Heartbreak in Westlake

Football season ends early as the Rockets lose tough game against Chaparrals


Photo By: Jose Veliz

The Rockets came into Austin against the (9-2) Westlake Chaparrals, who are a high caliber team that has housed a group of NFL starters including future Hall of Famer New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees. Besides that fact, the Rockets gave them a run for their money in this area playoff matchup.

After several three and outs by both teams to start the first quarter, the Rockets would fumble a punt snap at their own 29 yard line. Westlake took advantage with a three yard touchdown rush by Nakia Watson. Westlake made a special teams mistake as they fumbled on a punt return at their own 24 yard line. With an open field block up the sideline, and a pass leading Melvin Thompson in his stride, the Rockets evened the score at seven with a 10 yard touchdown.

In the second quarter, with an excellent effort of playing ‘til the whistle, Broady Stoepler ripped the ball from Watson’s grasp and recovered the fumble to give the ball back to his offense. A couple possessions later, Sincere McCormick, with quick footwork, had a defender lose his balance and took off for about 55 yards. Julon Williams would cap off McCormick’s play-making with a two yard touchdown rush, taking the lead 7-14. Not long after, Sam Ehlinger would run it in 13 yards for a Chaparral touchdown, tying the score at 14.

In the third quarter, the Chaparrals started rolling up field with a 39 yard pass from Ehlinger to Andrew Boykin to the Rockets 12 yard line. The defense showed what they were thinking about that, as Stoepler got an eight yard sack, then Demarvin Leal intercepted the ball as they attempted a screen pass over his head. After the Rockets were stopped on their possession, the defense snatched the ball from Westlake once again with a pick by Harold Watson.

In the fourth quarter, on the Chaparrals’ next drive, they didn’t hold back with a 30 yard pass to Boykin to the Judson five yard line. On what seemed a five yard touchdown rush was called back on a holding flag, pushing them to the 13, but they came back with a 5 yard touchdown rush by Ehlinger; Westlake up 21-14.

The Rockets took the field on a crucial two-minute drill to tie the game at 21. They stormed down the field behind Mi’kel Jackson for tough yards. Williams then ran in seven yards for a touchdown. Overexcited, he spiked the ball and got an unsportsman conduct penalty, 15 yards were enforced on the extra point. Extremely confident, despite the pressure, Jesus Padilla drilled it to tie the game at 21 going into overtime.

In the first overtime, the Rockets deferred. Third and two, during Westlake’s possession, Demarvin Leal sacked Ehlinger for five yards forcing a successful 22 yard field goal by Beau Burbach. With a touchdown to win the game, the Rockets opened the drive at the Westlake 25 yard line. Williams then closed in with a 12 yard rush. On the last play off the game, the ball was lost by Judson as the field was rushed by red shirts celebrating the Westlake victory.

Despite no challenge replays in high school football, the replay showed a knee down before the ball came out. However, it was too late.

In every game, a win or loss, there are always going to be things that you could’ve fixed, and sometimes that is hard to swallow. But the Rockets can tell you that they left it all on the field, and that they gave it everything they had. Now what you can do is bid the Rockets good as they take on the hardships of an offseason that will provide all the more success for next year. The seniors of the team will move on to things bigger than themselves, and continue life and football careers that will give them situations similar to those they faced in this game. All they can do is take what has been given and run with it. The underclassmen and future classes of players will look to continue what legacy Rocket Pride represents.