The Dallas Morning News’ Greg Riddle breaks down five storylines to know before the 6A Division II state championship game between Denton Guyer and Austin Westlake. The game will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium. Find even more championship content right here.
New Orleans Saints 12-time Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees, who on Monday broke the NFL record for career touchdown passes, led Austin Westlake to its only state title in 1996. Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles and University of Texas star Sam Ehlinger were the quarterbacks for Westlake’s state runner-up teams in 2006 and 2015, respectively.
Senior quarterback Kirkland Michaux has led Westlake to its ninth state championship game, and he is coming off a state semifinal in which he set school records for most total touchdowns in a game (eight) and most touchdown passes in a game (seven). Both of those records had belonged to Ehlinger, according to Westlake’s Twitter account.
No stopping him
Denton Guyer three-star senior running back Kaedric Cobbs has run for more than 100 yards in all 15 games. His lowest output was 101 yards in a 55-7 rout of North Crowley, a game in which Cobbs had just 10 carries but ran for three touchdowns. Cobbs has 2,479 rushing yards — 574 more than anyone else in the Dallas area. His 42 rushing touchdowns are 17 more than the second-best area total. He will face a Westlake defense that allowed just 25 rushing yards in last week’s 63-3 win over Katy Taylor.
Related: In an age of spread offenses, the importance of workhorse backs has been paramount for area teams this postseason
Another dual-threat star
When Guyer won its two state championships, in 2012 and 2013, dual-threat quarterback Jerrod Heard was named the MVP of the state final both times. The Texas signee accounted for 332 yards and seven touchdowns in a 48-37 win against Georgetown in 2012 and accounted for 254 yards and three TDs in a 31-14 victory over San Antonio Brennan in 2013. Four-star Texas A&M pledge Eli Stowers is Guyer’s latest dual-threat quarterback and has accounted for 4,113 yards of total offense and 47 touchdowns (36 passing). He has accounted for 15 touchdowns (11 passing) in five playoff games.
Dodge back in state final
One of the most successful coaches in Dallas-area history will return to D-FW for Saturday’s Class 6A Division II state championship game. Westlake coach Todd Dodge compiled a record of 98-11 at Southlake Carroll from 2000 to 2006 and led Carroll to five straight state championship games and four state titles. Dodge has a record of 73-13 in six seasons at Westlake, and this will be his second appearance in a state championship game with the Chaparrals.
Westlake (14-1) has had only one game decided by fewer than 18 points. That was a 26-25 loss to Austin Lake Travis on Oct. 11. Guyer (14-1) has had four games decided by 12 points or less — wins over Aledo (60-57) and Cedar Hill (40-36 and 50-41) and a loss to Southlake Carroll (46-34). Those Guyer opponents have combined to win 19 state titles. In the 50-41 victory against Cedar Hill in the second round of the playoffs, Guyer rallied from a 41-14 third-quarter deficit.