Quarterback senior Taylor Anderson took over the starting job last season, filling the large boots of now UT quarterback Sam Ehlinger. He impressed fans with his running talent, and, although raw, his game had lots of potential. Now, with a year and a half of starting experience, he has stepped into a leadership role, causing trouble for opposing teams in the air and on the ground. In one of the biggest games of the season, he didn’t disappoint, with 326 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. In the end, Westlake proved that last year’s losing-streak-ending victory wasn’t a fluke, thrashing Lake Travis 44-14 Friday night.
“I was just playing my game out there with my guys,” Taylor said. “Our coaches had a really good scheme. I was just following my offensive lineman on runs. I was just being the shifty player I am.”
Westlake executed its gameplay to perfection, minimizing the time that Lake Travis’ offense had the ball and capitalizing on offensive possessions. The Chap defense contained one of the best offenses, led by Ohio State commit receiver senior Garrett Wilson, in the state, forcing three turnovers and holding Garrett to just 59 receiving yards.
“We put about seven people in the backfield tonight because, god given, they had one of the best athletes in Texas on their team — Garrett Wilson,” defensive lineman senior David Neil said. “We knew that it was going to be tough, we knew that he was more athletic than many of the guys on our team. We understood that the key to this game was a good game plan, and we came into this game with the plan that if we rush three and leave everyone else in the back field, we would have a fighting chance.”
One surprising facet of the game was the trick play. The Chaps not only faked a punt, as kicker senior Gabriel Lozano got an early first down off of the play, but they also scored on a throw from running back senior Rhett Kelley, who threw a 36-yard touchdown pass after Taylor flipped the ball to him to find receiver junior Jackson Coker with 2:36 remaining in the second quarter. Head coach Todd Dodge reflected on the touchdown trick play after the game.
“We’ve run that play before,” Dodge said. “But we hadn’t run it this year, and we were kind of saving it for this game.”
The Chaps had a specific game plan going into tonight and executed it perfectly on both sides of the ball. Gabriel was three for three on field goals, one being a 40-yarder. The offense was clicking, and the defense held their own, making for a memorable night for Westlake fans.
“It was just a complete win,” Dodge said. “I can’t tell you just how proud I am of that locker room. This is one of those wins that the seniors will remember for the rest of their lives. There’s been so many groups that have come in here over the last ten years that can’t say that they beat Lake Travis. It’s a huge milestone.”