Based on the score, Friday night’s Westlake vs Weslaco East matchup looked like a regular season game. The Chaps racked up the touchdowns early, and backups saw some game time to give the starters a rest. But despite the regular-season-like score line, Westlake’s 45-14 win was in fact a third-round playoff game, and the victory propelled the Chaps onward to the State quarterfinals.
“I think the biggest thing is that we played great complimentary football today,” head coach Todd Dodge said. “That’s what you have to do against a team like [Weslaco East] because if you don’t, they stay on the field forever and your possessions are limited. When you get the possessions, you have to cash in.”
The pass game was dominant for the Chaps, as quarterback senior Kirkland Michaux threw for just over 200 yards and also had five touchdown passes in the first three quarters.
“We got favorable matchups and coverages,” Dodge said. “That’s the way I expect [Michaux] to play, and he has continued to get better.”
In stark contrast, for the Wildcats, the pass was essentially non-existent. Quarterback Ramsey Vasquez threw just three passes all game and instead favored the rush. He ran 22 times and scoring two rushing touchdowns. The run-centered Weslaco East offense was unsuccessful against the Chaps starting defensive line for most of the game, as the Wildcats were only able to score late when the Westlake backups came in.
Up next for the Chaparrals is San Antonio Brandeis. They defeated Brandeis in a playoff matchup last season 26-0, but the Chaps are reluctant to write their opposition off.
“They’re definitely gonna be a good team,” Michaux said. “We’re not gonna take them lightly. We’re definitely gonna go pretty hard in the film room and in practice so we will be ready.”
It was apparent how tight-knit the team was as the players celebrated Dodge flashing the game trophy to the team before his post-game speech. Westlake hasn’t lost since the Lake Travis game mid season, and the run of winning has spurred excitement among fans and in the locker room.
“We have the best team chemistry I’ve ever seen on a team in the four years I’ve been here,” Michaux said. “We’re ready to go. We’re still hungry.”