Westlake Advances to State Championship

Westlake Chaps
Photo credit VYPE / courtesy Stephen Spillman, Austin American-Statesman

KATY, Texas (VYPE) -- The stage was set between two perennial Texas High School Football powers. Westlake vs North Shore, Goliath vs Goliath. Galena Park North Shore, the two-time Division I State Champs, vs the Division II State Champs Austin Westlake. The stakes couldn't be higher, with an opportunity to advance to the 6A Division I State Championship. Who would come out on top? In the end, North Shore came inches short and Westlake advanced to the 6A Division I title game by a final score of 24-21.

The State Semi-Final game between the Chaps and Mustangs did not disappoint. North Shore, led by Auburn signee Demetrius Davis and Texas A&M Signee Shadrach Banks, ran into a stingy Westlake defense that kept the explosive North Shore offense in check. Westlake jumped out to an early lead and the two powers continued to exchange blows after that.

The North Shore defense stepped up in an impressive fashion, holding Westlake to zero first downs until the final possession of the game. Westlake found themselves trailing for the first time all season, behind 21-17 with 4:16 left in the game, but the Chaps didn't panic.

Westlake got its first first-down of the second half and began the game-winning drive. The Chaps were driving, but were slowed down and faced a fourth and goal on the one-yard line with just 1:43 left in the game. With the season on the line, Westlake turned to their leader, Junior quarterback Cade Klubnik, and he took care of the rest. Klubnik faked a handoff, and ran into the endzone for the final score of the game.

"I'm so proud of our football team," said Coach Todd Dodge. "Our kids didn't panic. We believed we could get it done. We moved the ball down the field and got in the end zone."

Westlake ends the reign of North Shore and will face Southlake Carroll in the 6A Division I State Championship game on Saturday at AT&T Stadium. The State Championship will be a House Divided, as Westlake Head Coach Todd Dodge will face his son Riley Dodge, who helms the ship at Southlake Carroll.

The Dodge Bowl will kick off at 7:00pm CST on Saturday, January 16th.