Hays (4-3, 3-2) vs. Westlake (6-0, 4-0)
When: Friday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Bob Shelton Stadium
Last week: Austin 26, Hays 17; Westlake 58, Akins 19
Last meeting (2014): Westlake 49, Hays 7
Players to watch:
Hays – QB Cody Reiley, RB Cody Gandy, RB Cade Powell, WR Dustin Bruno, WR Brandon Hunter, OL Logan Pool, OL Peyton Steele, DL Johnson Elrod, DL Dale Caswell, LB Coby Brown, LB Taylor Friesienhahn, DB Da’Quonta Crayton, DB Josh Saucedo
Westlake – QB Sam Ehlinger, RB Izaiah Faz, RB Canaan Clark-Bateman, WR Chase Cokley, WR Reed Klubnick, DL Elias Garcia, DB Mack Kelley, DB Max Mangrum
The Hays Rebels’ strenuous gauntlet to close the 2015 campaign continues Friday when they host state ranked Westlake for homecoming. The Chaparrals, led by standout dual-threat junior QB Ehlinger, ride into Shelton Stadium as winners of six straight, including their first four district contests. Thus far in district play, Westlake has outscored their opponents 211-44. They’ve done so via a balanced attack that’s amassed almost 2,700 yards this season. Ehlinger has accounted for just over 2,000 of those yards and 28 touchdowns. It’s obvious the Rebels must stop Ehlinger in order to find success. Doing so, as many other teams have experienced this year, may be a challenge. But for Hays, their offense may prove to be their best defense. Lengthy drives, led by Gandy and the rush attack, could keep Ehlinger and the Westlake offense off the field. Gandy leads Hays with 541 rushing yards and six scores. But the Rebels must close and complete drives when given the chance. Avoiding costly penalties and miscues is also imperative. They’ll take on a Westlake defense that’s hasn’t given up more than 13 points in a game during district play.