Seniors lead Chaps in blowout win over Akins

Westlake opens 2023 district campaign with a 64-0 crushing of Eagles on senior night
Julianna Wolff
Chaps prepare to run a play near the end zone

Akins quarterback sophomore Dylan Cagle rolled out, and lofted the ball through the air, but it fell short of its target, and instead fell into the hands of Westlake defensive back senior Aidan Schwarzbach. The Chaps’ late-game interception ensured the shutout of the struggling Akins offense, and completed a dominant Westlake defensive performance.

The Westlake varsity football team took down Akins in a 64-0 blowout on Friday at Chaparral Stadium. The Chaps improved to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in district play, as Akins suffered their 18th consecutive loss against Westlake, failing to beat the Chaps in each of their previous matchups dating back to 2005. 

“It was a super fun week,” quarterback senior Paxton Land said. “It’s super exciting to see all the other seniors and attack team guys get in, they’re the heart and soul of the team.”

On senior night, Westlake’s upperclassmen shined. Four different seniors got in the end zone, combining for six touchdowns on the night. After scoring a touchdown on their first offensive snap, Westlake kept their foot on the gas, extending their lead to 28-0 in the first quarter. 

After tossing a 20-yard touchdown to wide receiver junior Cal Livengood, Land exited the game toward the end of first quarter. Quarterback sophomore Rees Wise continued his great start to his 2023 campaign in relief, throwing a 15-yard touchdown to wide receiver junior Brody Wilhelm in the corner of the end zone. Land entered the game once again in the second quarter, and immediately scored on a 45-yard pitch and catch to wide receiver senior Reagan Street. 

Wide receiver junior Cal Livengood celebrates a touchdown in the first quarter (Julianna Wolff)

While Land, Wise and quarterback junior Boone Lackey led the Chaps in the air, it was Westlake’s rushing attack that could not be stopped throughout the game. Running back senior Nathan Acosta, running back senior Jack Kayser and running back sophomore Sebastian Henault each scored two touchdowns in the game, helping the Chaps to 240 total yards on the ground. 

“It felt good [to get in the end zone],” Henault said. “All thanks to my O-line. They like pushing it forward and keeping me going.”

While the Chaps dominated on the offensive front, Westlake didn’t miss a beat on the other side of the ball, as the Chaps’ defense was disruptive from the first snap. Westlake forced a fumble on Akins’ first two drives, and added the interception by Schwarzbach in the fourth quarter. Akins’ offense could never get in a rhythm, as they failed to advance the ball past the 50 yard line in the first half. 

The win will take Westlake into the bye week, as they will not have another game until Sept. 22. While the bye week allows them to rest up, the Chaps can’t help but look ahead to one of the biggest games of the year soon after. 

“I think it’s gonna be good to have the bye week,” Land said. “To have an extra week to prepare, but I’m just super excited for LT week.”

The week after Westlake’s bye, the Chaps will renew their rivalry with Lake Travis for another rendition of the “Battle of the Lakes.” Westlake and Lake Travis have a long history with one another rooted in competitiveness. Lake Travis handed Westlake their most recent regular season loss back in 2019, winning the matchup 26-25, but the Chaps have dominated the rivalry in each of the past two seasons. When the two sides come together, fans can always expect to be biting their nails and hanging on the edge of their seats by the end of the game. The Chaps will meet the Cavs at 7:30 pm on Sept. 22 at Cavalier Stadium.

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