Varsity football dominates Hays with strong aerial attack, extends winning streak to six

The receiving core has been a strength of the varsity football team in recent years. Whether the group is comprised of strong physical receivers or slot runners, the Chaps have been able to build an elite core of pass catchers. This season has been no different. Receiver juniors Mason Mangum and Jackson Coker have found ease in shaking their defenders on deep passing routes, a trait which was demonstrated Friday night in their combined five touchdown catches en route to a 70-14 win over Hays.

“We work hard on the passing game.” head coach Todd Dodge said. “I felt all along that our receiving core would be a strength of our team, as well as our veteran quarterback. We had the favorable matchups tonight, and we were able to go to work.”

While Dodge praised the quarterback and receiver play, Jackson attributed the offensive dominance to a strong offensive line.

“The offensive line really gave our quarterback time and let the receivers develop in our routes,” Jackson said. “Everyone was doing their job. I was just doing whatever I can to get open and make a play.”

The undefeated Hays Rebels marched into Ebbie Neptune knowing they would have to get through the Chaps to win District. Westlake kept its foot on the gas all the way through the game, scoring a season-high 70 points.

“I wouldn’t say there was extra pressure, but definitely extra incentive,” Dodge said. “[Hays] had our attention big time, coming into the game 7-0. We have a lot of respect for them and [the players] played that way.”

With just two games left in the regular season, the Chaps’ win was a big step towards winning District, as they are now 6-0 in District play. Coming towards the end of the season, Dodge reassured that the team wasn’t experiencing any fatigue.

“Fatigue has been a non-factor,” Dodge said. “The players are so fired up and this bunch is a lot of fun to coach because we have a whole lot of guys who are passionate about the game of football. Not all of the seniors will go on to play college football, so they are really milking every practice, video session, weight room session and every game for all it’s worth.”