SAN MARCOS — For the second straight season, New Braunfels fell to Westlake in the area round of the Class 6A-I playoffs.
The 45-14 loss to the three-time defending state champion Chaparrals ends the Unicorns’ season. New Braunfels finished with an 8-4 record, was second place in District 27-6A and won a second-straight bi-district title.
“A lot of [our players] put a lot of time and effort into building the team and building the great season we had this year,” head coach Glenn Mangold said. “They’re hurt right now, but in a few days, they’ll be able to look back and be so proud of the season they had and what they accomplished.”
As for the contest itself, the Unicorns were competitive for most of the first half before the Chaps showed their championship might, overpowering New Braunfels in all phases.
The Unicorns’ defense started the contest strong on the Chaps’ first two drives. They stuffed junior running back Jack Kayser on a fourth-and-1 on the first and forced a three-and-out on the second.
The Unicorns tried to get points on the board with a 51-yard field goal attempt midway through the first quarter, but the kick was short.
The Chaps followed by scoring two straight touchdowns from Kayser. The first was a 5-yard run off an eight-play, 66-yard drive.
A blocked punt set up the second, leaving Kayser to run in for a 13-yard touchdown, giving the Chaps a 14-0 lead to close the first.
In the second quarter, New Braunfels senior defensive back Jacob Redding intercepted a pass, setting up the offense at its 18-yard line.
The drive led to the Unicorns punting on fourth and 17, but Westlake muffed the return, allowing New Braunfels to recover for a fresh set of downs.
The Unicorns capped off the wild possession with a 31-yard touchdown pass through the middle of the field from sophomore quarterback Clayton Namken to senior wide receiver Landon Marsh, cutting into the lead at 14-7.
Nearing the end of the quarter, Westlake senior wide receiver Jaden Greathouse returned a punt for a 39-yard touchdown.
The Chaps continued as senior defensive end Colton Vasek strip-sacked Namken, taking over at the opposing 23-yard line. They capitalized on the turnover as Greathouse took the ball on a reverse and threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Kayser for a 28-7 lead with 1:06 left in the quarter.
Redding picked off another pass with less than a minute left, leading to a 25-yard field goal attempt, but Westlake blocked the kick in the closing seconds of the half.
The Unicorns opened the second half with a 60-yard completion to junior wide receiver Lance Beeghley, but could not capitalize, failing on a fourth-and-5 attempt.
Kayser scored his fourth touchdown midway through the third as Westlake took a 35-7 lead.
The Unicorns responded quickly, as Namken connected with Marsh for 29 yards and Beeghley for a 38-yard touchdown, making it 38-14. It was their final score of the game.
Kayser scored his fifth and final touchdown on the next possession, carrying the ball for all seven of Westlake’s plays.
The Chaps capped off the game with a 25-yard field goal, ending the game at 45-14 and bringing their win streak to 52 in a row.