Semifinal Action

UIL Football 6A-II State Semifinals Preview: How do Cy Fair and Austin Westlake matchup?

Westlake RB Nakia Watson is a playmaker for the Chaps. Vype

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.

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This is getting out of hand. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Allsport/Getty Images.

Dr. Rick warns his patients, young homeowners who are turning into their parents, you can expect to pay more for snacks and drinks at a movie theater. It's the same deal at a professional sports venue. Three years ago, I put a down payment on a cheeseburger at Toyota Center ... I still have three more payments to go before I get it.

But this is ridiculous. The PGA Championship, the lesser (least) of golf's majors, is charging $18 for a beer, a 25-ounce Michelob Ultra, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. It's $19 for a Stella Artois. You can buy a six-pack for less at the supermarket. Aren't there laws against price gouging, like during a hurricane? Isn't Tulsa where the Golden Hurricanes play? Get FEMA in here. Did tournament directors get together and ponder, how can we piss off our fans? Sure, it's Tulsa and there's not much else to do, but that's no excuse.

Charging $18 for a beer makes the concession stands at Minute Maid Park look like a Sunday morning farmer's market. A 25-ounce domestic beer during an Astros game is $13.49. A 25-ounce premium beer is $14.45. Yeah, that's high for a beer, but at Minute Maid Park there are lots of hands in the till. Aramark wants to make a profit, the taxman has big mitts, and the Astros want their cut, too. Look, you want to sign Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez to an extension or not? Then drink up and don't complain. Some quiet grumbling and head-shaking is permitted, however.

You know the PGA Championship is charging too much for a beer when even the rich pampered players take notice. "18 (!!!!!) for a beer ... uhhh what," former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas tweeted. "Good thing I don't drink a lot."

Like he will be in line for a beer at a public concession booth, anyway.

Of course there will be fans sneaking in beer in baggies strapped to their ankles, like stuffing your pockets with store-bought Snickers before going to the movies. It doesn't have to be this way. The Masters, the most prestigious golf event, charges only $5 for both domestic and imported beer. I know it's a gimmick, part of The Masters mystique along with pimento sandwiches for $1.50, but still it's a welcome gesture. You never lose when you treat the public fairly. When Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in Atlanta, Falcons owner Arthur Blank insisted that food vendors charge the same inside the stadium as they do at their regular restaurants. Same thing when Denver International Airport opened, fast food restaurants couldn't jack up their prices to their captive customers. Here? There needs to be a loan window outside the Cinnabon booth at Bush-Intercontinental.

Except for the Masters in Augusta, golf's majors aren't tied to a city. A major comes to a city maybe every few years or in most cases never. There's no need to ride into a city like the James Gang, rob the local bank, and high tail it out of town. Golf should be the last professional sport to stick it to fans. While the game has made strides to open its arms to lower-income youths, golf remains an elitist, extremely expensive sport for regular folk. Equipment is expensive, private courses are exclusive and country clubs are exclusionary. Public courses are less expensive but still expensive and crowded. Plus there's never been a professional sport more dangerously dominated by one person than golf. I can imagine network executives on their knees praying that Tiger Woods makes the cut and plays on weekends. Otherwise, TV ratings go straight into the toilet, you know, like whatever team Mattress Mack is betting on. (I joke because I love, and frankly a little scared.)

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