Photo via TexasHSFootball
Westlake outplayed Cedar Park in a scrimmage at John Gupton Stadium in Cedar Park on Friday. The Chaps scored four touchdowns and kicked a field goal, while the Timberwolves mustered just one touchdown and a field goal. Here are five things that stood out to me:
The intensity was there
It may have been a scrimmage, but these teams didn’t play like it. These two are clearly ready for the season to get started. Both teams were quick with their up-tempo offenses, neither defense was afraid to blitz and there was plenty of extracurricular activity, causing both squads to be flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties because of chippy play after the whistle.
Whenever a state-ranked 6A team plays a state-ranked 5A team, the 6A team should win. That’s why we separate them into classifications. But Westlake looked like the better team by a solid margin. Cedar Park’s lone touchdown came from its No. 2 offense. All four times Westlake hit pay dirt, it was the starters doing the job.
Taylor Anderson will likely start for the Chaps next Friday
Westlake head coach Todd Dodge called it a quarterback battle before camp, but I went to Westlake’s intra-squad scrimmage last Saturday along with this one, and based on what I saw, Anderson has to be the guy. That’s no knock on Sophomore Kirkland Michaux, who showed plenty of promise and clearly has a bright future. But when you’re the younger, less experienced player, you have to make it clear without a doubt that you outplayed the other guy.
Anderson played so well, however, Michaux’s quest was near-impossible. Anderson threw for three touchdowns and ran for another against Cedar Park’s vaunted “Black Rain” defense. The redheaded junior particularly impressed me with his calmness in the pocket on two well-placed touchdown passes into the corner of the end zone. He had zero turnovers, and through two scrimmages, he’s been accurate, unafraid of the pass rush and has shown the wheels to escape pressure with his legs and threaten defenses as a runner.
Westlake has some beasts
This was my first time seeing Westlake’s potential All-State running back Nakia Watson in person, and OH MY GAWD WHAT HAVE THEY BEEN FEEDING THAT KID?!?!? Before the Chaps had taken their first snap, it was already clear that Watson was a pretty good football player. You don’t even need to see him run with the ball. All you got to do is look at him. Westlake has some similar players on the defensive line. Braden Cassity and David Neil are a pair of 6-foot-3, 240-pound clones who anchored a front seven that completely shut down Cedar Park’s running game.
It wasn’t all bad for Cedar Park
Quarterback Mak Sexton has a firm grasp of Cedar Park’s quick passing game, which at times neutralized Westlake’s advantage on the defensive line. Throwing zero touchdowns and two interceptions may not sound pretty, but he showed plenty of toughness and clearly has a strong understanding of what the coaches want him to do. I also got a glimpse of what’s made Cedar Park’s defense so nasty over the years. Those kids can hit! The secondary laid the lumber on a number of occasions, including one big play where safety Hunter Henry saved a touchdown by leveling Izaiah Faz on a clean shot that knocked the ball out of Faz’s hands and left the kid laying on the ground for a minute wondering what the heck just happened.
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