Westlake has turned its district race into a warmup act for the real season – the playoffs.
Westlake was in mid-November form during a 70-14 victory over Hays Friday night at Chaparral Stadium. During the demolition, Taylor Anderson proved he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the region.
The Chaparral senior, combining poise with precision, put up Drew Brees-like numbers to turn a district showdown into a surprising mismatch. Westlake (7-1, 6-0) was expecting a much tougher game from the previously unbeaten Rebels (7-1, 5-1).
Anderson completed 10 of 13 passes for 261 yards – 245 in the first half and five touchdowns before leaving midway through the third quarter. As for District 25-6A, the Chaparrals have outscored its six opponents by a combined score of 344-35.
“I feel really good about this team right now,” Westlake coach Todd Dodge said. “We continue to get better. The fun part is that we’re not near as good as we can be.”
Dodge gave credit to Anderson, who he described as “one of the truly good dual quarterbacks in the state of Texas. He’s always been good at throwing the deep ball but we weren’t getting a lot of explosives early in the year. Now that part of the game is getting into the mix.”
It helps to have a quarterback who has something to prove. He wears a wristband that reads “prove them wrong.”
Anderson is referring to opponents, fans and media who have doubted that a 5-10, 165-pound quarterback could become an elite player.
“There are no levels that this team can’t reach,” he said. “You’re going to see a lot of crazy stuff as we get into the playoffs.”
Anderson said his team has three goals: win district, compete in a playoff game during Thanksgiving weekend, and play for state in Arlington.
“I feel like we’re one-third of the way there,” he said, referring to Westlake’s imminent district championship.
While Westlake appeared methodical while taking a 42-7 halftime lead, Hays showed signs of desperation early. The Rebels failed on a pair of fourth-down attempts in their own territory and a fake punt was thwarted by Westlake’s defense.
Anderson was almost flawless in the first half, completing 9 of 12 passes for 245 yards and four touchdowns.
Anderson wasted no time, leading the Chaps on a three-play, 75-yard drive on the game’s first offensive possession. His 25-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Coker gave Westlake a 7-0 lead just one minute into the first quarter.
Coker and teammate Mason Mangum had two receiving touchdowns apiece in the first half. Mangum caught four passes in the half for 168 yards.
Westlake’s defense came up big, too, keeping Hays scoreless in the first quarter. Entering the game the Rebels had scored 82 points in the first quarter in seven games.
Westlake’s 70 points were a season high.
Westlake hopes to keep its perfect district record intact next Friday at Anderson. Hays will play host to Lake Travis on Friday.