KATY, Texas (KXAN) — Westlake proved it belongs in the conversation for best of the best in Texas high school football on Saturday in the UIL 6A-Division 1 state semifinals.
In a battle between defending 6A state champions, Westlake prevailed 24-21 over Galena Park North Shore to advance to the 6A-Division 1 state championship game next week at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
“We just beat one of the greatest dynasties that the state of Texas has ever seen,” Chaparrals head coach Todd Dodge said after the game.
North Shore won back-to-back 6A-D1 state championships in 2018 and 2019. Westlake claimed the 6A-Division 2 state championship in 2019.
It will be the “Dodge Bowl” in the state championship game with Westlake’s Dodge facing his son’s Southlake Carroll team at 7 p.m. next Saturday. Riley Dodge will be going against his father for the first time in their coaching careers.
Westlake quarterback Cade Klubnik scored on a one-yard keeper on fourth down with 1:43 remaining to put the Chaps ahead 24-21.
Westlake led for almost the entire game, but had to rally from a deficit for the first time this season after North Shore’s Xavier Owens ran for a nine-yard touchdown with 4:16 left. After a dominant second half performance, North Shore took its first lead at 21-17.
The Chaparrals game-winning drive was set up by a 45-yard reception from Michael Taaffe. Near midfield, Klubnik withstood the North Shore pressure, throwing deep to Taaffe for the catch at the North Shore 10-yard line. It took Westlake four plays to score after the completion.
North Shore still had time left after Klubnik’s score, but the Westlake defense sacked Dematrius Davis on first down, putting North Shore behind the chains on their last chance.
On fourth down, the North Shore pass completion came up just one yard short of the first down. Westlake was able to run out the clock after the turnover on downs.
Westlake jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter after forcing a North Shore fumble. Klubnik connected with Luke Nicklos for an 11-yard touchdown.
The Chaparrals held a 17-7 halftime lead after a Taaffe touchdown reception.
Westlake (13-0) has outscored its opponents this season 685 to 72.