When you step up to take snaps from under center at Austin Westlake High School, you stand in the spot many greats have before you.
Names like Drew Brees, Nick Foles - both Super Bowl Champions - and Sam Ehlinger come to mind. Now, after his junior season, Cade Klubnik is in that group.
Klubnik stepped into the starting role this past season for the Chaps, replacing Kirkland Michaux, and didn't miss a beat. The junior led Westlake to a perfect 14-0 record, including a win over back-to-back state champion North Shore in the state semifinals, and claiming the Class 6A Division I State Championship in January.
ARLINGTON - In a matchup with so many storylines, the main theme of the 6A Division I State Championship was Westlake's ability to score at will and hold a dynamic Southlake offense in check in the second half.
Southlake touted the 5-star, No. 1 quarterback in the nation in Quinn Ewers, but Westlake's Cade Klubnik stole the show with his pinpoint accuracy, poise in the pocket and his pure athleticism when he carried the ball.
Klubnik took home offensive MVP with three total touchdowns, including two on the ground.
The game completely turned when Westlake got the game's first stop and subsequently took the lead. Southlake responded late in the second quarter to tie the game at 21, but Westlake went on a methodical, 5-minute drive to go up 28-21.
A hurried Ewers threw an interception on Carroll's ensuing possession. To start the second half, Westlake scored to open up a two-score game - a perfect bookend around the half - as that was a start of a big run by Westlake, highlighted by a big, one-handed interception by Michael Taaffe - his second of the night.
Taaffe's two INTs was enough to name him defensive MVP for the second straight year.
After an INCREDIBLE one handed interception @CadeKlubnikQB bounces out and scores again for Westlake. They now lead Southlake Carroll 42-21 with 6:48 left in the third quarter. @tommy_yarrish | @VypeATX | @VYPEDFW | #UILState pic.twitter.com/nBMK6OkRxG
— vypehouston (@vypehouston) January 17, 2021
At that moment, the game was essentially over and Westlake would coast to a 52-34 win and its second straight state title.