Austin Westlake will play a team from outside the state of Texas for the first time when it hosts Liberty (Henderson, Nev.) on Sept. 2.
The game initially was scheduled to be part of a showcase event at AT&T Stadium but the Cowboys’ preseason schedule forced the change of plans. The sides agreed to move the game to Westlake’s home stadium.
The game will be the season opener for Liberty. Westlake opens with Katy, the defending Texas Class 6A Division II state champions that were ranked No. 3 in the final Super 25.
The matchup was reported by The Austin American-Statesman and The Las Vegas Sun.
While this out-of-state opponent is a first for Westlake, Liberty travels annually. The Patriots played two games against Hawaii teams last season, including one on the islands. Liberty also has a game scheduled Sept. 23 at Centennial (Corona, Calif.), which finished No. 7 in the final Super 25 after losing in the CIF Open final.
“I think this will be a really good event for us, Liberty and our fans,” coach Todd Dodge told the Austin American-Statesman. “I’ve done some research, and Liberty is a lot like us. They’re a quality program, they’re a public school about our size, and it will be a good test for us.”
For Liberty, the focus is clear — how to be more competitive with two-time defending Super 25 champion Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas). Gorman has won seven consecutive state titles in Nevada and beat Liberty 62-21 in last year’s title game.
“Everything we do is to narrow the gap between Bishop Gorman and us,” Liberty coach Rich Muraco told The Las Vegas Sun. “The only way the kids can believe they can beat Gorman or hang with Gorman is by playing teams on the level of Gorman. …
“(High school football) is definitely on another level (in Texas). Let’s take a shot at it. Why not?,”