UIL Football 6A-II State Semifinals Preview: How do Cy Fair and Austin Westlake matchup?
Originally appeared on Vype.com.
AUSTIN WESTLAKE (14-0)
Road to the Semis: San Antonio MacArthur (62-14); Smithson Valley (51-31); Edinburg Vela (70-14); Cibolo Steele (28-14)
Preview: Greg Sherman
Austin Westlake is home to NFL athletes Drew Brees, Nick Foles, Seth McKinney, and Justin Tucker, so the Chaps have always had “star” power.
This year’s star is Nakia Watson, who rushed for 182 yards and three scores last week. Watson is committed to the Wisconsin Badgers, and is one of the nation’s top recruits.
The Chaps overcame four turnovers to defeat Cibolo Steele 28-14, holding the Knights to 47 yards of offense and one first down after halftime. Watson bailed them out in the second half.
They will have to stop the turnovers if they want to have a chance to beat Cy-Fair in the semis. The Chaps will control the ball with Watson, and the defense is very similar to Cy-Fair’s well-coached and talented tacklers.
To win, Westlake must throw the ball around a little to keep the Bobcats honest and not loading the box. The Chaps defense must stop the solid RB Trenton Kennedy, the Bobcats’ best back. Watch out for QB Cam Arnold, who can hit on the deep ball with a few talented WRs on occasion.
Of note, should Westlake advance to the 6A-II final, it would mark the 17th time in 19 years Westlake, Lake Travis or Katy has reached a final.
CY FAIR (13-0)
Road to the Semis: Westside (49-14); Strake Jesuit (17-0); Friendswood (45-14); Langham Creek (31-14)
Preview: Thomas Bingham
Even though Westlake has to travel 171 miles to NRG Stadium, most experts are picking the 14-0 Chaparrals against 13-0 Cy-Fair in Saturday’s UIL 6A Division II state semifinal matchup. Houston’s rep doesn’t have the track record that its counterpart does, but has a case as well. The Bobcats have beaten 12 different teams this season, including Langham Creek in the 17-6A and Region 3 championships, en route to its second-ever trip to the state semis.
None of Ed Pustejovsky’s players were born the last time Fair advanced to the state final four, but he remembers the 1985 run well. He was serving his fourth season as the program’s offensive line coach, which would eventually lead to his head coaching hire in 2004. He doesn’t have the state championships that Westlake coach Todd Dodge has [from his time at Southlake Carroll], but knows his program inside and out. He was a major player in developing the Bobcats’ brand, as well as their successful run and defense scheme. Since he joined the program, the boys in maroon have earned 17 of their 19 postseason berths, and all 11 of their postseason advancements.
On the field, the teams have competitive quarterback-running back combos. Fair has the always-reliable Cam Arnold under center, and Westlake has a dual-threat in Taylor Anderson. Their go-to targets are senior running backs Trenton Kennedy and Nakia Watson respectively.
Since the offenses are competitive, it’ll come down to how they stack up with the opposing defense. Westlake averages 47.9 points per game, nearly two touchdowns more than Fair, but hasn’t faced a defense like the Bobcats’ yet. The unit will limit the Chaps’ scoring, like it did to other teams this season. It allowed more than 14 points in two games, and has a season average of 11.5. Watch for cornerback Erick Hallett to disrupt Anderson’s passes, like he did as the 17-6A co-regular season leader in interceptions.