Football: Chaps barely booted out of postseason
Saturday, December 15, 2012 | | 8
By a foot and about two feet, Westlake was booted out of the playoffs by Cedar Hill Saturday.
After Westlake climbed its way back into the Class 5A Region II state semifinal game and erased a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit, the Longhorns kicked a clutch field goal with three seconds to play, giving Cedar Hill a 31-28 win at Waco ISD Stadium.
With a state title berth hanging in the balance and the score tied 28-28, the Longhorns (11-4) moved into position thanks to two big catches by Quincy Adeboyejo, and sophomore kicker Brooks Ralph booted through a 42-yard field goal that barely sailed through the uprights for the win in the Class 5A Region II state semifinal game.
Brandon Box had seven catches and 113 yards for Westlake, with quarterback Jordan Severt throwing for 251 yards for Westlake (10-5)
“We’re a couple of seconds and two feet away right there, that guy made a great kick from 42 yards so give them credit on that,” Westlake coach Darren Allman said. “These guys can look back and say they left it all out there. What you want when you look back on a season is to say, ‘Did we end up being the best team we were capable of becoming?’ And these guys did. I don’t know what else we could ask from them.”
Adeboyejo had six catches for 85 yards but it was the Longhorns’ rushing attack that gave them edge in the win. Bobby Jackson ran for 172 yards and Laquivonte Gonzalez had 115 yards, with quarterback Damion Hobbs adding another 57 yards on the ground.
The two crucial catches by Adeboyejo were the difference between the Longhorns’ chance at the win or possible overtime, but the senior receiver made plays through multiple Chap defenders.
“Just two big plays, they make two big catches and put themselves in field goal range,” senior Derek Cohen said. “We did the best we could.”
Allman added, “We had him double covered – we had a guy under and over him and he went up and made a play, and the quarterback threw it up there where he could, and there wasn’t much we could really do about that.”
Trailing 28-14 with 9:13 to play, Westlake had a lot of work to do to get back in it as the Longhorns were able to pick up first downs with frequency throughout much of the game.
Even then, the Chaps were nearly certain they were going to play one more week.
“We felt confident, and we didn’t play bad,” Westlake senior Michael Edwards said. “We lost in the last three seconds.We were this close to state. But we’ll get through it.”
The Chaps rattled off 15 plays spanning 3:03 to pull within seven on a Sean Rollings 4-yard catch to make it 28-21.
Justin Miller had a huge stop of Jackson on the first play of the next series, and Westlake forced Cedar Hill to punt. Westlake was put in a bad spot as Severt was sacked to start the Chaps’ next series, but Box made a terrific sliding catch to pick up a first down and Severt found Rollings wide open on the left side for a 47-yard pickup after that. Alex Chavez punched in the 2-yard score to tie it 28-28 with 2:33 left to play.
After nearly throwing an interception, Hobbs and the Longhorns were faced with third-and-11. That’s when Adeboyejo set up the winning play with an astounding catch through two Chaparral defenders on to pick up 21 yards, and then he added another grab to put the Longhorns at Westlake’s 30-yard line with 32 seconds to play. After a 5-yard run by quarterback Hobbs, there was uncertainty whether Cedar Hill would go for the kick into the wind.
They did, and Ralph’s kick sent the Longhorns into the state championship.
“I really feel for [the seniors],” Severt, a junior, said. “Last spring, we decided our goal was to play for state, and it just sucks to come this close and come up short.”
Adeboyejo also had a leaping one-handed catch in the end zone for the Longhorns first score in the first quarter as Cedar Hill took a 7-0 lead.
Westlake continued to hang tough in the game despite a 16-3 first down advantage for Cedar Hill in the first half, with the Longhorns outgaining the Chaps 265-108 before the break.
After halftime, though, Westlake picked it up in all facets of the game to keep it close, as Cedar Hill didn’t have a first down in the third quarter and Westlake picked up 13 first downs to nine for the Longhorns after the break.
“These guys can look back and say they left it all out there” Allman said. “What you want when you look back on a season is to ask, ‘did we end up being the best team we were capable of becoming?’ And these guys did. I don’t know what else we could ask from them.”
