North Shore knocks down Austin Westlake, punches state ticket

North Shore knocks down Austin Westlake, punches state ticket

It wasn’t a state final, but it still brought out the kid in North Shore coach Jon Kay, who couldn’t hide his excitement. Finishing a 54-game winning streak on the way back to AT&T Stadium will do that to even the toughest of football coaches.

Rashaad Johnson rushed for 134 yards and scored three goals, and the Mustangs avenged their postseason loss to Austin Westlake two years ago with a 49-34 win in the Class 6A Division I semifinals at Rice Stadium on Saturday, resulting in the Chaparrals’ dominant finished his run. Winner of three state championships in a row.

“I love watching good football,” Kay explained, still grinning.

“So when you look at two shows like this and the kids are ranking it, that’s great. I was a football fan long before I became a football coach, so I love it when I see the effort from both sides and the guys coaching. It’s a shame someone wins or loses – but that’s why we’re here.

“I’m happy to have another week working with these kids. They are incredible.”

North Shore (15-0) will play Arlington for the fourth time in five years after making two turnovers and no turnovers, and after harassing quarterback Brett Skinner to complete only 11 of 33 pass attempts. He also threw a pickaxe, and the second tank destroyer didn’t make it until his last pass in the game – he was out of reach until then.

“The four of us in the front put some pressure on him and felt our presence even though we didn’t sack him,” Kay said.

The Chaps (14-1) also sensed the presence of David Amador, who turned from wide receiver to quarterback.

The veteran rushed for 120 yards and a tank destroyer, completing 4 out of 6 51 yard passes while also setting the tone for a determined East End team.

“The boy is a brave actor,” Kay said.

“But listening to his lead in the locker room will continue to be the #1 thing he brought to this game for me despite long runs and tough performance. The boy has abstracts from the charts – so I’m happy he’s with us.

The turning point came in the second quarter after the Mustangs had three bad offensive runs in a row.

The defense, trailing 9-7, eventually reached Skinner and made a three-out, sacking him twice. And in the first game of the series that followed, Johnson took matters into his own hands, smashing three prospective steals and walking away for a 73-yard score.

He added a one-yard TD run before halftime to get a 21-12 lead at halftime.

Westlake took a 48-yard shot from Skinner to Bryce Chambers, leading 21-19 early in the third quarter. But D’Andre Hardeman (17-95 rush) responded with a 47-yard run, and Evan Jackson gave the Mustangs a 35-19 advantage with a 73-yard catch-up return for a tank destroyer.

Then Jackson took the game away with an unexpected touchdown.

Amador had to go out after taking a big hit, so Jackson checked and landed a fairly short shot. But Christopher Barnes came back for it and then threw the surprised defender for a 63-yard score.

Amador ended the win with a 39-yard TD run with 8:23 remaining.

North Shore finished with a total of 450 yards and 17 first drops, compared to Westlake’s 313 and 15 (four penalties).

The Chaps finished North Shore’s 24-21 run in the state semifinals two years ago.

“The endorsement war was different,” Kay said. “The field position was much better. We’re still fighting on penalties (85 to 10), so we need to fix this asap. Otherwise, we’ll have no chance. But the effort was on both sides. Last time it was a back and forth slug festival And we did it again.”

Jason McDaniel is a freelance writer.

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