Defensive scoring outbreak helps varsity football over Akins

For most defensive players, a touchdown is the ultimatum of defending — as the old adage goes, “the best offense is a good defense.” Westlake, and defensive back senior Brayden Duncan, took that to heart Friday night, scoring a total of 16 points by way of the defense. Duncan took a pass 27 yards to the house for an interception returned for a touchdown, continuing an electric second quarter which propelled the Chaps to victory, 58-7 over Akins. 

“I was almost blacking out from adrenaline,” Duncan said. “I was really excited because I had  never scored before. All [my] teammates were celebrating with [me] too.” 

Westlake’s second-quarter explosion followed a relatively slow first quarter, where the Chaps put just 9 points on the board. Defensive lineman senior Austin McClendon sacked the Eagle quarterback in the end zone to open the scoring, and two interceptions were returned for touchdowns in the second quarter by both Duncan and defensive back junior Michael Taaffe. By half time, Westlake held a 44-0 lead. 

“It was great to see, and a tribute to our defensive line for getting pressure,” head coach Todd Dodge said. “I’m really happy for those guys [who scored]. For a while, I didn’t know if our offense was going to get the ball back because the defense kept scoring, but it doesn’t matter how the points are scored.” 

Rotations down the depth chart began occurring as early as the third quarter, given that the game was out of reach for Akins. All four Westlake quarterbacks were once again able to receive playing time, and towards the late stages of the game, many backups were able to clock in at least a few snaps. Nine different players caught a pass, and ten different players ran the ball for the Chaps. 

Westlake’s experience was on full display, as the team remained disciplined throughout yet another large victory (its third win of the season). Heading into the Austin High game next week, the locker room atmosphere is one of positivity, according to Dodge.

“We’ve had great leadership out of the captain unit,” he said. “Morale is high, and the kids are playing very unselfish.”