected to be a heavily touted run game,” offensive lineman senior Chase Ernst said. “We really turned it on though. We came in and haven’t had a game with under 100 yards in rushing. The offensive line is really clicking right now.”