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Longhorns Recruiting Road Trip: Playoffs Rounds 1 & 2

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Devon Messinger
Devon Messinger

In a year full of uncertainties in Texas high school football, one thing has remained constant - Westlake knows how to win. In addition to covering Westlake's first round playoff game, I was able to catch other Austin-area powerhouses in Lake Travis and Vandegrift.

Round 1:

Cedar Ridge vs Westlake

Shortly after he flipped his commitment to the Longhorns, 2023 four-star defensive end Colton Vasek was ready to open the playoffs against the Cedar Ridge Raiders. With former teammates (and current Longhorns) Connor Robertson and Ethan Burke in attendance, Vasek was a disruptive force all night as it was readily apparent that the Cedar Ridge coaching staff game planned their offense around avoiding him. Still, Vasek continued to attack the line of scrimmage and came away with a sack.

Offensively for the Chaparrals, junior Jack Kayser illustrated why he is one of the most underrated running backs in the state, accounting for 91 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns (on just 11 carries) against the Raiders. Furthermore, Kayser gives off Deuce Vaughn-vibes, being listed at 5'7" but is always hard to bring down.

Thanks to stout defense and a steady running game, the Chaparrals were able to waltz their way to an easy 58-10 win over Cedar Ridge in round one.

 

Lake Travis vs Round Rock:

While they not be ranked as high as the Westlake Chaparrals (the state's second-ranked team), the Round Rock Dragons entered the first round of the playoffs as the 22nd-ranked team in Texas. However, they were set to face a sneaky challenger in Lake Travis who have underperformed this year in a tough district.

Through one half of action, the Dragons held a narrow lead 10-7 lead over the Cavaliers. Unfortunately for Round Rock, the second half told a different story as Lake Travis scored an unanswered 28 points, resulting in a resounding 35-10 round one playoff victory.

For the Cavaliers on offense, junior quarterback Kadyn Leon had an efficient game in which he scored a total of three touchdowns (two through the air and one on the ground) behind an offensive line that allowed just one sack on the night.

Two Cavaliers class of 2024 offensive linemen to keep an eye on are Adrian-Izic Oratokhai and Legend Cabello, who have held down the left side of the line and have visited a few schools together such as Baylor.

Round 2:

Judson Converse vs Vandegrift:

On Friday, the Judson Converse Rockets travelled to Round Rock in an attempt to upset the No. 17 Vandegrift Vipers. Despite having a plethora of college-bound athletes, the Rockets ran out of fuel fast as the Vipers struck early and often.

Behind two future Division 1 offensive linemen in 2023 four-star Ian Reed and 2024 four-star Blake Frazier, senior quarterback Brayden Buchanan had a sharp night as he was comfortable in the pocket and made a couple of big-time throws. Additionally, someone who impresses me every time that I get to see him play is junior wideout Miles Coleman, who had a couple of lengthy touchdown receptions on Friday which showcased his breakaway speed.

On the other sideline, for Judson, 2023 four-star wide receiver Anthony Evans had a few decent pickups through the air as well. Unfortunately for Texas fans, Evans might be a name to remember in the coming years as he is committed to joining the Oklahoma Sooners. Furthermore, 2023 four-star defensive lineman Johnny Bowens also made a few plays near the line of scrimmage for the Rockets, however the defense as a whole struggled throughout the night. Similar to Evans, Bowens, who is a Texas target, is likely leaning towards a rival school in Texas A&M.

Extra Point:

Along with flipping Vasek, Longhorns fans should keep an eye on Westlake 2023 four-star wide receiver Jaden Greathouse, who was at DKR for the TCU game and spent some time with Texas pledge Arch Manning on the sidelines. With Texas's desperate need for playmakers on the outside, Greathouse would be able to compete for a spot on the field early. Although, in order to win Greenhouse's services, the Longhorns will have to convince the current Notre Dame commit that he should stay home.

Miles Logged:

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