Westlake’s Chaparral stadium has not be kind to visitors.
On Friday night the Bastrop Bears came into Westlake’s proving ground, scrapped with the Chaps, and went home with a jewel off of the crown in the form of a 24-21 win over the perennial 5A Cen-Tex power.
“We came into their house and we took care of business,” Coach Gerald Perry said. “It was a great game, back and forth, and the people in the stands got their money’s worth.”
For a program that went one-and-nine just two years ago, this win meant plenty to Bastrop.
“At times there I thought we were going to give it up,” Perry said. “but our kids are resilient and they’re going to play to win. It’s a big win for this program.”
The decisive score of the game came with five minutes left in the fourth quarter when Bastrop quarterback Josiah Monroe found Josh Taylor 40 yards downfield and lofted a cross-field pass to the open receiver. With ball in hand, Taylor then pounded through two Westlake defensive backs and found the end zone on the 66-yard game-breaker reception.
“I’ve got to believe in all my receivers,” Monroe said. “I just believed he could get out there and get it. I just let loose.”
The score gave the Bears their 24-21 lead, and noise of the Bastrop fans celebration seemed to suck the air out of the home team and their stands.
Westlake stumbled on the two ensuing possessions. With a minute left in the game, the Bear’s defensive back Bernard Blake intercepted a Tanner Price pass to seal up the upset for Bastrop.
A moment later, the pandemonium began.
“I thought we could win the game, but this is pretty exciting,” Perry said. “This is a great day for our kids.”
The win came in large part to the play of quarterback Josiah Monroe. The elusive Monroe scrambled in every direction on the field as he gained 335 total yards. He passed for 270 yards and completed 17-of-28 passes, many of them coming under pressure from the Westlake defense.
“There (are) times that they’ve got us stopped, and he eludes them and makes something happen,” Perry said. “We’ve got great receivers that get open, and they know when he scrambles that they’ve got certain rules that they follow. And they find those windows in the zones.”
Westlake shot itself in the foot late in the game as the offense put the ball in scoring range and then failed to cap the drive. This left the pressure on kicker Cody Rademacher, who missed kicks of 27 and 46 yards in the fourth quarter and had a 24-yard shot blocked in the third quarter.
“Sometimes in a football game things go your way,” Perry said. “You don’t expect that from their kicker. They’ve got a good kicker like we do… Tonight it was our night. You play them again next Friday it might be their night, but tonight everything went our way.”
Bastrop (6-0, 3-0) is tied for the top spot in District 25-5A with Austin High. The Bears still have games against Austin and Bowie, but taking down Westlake gives them an edge in the race for the district championship.
“We’re going to play each game week to week,” Perry said. “We come back next week against Anderson. They’ve got to win that game to get into the playoffs so they’re going give us all that they’ve got. We can’t overlook anybody. We got to keep playing hard and getting better and better each week.”
Bastrop will play host to the Trojans next Friday. The Chaps (4-2, 2-1 district) host Connally for their homecoming game next week.