Westlake overpowers Bowie 35-21
Updated: September 17, 2016
Ehlinger-less Chaps Still Darn Good at Texas High School Football
Senior running back Nakia Watson rushed for 214 yards and three touchdowns, and the #1 ranked Austin Westlake Chaparrals defense forced two critical second-half turnovers en route to a 35-21 victory over rival #78 ranked Austin Bowie. Friday night’s game at Burger Stadium marked the first time in 22 years that the two teams did not meet as district opponents. For the Bowie faithful, however, realignment did not diminish the significance of this game. Bulldog fans even showed up in black to “black out” the home stands for the occasion.
From the beginning, Westlake used a heavy dose of the ground game. On the opening drive, Watson capped off a nine-play seventy-five-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run.
After their first drive stalled in Westlake territory, Bowie got its first big break on their second try. The Bulldog defense forced Westlake to go three-and-out, and the Westlake punt only traveled thirteen yards setting up Bowie at the Chaps’ 28-yard line. Six plays later, senior quarterback Wade Smith connected with junior wide receiver Aizayah Santiago on an eighteen-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7.
The score remained tied until late in the second quarter when senior quarterback Matthew Gense put the Chaps in front 14-7 with a nineteen-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Andrew Boykin.
To open the second half, Westlake’s defense forced its first of two critical turnovers. Junior linebacker David Dickerson intercepted a pass deep in Bowie territory and returned it to the Bulldogs’ six-yard line. Three plays later, junior running back Izaiah Faz scored on a four-yard touchdown run to extend the Westlake lead 21-7.
Because of an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the touchdown, Westlake was forced to kick off from their own 25-yard line. After the Bulldogs returned the ball to their own 42-yard line, a personal foul on Westlake senior kicker Beau Burbach set up the Bulldogs at the Westlake 43-yard line. A second personal foul against the Chaps added fifteen yards to Dalynn Threadgill’s 27-yard run and set up the Bulldogs with first and goal from the Westlake eight-yard line. Five plays later senior wide receiver Joey Brown caught an eight-yard touchdown pass to narrow the gap to 21-14.
The Bulldog defense then forced a Westlake punt, but the Chaps’ defense made another key play as junior defensive back Cary Andreo recovered Threadgill’s fumble at the Bowie 32-yard line. Three plays later, Austin Westlake's Watson found paydirt again on a 31-yard run to extend the Westlake lead to 28-14.
On Bowies next possesion, senior wide receiver Paul Saucedo caught a 79-yard pass to set up junior quarterback Matthew Wheeler for a two-yard touchdown keeper. The Bulldog defense held Westlake in check on the next two drives, but the offense was unable to capitalize.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Watson scored his third touchdown of the night on a 38-yard touchdown run to seal the victory for the Chaps.
With the win, Westlake improves to 3-1 on the season. Next week, the Chaps open district play against Leander Vandegrift at Monroe Stadium. The Vipers are 1-3 following a 20-19 loss to Killeen Harker Heights on Thursday. The Chaps may also have senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger back for that game. After the game, Watson said that his goal was to put the team on his shoulders in Ehlinger’s absence. He also gave credit to Gense for stepping in at quarterback but said that getting Ehlinger back will provide a major boost to the team.
by Steve Thomas
photo: Steve Thomas