• Tyler Harden

Westlake defeats Southlake Carroll in father-son coaching matchup to win 6A D1 State Championship

Photo Credit: MaxPreps (Robbie Rakestraw)

ARLINGTON, TEXAS— The 6A Division 1 State Championship game between the Austin Westlake Chaparrals and the Southlake Carroll Dragons was considered by many to be the main event of the 5A- 6A Texas UIL State Championship weekend. However, with all the Division 1 talent and the elite players, it was still a unique game. Head coach of Westlake, Todd Dodge, would be taking on the Southlake Carroll head coach, Riley Dodge, who is his son. Todd Dodge coached Riley when he was a quarterback at Southlake Carroll, and to see it come full circle was something that made the game that much more meaningful. Both teams were coming off big wins; Westlake knocked off defending state champion, North Shore, and Southlake Carroll defeated perennial powerhouse, Duncanville, after being down by 21 points. While both teams had to work hard to get here, it would be the team who can carry their momentum over to the state championship that would come out on top.


Southlake Carroll went right to work from their first offensive possession. Quarterback, Quinn Ewers, connected with his receivers like he had all season long, and led the Dragons down the field to the Westlake 8-yard line. Running back, Owen Allen, did the rest, running in for a 3-yard touchdown to give Southlake Carroll an early 7-0 lead (PAT good). However, Westlake had an answer. Running back, Zane Minors, took the Chaparrals first play from scrimmage 75 yards down the sideline into the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game (PAT good).


The Dragons wanted to see if Westlake could still keep up with them. After Owen Allen converted for a first down on 3rd and 1 into Westlake territory, Quinn Ewers found Brady Boyd wide open and in stride for a 49-yard touchdown (PAT good). Westlake knew they could keep up, as quarterback, Cade Klubnik, led the Chaparrals to midfield. Running back, Grey Nakfoor, took over from there, finding room to run for a 38-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 (PAT good). After the Westlake defense forced a 3 and out for Southlake Carroll, the first quarter ended with the game tied at 14.


The 3 and out stop for Westlake proved to be incredibly meaningful, as it gave the Chaparrals the edge they needed in this game. Cade Klubnik took advantage, taking it himself on 3rd down and 3 for a gain of 16 yards to the Southlake Carroll 7-yard line. He then found Jaden Greathouse wide open for a 15-yard touchdown to give Westlake a 21-14 lead.


Southlake Carroll wouldn’t go away. The Dragons were brought to 4th down and inches, and Quinn Ewers, who is the number-1 ranked player in the Class of 2022 and is committed to Ohio State, found tight end, RJ Maryland, for a gain of 26 yards to the Westlake 40-yard line. Ewers kept going, finding Minnesota signee, Brady Boyd for a great 27-yard pass for a touchdown to tie the game at 21 (PAT good). Klubnik kept his rhythm on Westlake’s next possession, connecting with his receivers and leading the Chaparrals to the Southlake Carroll 4-yard line. He then used his legs to run for a 1-yard touchdown to retake the lead (PAT good). The Westlake defense then made an impact, as Michael Taafe intercepted a pass from Ewers, and the Chaparrals took over at the Southlake Carroll 7-yard line after an unnecessary roughness penalty on the Dragons. After Westlake ran out the remaining time on the clock, they went into halftime with a 28-21 lead.


The Chaparrals kept their momentum going into the second half, as Cade Klubnik continued to find his receivers, and led Westlake to the Southlake Carroll 4-yard line. Grey Nakfoor then beat a defender and dove into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 35-21 (PAT good). Michael Taafe made an impact again, making an incredible catch for an interception to give Westlake the ball at the Southlake Carroll 25-yard line. The Chaparral offense took advantage of the short field, as Zane Minors ran for a gain of 15 yards to the 10-yard line, and Cade Klubnik ran in for a 4-yard touchdown (PAT good).


The Westlake defense did their job once again, forcing a turnover on downs, and gave the offense the ball at their own 41-yard line. Westlake’s run game led the Chaparrals to the Southlake Carroll 10-yard line, but the Dragons kept them out of the end zone. Westlake settled for a 26-yard field goal to make the score 45-21. After Westlake forced another turnover on downs, the third quarter ended with Westlake in the lead 45-21.


Klubnik led the Chaparrals to the Southlake Carroll 5-yard line to start the fourth quarter, and Grey Nakfoor capped the drive off with a 5-yard touchdown (PAT good). The Dragons made it interesting, however, as Quinn Ewers found RJ Maryland for a big 31-yard gain to the Westlake 25-yard line. Ewers then found Maryland again, this time in the corner of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown to make the score 52-27 (2-point conversion no good). The Dragons increased their momentum after recovering an onside kick at the Westlake 34-yard line, and two penalties on Westlake brought them to the 2-yard line. Owen Allen did the rest, running 2 yards into the end zone for a touchdown (PAT good). After Southlake Carroll forced a Westlake punt, they had one last chance to score and stay in the game. The Dragons were brought to 4th down and 8, Quinn Ewers fumbled, and Braden Davis recovered for Westlake, securing the state championship win.


Austin Westlake caps off their great season with an undefeated record of 14-0, and secures the program’s third state championship. The Chaparrals will end the season as one of the best teams in Texas, if not the best team in Texas, and as a Top 10 high school football team in the country. Southlake Carroll ends their season at 12-2, and will still be a top team in Texas.

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