Lake Travis (7-1, 4-0) @ Vista Ridge (3-5, 2-2), Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.
Lake Travis continued its joyous romp through District 25-6A, blowing out Leander (2-7, 1-3), 61-0, to record its second consecutive shutout. The Cavaliers jumped out to a 36-0 first quarter lead behind three touchdown passes from quarterback Charlie Brewer and a 36-yard interception return by Will Lisenby. Brewer completed 10 of 12 passes for 169 yards and four touchdowns before being pulled in the second quarter. The defense did its job, too, allowing just 161 yards of total offense. The Cavaliers have won all four of their district games this season - against Hays, Westlake, Lehman, and Leander - by a cumulative score of 228-21.
Vista Ridge quarterback Jacob Taute had his best statistical game of 2016, completing 31-of-56 passes for 482 yards and five touchdowns in a wild 46-43 victory over Hays (3-6, 2-3). Vista Ridge trailed 14-12 at halftime, but Taute engineered a 34-point second half that snapped the Rangers’ two-game losing streak. Taute also had a rushing touchdown, bringing his total touchdown count on the night to six. Samuel Walden caught four touchdowns passes and Ryan Landrum had 11 catches for 153 yards.
The Lake Travis Monster
Let’s be frank: nobody in the state wants to face Lake Travis right now. The Cavaliers are carving up the District 25-6A schedule like a soft jack-o-lantern, averaging 56 points per game over four district contests. Quarterback Charlie Brewer is one of the most efficient signal callers in the state (112 of 151, 1,772 yards, 25 TD, 1 INT) and has rarely played past the second quarter over the last month. Meanwhile, nine different receivers have at least one touchdown reception, and starting running back Maleek Barkley is averaging more than 10 yards per carry. The defense is doing its part, too, pitching shutouts the last two weeks and allowing just 5 point per game in district play.
On Taute’s Shoulders
Vista Ridge’s chances of pulling off an upset will rest heavily on the shoulders of quarterback Jacob Taute. Lake Travis is going to score points - a lot of them, most likely - so the Rangers’ best chance may be to enter into a shootout with Charlie Brewer and company. If Taute can engineer a monster game like he did last week against Hays (31 of 56, 482 yards, five touchdowns), the Rangers could make it interesting. Otherwise, it’ll be business as usual for one of the most explosive offenses and best overall teams in 6A.
Vista Ridge and Lake Travis have not met in recent UIL history.
Vista Ridge will have another tough test next week when it heads to Westlake (6-2, 3-1). The Chaps, however, will be playing without UT-bound quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who suffered a season-ending thumb injury against Lake Travis on Oct. 7.
Lake Travis hosts Vandegrift (4-4, 3-1), the third-place team in District 25-6A, in the season finale on Nov. 4. Vandegrift started 1-4 but has come on strong in district play, winning its last three games after nearly upsetting Westlake on Sept. 23.