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Austin Westlake Surges Past Steele to State Semifinals Despite Losing Turnover Battle

Photo: Flo Landsteiner/TexasHSFootball

SAN ANTONIO — It’s not often you can lose the turnover battle and still find a way to win.

Austin Westlake High School went on to take down Cibolo Steele 28-14 Saturday night at the Alamodome — despite 100 plus yards from Brendan Brady — in a game it nearly lost.

“To say we would turn the ball over four times, and really roughing the punter is almost like another turnover, and come out of here with a 14 point win, I wouldn’t put any money on that,” Chaparral Head Coach Todd Dodge said after the game.

Steele (9-5) took the lead early, with a Brendan Brady (27 carries, 106 yards) three-yard touchdown.  The 7-0 lead didn’t last long, though. The Chaparrals turned on the heat after that.

Flo Landsteiner/TexasHSFootball

A 45-yard drive was capped off with Nakia Watson (26 carries, 183 yards) touchdown, his first of three on the night.

The game was a defensive back and forth the remainder of the half, and the (14-0) Chaparrals had taken the lead 14-7. Then, quarterback Wyatt Begeal led the Knights on a beautiful 63-yard drive, ending with him pushing it in to tie the game going into the half tied.

Flo Landsteiner/TexasHSFootball

By the half, Begeal, a freshman, had completed 50 percent of his passes for 37 yards and led a game-tying drive in the state quarterfinal in his first varsity season

“That’s a big freshman,” Westlake’s Watson said of Begeal. “I was like, ain’t no way that dude is a freshman. But he’s a good football player. A lot of respect to him from me. A lot of respect from the whole team to him, he’s got a bright future.”

The second half, though, was where the Knights hit a proverbial “hole in the road” — and when it needed a spare tire and couldn’t find one,  punting or turning the ball over on downs on every second-half drive.

The Chaparrals extended their lead to seven points via a Watson. Cibolo Steele defense forced two punts and a fumble. The Knight offense didn’t fare much better, struggle on first and second downs — mainly because of the Chaparral defensive front according to the Chaparrals’ feature back.

“Defense did real good the second half,” Watson said. “In the locker room we told them – y’all play hard so the offense can put points on the board. That’s what they did, they came out and executed.”

Watson added one final touchdown with 6:15 left in the fourth quarter. The 50-yard rush put Watson over the 150 mark with nearly half a quarter to play.

“Yea, it did feel like that, but I don’t think I hit it,” Watson added, before being told he was 17-yards off. “Awh, you’re kidding. It’s fine.”

The Chaparrals defense continued to hold on, forcing one more punt before sending Cibolo Steele to the 2017 offseason. Austin Westlake will travel to NRG Stadium to play Cy-Fair at 3 p.m. Saturday at NRG Stadium.

Gerald Tracy is an assistant editor of Texas football for TexasHSFootball, covering prep football in the San Antonio region. Follow him on Twitter, @GTracySports, and read more of his content here.

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