Westlake rides big plays past Brennan
For all the complexities of the UIL playoffs, Brennan coach Stephen Basore’s directive to his team was simple.
Don’t give up big plays. It was, Basore surmised, his Bears’ best chance to knock off state power Austin Westlake.
It was easier said than done.
The Chaparrals got solid performances on offense, defense and special teams and toppled Brennan 49-7 Friday in a Class 6A Division II second-round game at the Alamodome.
“We were trying not to give up the big play, and unfortunately they got that big play early,” Basore said.
Backed up to its 1-yard line after a 59-yard punt by Brennan’s Andrew Bentley, Westlake quarterback Taylor Anderson connected with wide receiver Mason Mangum for a 99-yard touchdown.
It was a punch to the gut from which Brennan (8-4) never recovered.
Westlake (11-1) increased its lead to 14-0 less than four minutes later when linebacker Ben Pankonien picked up a fumble and raced 35 yards for a score. Defensive back Drew Webster caused the fumble with a hit on Brennan quarterback Jordan Flores from his blind side, jarring the ball loose.
The Chaparrals led 14-0 after one quarter — despite running four plays and having the ball for 73 seconds.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to execute at a high level,” Basore said. “The deeper you get in the playoffs, the more it’s about executing and not hurting yourself. We did that early and dug ourselves into a big hole.
“I thought the kids fought hard, played hard. Westlake’s a really quality team and they prove that tonight.”
Westlake tallied three touchdowns during a five-minute span of the second quarter, breaking open the game.
Anderson, who completed 13 of 15 passes for 262 yards and four touchdowns, ran for a 1-yard TD and connected with wide receiver Jackson Coker for a 19-yard TD pass during the pivotal scenario. Coker returned a blocked punt 31 yards for a score to make it 35-0 at halftime. Defensive back Lucas Mireur blocked the punt.
“You make those mistakes, it usually costs you,” Basore said. “Unfortunately, it did tonight. It kind of takes you out of what you wanted. We were hoping to be able to grind it out and to have a really good balance, then that kind of makes you push the issue because you’re down by so much. I think we tried to stick to the game plan as much as we could, but, again, the urgency level rises whenever you get down by 21 or whatever it was.”
Westlake added two TDs in less than five minutes to open the third quarter as Anderson found wide receiver Penny Baker for scoring tosses of 66 and 14 yards for a 49-0 lead.
Brennan avoided being shut out when Flores emerged from a scrum on fourth-and-3 and rambled 45 yards for a score with 7:56 remaining.