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In what was called the "Dodge Bowl" among fans and the media, Coach Todd Dodge adds to the Chaparrals' trophy case by bringing home the State Championship for Westlake High School a second time. Westlake was able to hold off the Southlake Carroll Dragons, winning 52-34 and becoming back-to-back State Champions for the first time in school history.
The Texas State Championship game put father and son coaches head to head against each other, and this time dad got the upper hand. Todd faced off against son Riley Dodge Saturday night in one of the most highly anticipated State Championship games in a decade.
Southlake was able to strike first, scoring on a 10 play 3:35 minute drive that was capped off by Owen Allen scoring his 27th touchdown of the season for the Dragons. It didn't take long for the Chaparral's to answer back. Yale commit Zane Minors was able to score on the first possession for Westlake on a 75-yard touchdown run. It the pace for the first half between one of the state's best offenses and a Chaparral defense that only allowed 5.5 points per game to opponents all season.
After Minnesota commit Brady Boyd's 49-yard touchdown reception from former Longhorn commit Quinn Ewers, Southlake was able to take a touchdown lead with 6:24 left in the first quarter. Westlake's Grey Nakfoor was able to even the score on a 39-yard touchdown run making the score tied at 14 to end the first quarter.
Quinn Ewers ⏩ Brady Boyd! #UILState #UILonFSSW https://t.co/IGi7QQdfRk— Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com (@Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com)1610847047.0
After a Southlake punt, Westlake was able to take the lead. Offensive player of the game, junior quarterback Cade Klubnik, was able to connect with Jaden Greathouse for Greathouse's 13th touchdown of the season for the Chaps. The Dragons answered back in style. After a fourth down conversion to RJ Maryland from Ewers, the Dragons tied the game up with Boyd's second touchdown of the game from 27 yards out. The 21 first-half points were the most points given up on the season—let alone in the first half—from Todd Dodge's team.
There's a reason his name is GREAThouse. Perfect throw from Cade Klubnik, too. #UILState #UILonFSSW https://t.co/YCHHdLgFi1— Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com (@Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com)1610848282.0
After Cade Klubnik was able to get into the endzone for his 14th rushing touchdown of the season, Micheal Taaffe had the first of his Defensive MVP moments. Taaffe, who had an interception in last year's championship, picked off Quinn Ewers. Westlake ended the season +25 in turnover differential, one of the best in the state. The interception stopped Southlake from taking the lead, keeping the score tied at 21 going into halftime.
EWERS TO BOYD HOW?!?! #UILState #UILonFSSW https://t.co/BZBBNrmmc2— Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com (@Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com)1610849246.0
The Chaps got the ball to start the second half, and Klubnik picked up where he left off. The junior quarterback rushed for a season-long 44 yards that would set up Grey Nakfoor for his second rushing touchdown of the game from three yards out. On the first Southlake possession, Taaffe made one of the best plays in Westlake history. One second down, Taaffe was able to make a one-handed interception on Ewers. The turnover lead to another score for the Chaparrals making the score 42-21 and all but sealing the game for Coach Todd and his team.
ONE-HANDED INTERCEPTION 😳 @Westlake_Nation DB Michael Taaffe goes full Odell Beckham Jr. for his second INT of the… https://t.co/QHW1YITsrW— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOX Sports Southwest)1610853139.0
After a third rushing touchdown for Nakfoor, Southlake Carroll was finally able to score with 4:31 left in the game on a ten-yard touchdown catch from Ewers to RJ Maryland to make the score 52-27 after a missed two-point conversion. The score snapped 24 unanswered points scored by Westlake against Southlake. Southlake was able to score one last time on an Owen Allen rushing touchdown to make the final score a more respectable 52-34 win for Westlake.
IT'S OVER! Austin Westlake wins the 6A Division I State Championship! 🏆 #TXHSFB | @uiltexas | #UILonFSSW |… https://t.co/0FB9EhO0nG— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOX Sports Southwest)1610857460.0
The dueling quarterbacks both ended with great numbers: Offensive MVP Cade Klubnik going 18-20 for 220 yards and a touchdown to pair with 111 yards rushing and two scores, and Quinn Ewers had 351 yards and three touchdowns to go along with two interceptions and a fumble.
For Todd Dodge, the championship marks his sixth title coaching at the 5A/6A level, making his already legendary career a little more special. The win for Westlake made them the first team in school history to win back-to-back state titles and sets them up to be the first team since Allen to try to win three championships in a row at the 5A/6A level ('12-'14). For Coach Riley, Southlake is already projected to win their district next season with the returns they are projected to have. Fans should not be surprised if we are in for a "Dodge Bowl II" next season.
Matthew McConaughey is reportedly weighing a run for Texas governor in 2022.
The Austin resident and Oscar winner has been "quietly making calls to influential people in Texas political circles, including a deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO" as he decides whether to run, according to Politico.
McConaughey said a gubernatorial run is "a true consideration" while on a March episode of Houston's "The Balanced Voice" podcast.
Although most political strategists doubt McConaughey's commitment and viability as a candidate, some are still intrigued by the possibility.
"I find it improbable, but it's not out of the question," Karl Rove, a top Republican strategist with a long history in Austin, told the political news site. He added that the big question is whether McConaughey would run as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent.
Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based GOP strategist, told Politico he's surprised McConaughey isn't being taken more seriously. "Celebrity in this country counts for a lot," he said. "It's not like some C-list actor no one likes. He has an appeal."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to run for a third term and remains popular among Republican voters, 77% of whom approve of his performance as of April, according to the Texas Politics Project.
Some strategists believe an independent McConaughey run would benefit Abbott. But a recent poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found that McConaughey would beat Abbott, 45% to 33%, with 22% opting for someone else.
Mimi Swartz, an executive editor at Texas Monthly, mulled a McConaughey run in a recent opinion essay from the New York Times. "Texas may not be ready for a philosopher king as a candidate, much less governor," she wrote. "May the best man win, man."
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Some JuiceLand production facility workers and storefront employees are organizing to demand wage increases, better working conditions (including air conditioning in the warehouse) and pay transparency, among other asks. They are also calling on staff to strike and customers to boycott the Austin-based company until their demands are met.
JuiceLand responded on Saturday. "We are listening," the company wrote on their Instagram story. "JuiceLand crew now makes guaranteed $15 an hour or more companywide."
JuiceLand, which was founded in 2001 by Matt Shook and now has 35 locations in Austin, Houston and Dallas, acknowledged the rising cost of living across Texas and the added stress of the pandemic in an email to employees on Saturday, part of which @juicelandworkersrights shared on social media. "There's no denying that times are tough and financial security means more now than ever," the company wrote.
Organized JuiceLand workers rejected this proposal, according to a recent post on the @juicelandworkersrights Instagram account, and reiterated their demands.
"Cost of living in Austin is rising exponentially and will only continue to get worse with the tech boom," the post read. "$15 is barely a sustainable living."