Cade Klubnik, Jaden Greathouse lead second half surge for Westlake to win 6A D2 State Championship
Photo Credit: Austin American Statesman (Aaron E. Martinez), @texashsfootball
ARLINGTON, TEXAS— The Westlake Chaparrals have been just about as dominant as any team could be this season. The 15-0 Chaps have scored an average of 57 points per game this year, and have dominated against some of Texas’ perennial powerhouses. Westlake finds themselves in the state championship for the third year in a row after winning back-to-back state titles. But the only team in their way of extending their streak to 3 years in a row were the Denton Guyer Wildcats.
The Wildcats, despite their one loss to Allen in the regular season, have also defeated some of Texas’ best teams. They had some close calls in the playoffs; a 7-point win over Byron Nelson, and a 3-point win over Prosper. However, after last week’s 59-14 win over Tomball, Guyer proved they were worthy to be in the state championship game. But Westlake has proven they could not only be the best team in Texas, but one of the best teams in the country all season long. Quarterback and Clemson signee, Cade Klubnik, and junior wide receiver, Jaden Greathouse, have led Westlake all year to be in that position, and in their last time playing for Westlake together, they made sure they finished the job.
Westlake wasted no time getting on the board. After forcing a punt from Guyer on their first possession, Will Magids blocked the punt for the Chaps, and returned it to the end zone for a touchdown, giving Westlake an early 6-0 lead (PAT no good). Guyer had an answer. Quarterback, Jackson Arnold, led the Wildcats down the field to the Westlake 15-yard line. Arnold then capped the drive off himself with a 15-yard touchdown, giving Guyer a 7-6 lead (PAT good).
Guyer didn’t stop there. The Wildcats’ special teams forced the Chaps to start with poor field position. Shortly after, cornerback, Eli Bowen, came up with an interception, and the Guyer offense took over at the Westlake 38-yard line. But the Westlake defense made a big play of their own on 4th down, recovering a fumble by Guyer at their own 29-yard line. Cade Klubnik took over from there, finding Jaden Greathouse for a 62-yard touchdown to give Westlake the lead back (PAT good).
But the Guyer defense still didn’t go away, recovering a fumble by Westlake at the Westlake 34-yard line. This set up Jackson Arnold to find wide receiver and UTSA signee, Jace Wilson, for a 9-yard touchdown, giving Guyer a 14-13 lead to end the first quarter (PAT good).
The second quarter was the beginning of the defensive battle. Jackson Arnold began to connect with his receivers on Guyer’s first drive of the second quarter, but the Westlake defense came up with two sacks to force a punt on 4th and 1. Both teams traded punts, and the first half ended with Guyer still in the lead 14-13.
Westlake found their offensive power to start the second half. After running back, Hunter Henault, led the Chaps to the Guyer 20-yard line. Cade Klubnik was then able to find Bryce Chambers for a 15-yard touchdown, giving the lead back to Westlake with a score of 20-14 (PAT good). But Guyer brought their intensity into the second half, as Jackson Arnold completed a long pass to Jace Wilson to the Westlake 39-yard line. After Arnold completed a pass to Peyton Bowen to the 1-yard line, Arnold pushed his way into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown, making the score 21-20 (PAT good).
Klubnik started to find his receivers on their next drive, completing a pass to Pierce Turner to their own 42-yard line, and a pass to Keaton Kubecka to the Guyer 39-yard line. But the Chaps couldn’t get in the end zone, and were forced to settle for a 53-yard field goal to take a 23-21 lead. After Westlake forced Guyer to punt on their next possession, Klubnik found Greathouse once again for a 69-yard touchdown to end the third quarter with a 30-21 lead (PAT good).
After Guyer punted once again to Westlake to start the fourth quarter, Klubnik and Greathouse showed out once again. This time, the duo connected for a 71-yard touchdown to make the score 37-21 (PAT good). This motivated the Westlake defense at an all-time high, as they flew around the field, and gave no time for Jackson Arnold to get the ball off. Cade Klubnik worked to run the clock out for the Chaps with two long runs to the Guyer 9-yard line. Westlake couldn’t get in the end zone, however, so they kicked a 23-yard field goal to make the score 40-21. Once the final seconds ran out, Westlake had secured their third straight state championship.
Westlake finishes their perfect season with a 16-0 record, and their third straight state title. They send their head coach, Todd Dodge, who is retiring, off in championship fashion. The Chaps will finish the season as a Top 3 high school football team in the country. Denton Guyer finishes their season with a record of 14-2.