JUSTIN — As a heavy underdog Friday night, Trophy Club Nelson was going to have to be able to control possession and make sixth-ranked Guyer one-dimensional offensively to have a chance of pulling off an upset.
Guyer was one-dimensional, but it was not the part of the offense Nelson was hoping to take away from the Wildcats, who rushed for 371 yards en route to a 34-14 win over Nelson at Texans Stadium to remain unbeaten in District 5-4A play.
Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard, a Texas pledge, had one of the worst nights of his career throwing the ball, completing just four passes with a 25 percent completion percentage, but he spearheaded Guyer’s ground attack with 140 yards and two touchdowns.
“He’s a good quarterback,” said senior running back D.J. Breedlove, who rushed for 102 yards and two scores of his own. “Sometimes he’s going to have one of his days where we need to pick him up, and we always have confidence in him. He played a heck of a game, though, and came back strong in the second half after we all played bad in the first half.”
One of Guyer’s best offensive plays of the game came on its first drive when sophomore Michael Carrillo took a direct snap on a fake punt 41 yards to the Nelson 13-yard line before Breedlove scored two plays later.
“We like to get our fake stuff out of the way before the playoffs,” Guyer head coach John Walsh said. “It got us on the scoreboard early. It worked.”
Anthony Taylor added 92 rushing yards, giving Guyer (4-2, 3-0 district) a lethal three-headed rushing monster in the backfield, but the passing game was nonexistent for much of the night as Heard didn’t complete his first pass until there were just four minutes left in the first half.
“When we have both the throwing game and running game going, we’re most productive,” Walsh said. “We don’t want to just sit there and run the ball and not be able to throw. I don’t think it was on Jerrod. I think it was on me. I’m doing something wrong in practice that I’ve got to change, and we’re gonna change it.
“We have to fix it [the passing offense], though. Because the way we played against Azle [two weeks ago] and this game is not going to get us into December football.”
Although Guyer’s offense wasn’t clicking on all cylinders, the defense was a fine-tuned machine.
Guyer, which entered the game allowing just 1.3 yards per carry, held a good running team to just 74 yards on 30 carries, extending its streak to six games without allowing an opponent to rush for 100 yards.
“I knew when they came out in empty [no-back formation] that they knew they’d have a hard time running,” Walsh said. “When they tried to start running, we still held them. I think we have the best run defense in the state of Texas, and it’s going to take us a long way.”
Nelson (4-2, 1-2) had a chance to tie the game late in the first half, driving to the Guyer 17-yard line before beginning a march backward that eventually culminated in fourth-and-21 from the 28.
Nelson quarterback Esteban Ortega lofted a pass down the right sideline and had a receiver in the end zone, but safety Jordan Wallace perfectly timed his leap and knocked the ball away at the last second to give the Wildcats the ball on downs.
Nine plays later, Guyer took a 21-7 lead on a 1-yard run from Heard with 1:56 remaining in the half, a lead it would add to before halftime with a 21-yard field goal from Brad Grems with seven seconds remaining in the half.
“When we bring pressure, sometimes we isolate guys outside and he [Wallace] made a big play,” Walsh said. “We have a lot of confidence in those guys. We said in the spring this would be a different Guyer team from the  state champion team because our defense would shut people down, and it’s coming true.”
Now, Walsh said he is just waiting for the Wildcats’ passing game to hold up its end of the bargain.
“Overall, I feel great,” he said. “I know where we’re at and where we’re headed. We’re just getting into Week 7 now, and when you get to Week 8 through 10, that machine should be well-oiled. We have a lot of oil to put in there right now.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.
Guyer 34, Trophy Club Nelson 14
DG — DJ Breedlove 10 run (Brad Grems kick)
TN — Hayden Sanders 17 pass from Esteban Ortega (Parker McCabe kick)
DG — DJ Breedlove 21 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Jerrod Heard 1 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Brad Grems 21 FG
TN — Jordan Diamond 12 pass from Preston Haire (Parker McCabe kick)
DG — Jerrod Heard 3 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Brad Grems 25 FG
Rushing — DG: Jerrod Heard 21-140, DJ Breedlove 15-102, Anthony Taylor 15-92, Michael Carrillo 1-41, Team Stat 1--4, TN: Esteban Ortega 13-39, Courtney Miles 9-36, Jordan Ortiz 4-8, Preston Haire 4--9.
Passing — DG: Jerrod Heard 4-16-0-81, TN: Esteban Ortega 10-21-0-71, Preston Haire 3-6-1-21.
Receiving — DG: David Haynes 2-47, DJ Breedlove 2-34, TN: Hayden Sanders 4-43, Jordan Diamond 3-26, Joe Greutman 3-17, Lucas Murray 2-6, Courtney Miles 1-0.