In the first quarter, Westlake tied it up after catching a break when a punt ricocheted off a Longhorn and Patrick Elliott recovered at the 1, with Severt scoring on the next play to make it 7-7 with 12 seconds left in the first quarter.
Jackson broke through would-be tacklers and raced 31 yards on the left side to put Cedar Hill up 14-7 with 5:57 left in the first half, where it would stay until the break. The Longhorns nearly had a score as the first half ended on a trick play, with Hobbs throwing to Damarkus Lodge behind the line of scrimmage and Lodge tossing it to Gonzalez in the end zone, but Gonzalez dropped the would-be score to keep it 14-7.
Westlake took nearly five minutes off the clock to start the third quarter, but Michael Barden missed on a 48-yard field goal try on fourth-and-23.
However, John Dodd forced a fumble on Cedar Hill’s next play and Breckyn Hager recovered to give Westlake the ball at the Longhorns’ 34.
Chris Canter burst to the left side and carried defenders for a 20-yard run to put the Chaps at the 9, with Keith Carter eventually scoring from the 1 with 4:47 left in the second to make it 14-14.
Jackson ripped off another big run, this time going 77 yards, two plays later to give Cedar Hill a 21-14 lead with 3:54 remaining in the third. Westlake punted on its next series, and Cedar Hill went 72 yards in 11 plays with Gonzalez going 8 yards with 9:13 left to play to put the Longhorns up 28-14.
Westlake then had 14-straight points to tie it and nearly made it to overtime before the improbable kick sailed through to give the Longhorns the lead. Westlake had three seconds left to try and score from its own 22, but a series of laterals couldn’t get far enough and the Chaparrals’ season came to a close.
Westlake had numerous seniors, junior and sophomores step up this season as the team created a tight-knit bond beyond classification or age.
“For sure, no doubt, we’ve got heart,” said Rollings, a sophomore. “Nobody is going to take that away from us; nobody is going to take away who we are. We’re still Westlake. We still got the ‘W’ on our helmets and Chaps on our jerseys, but in our heart we’re still Westlake. No one can take that away from us.”
The outgoing class of seniors put Westlake back near the top, Allman said.
“We’ll go back and try to improve, but before we do that, we’ll honor these seniors and what they’ve done,” he said. “They left a great legacy for their class here at Westlake.”
1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q F
WL 7 0 7 14 28
CH 7 7 7 10 31
CH – Quincy Adeboyejo 32 pass from Damion Hobbs (Brooks Ralph kick)
WL – Jordan Severt 1 run (Michael Barden kick)
CH – Bobby Jackson 31 run (Ralph kick)
WL – Keith Carter 1 run (Barden kick)
CH – Jackson 77 run (Ralph kick)
CH – Gonzalez 8 run (Ralph kick)
WL – Alex Chavez 2 run (Barden kick)
CH – Ralph 42 FG
RUSHING: Cedar Hill 46-349; Westlake 30-79
PASSING: Cedar Hill 12-19-126 1-0; Westlake 17-30-251 1-0
FIRST DOWNS: Cedar Hill 25; Westlake 16
PENALTIES: Cedar Hill 5-46; Westlake 3-20
FUMBLES/LOST: Cedar Hill 4/2; Westlake 1/0
PUNTS: Cedar Hill 3-39.3; Westlake 4-38.8
RUSHING: Cedar Hill: Laquivonte Gonzalez 16-115, Bobby Jackson 15-172, Damion Hobbs 15-62; Westlake: Keith Carter 14-37, Alex Chavez 6-11, Chris Canter 3-25, Sean Rollings 4-10, Jordan Severt 3-(-4)
PASSING: Cedar Hill: Damion Hobbs 12-17-1-0 126, Damarkus Lodge 0-1-0 0-0; Westlake: Jordan Severt 17-30-251 1-0
RECEIVING: Cedar Hill: Quincy Adeboyejo 6-85, Brandon Harris 3-24, Laquivonte Gonzalez 1-8, Mical Mosley 1-3, Travis Wilson 1-6; Westlake: Brandon Box 7-113, Patrick Elliott 3-30, Chris Canter 2-15, Sean Rollings 2-51, Zach Dansby 2-27, Tate Shaw 1-15
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