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Football: Guyer wins second straight behind dominant defensive effort

McKINNEY — Guyer coach John Walsh said his team spent a lot of time this week focusing on cleaning up the small mistakes that have plagued it throughout the early part of the season.

For at least the first half of Friday night's game against McKinney, the Wildcats showed the emphasis on polishing things up paid off.

Guyer scored on its first four drives of the game before slowing down in the second half and went on to knock off the Lions 31-14. 

"We talked about starting fast," Walsh said. "As a unit, the first half was about as good as you can write a script. We were multiple on offense moving it around, and we kept them out of the end zone for the most part. The second half, I'm going to have to put on me for not keeping our offense focused."

The hot start was a stark contrast to the Wildcats' last two District 6-6A matchups. Guyer (4-2, 2-1) didn't turn the ball over on its opening possession and instead controlled the time of possession and the battle of the trenches from the opening kickoff.

Sophomore Kaedric Cobbs had his fifth multi-touchdown game of the year, finishing with 124 yards and two scores behind another dominant effort from the offensive line.

While Cobbs was impressive, senior Luke Stillwell had a coming out party at quarterback after struggling early in the season. Stillwell completed 6-of-11 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown and added 92 yards and a score on the ground.

His ability to find open receivers in key moments kept the McKinney defense off balance and forced the Lions to respect the pass rather than loading the box.

"It feels great," Stillwell said. "It feels like I've had a chip on my shoulder all season, so it was nice to come out here and show people what I can do. For the most part, though, that win was 100 percent on the defense."

Like Stillwell said, the Guyer defense had the most impressive performance of the night. Aside from a 78-yard touchdown pass from Damon Witmer to Troydell Griffin early in the first quarter, the Wildcats held McKinney (5-1, 2-1) to only 6 yards in the first half.

The high-powered Lions rushing attack, which entered the night averaging more than 276 yards per game, finished with 69 yards on 27 carries. Guyer, meanwhile, finished with 53 carries for 330 yards.

Arian Bhat, Isaac Carrillo and Grant Mahon anchored the defensive line while Dylan Bourney and Tre Turner had another big game at linebacker. After mistiming his jump on the first long McKinney touchdown, sophomore cornerback Seth Meador redeemed himself with a second-half interception to set up a 23-yard Cole Schroeder field goal.

The Wildcats, who entered the game without starting corner Kaleel Rhoden, lost their other starter, Cade Ford, to an injury Friday night. Meador and senior Braden Eddings stepped up to fill the holes.

"Man, the defense played great," Walsh said. "That's a good running back [Matt Gadek] with a good offensive line. I thought we played really, really tough and really stingy in there. We defended the pass well after we finished without a starting corner."

The strong defensive effort combined with a loss from Plano allowed Guyer to move into a tie for second place behind Allen in the district standings. The Wildcats host the Eagles at C.H. Collins next week.

"I'll feel better [about next week] when I get an injury report," Walsh said. "We've got a few guys banged up who we need to get healthy. Hopefully, I get some good news."

Denton Guyer 31, McKinney 14

Denton Guyer 14 14 3 0 -- 31
McKinney 7 0 7 0 -- 14

DG -- Kaedric Cobbs 8 run (Cole Schroeder kick)

MY -- Troydell Griffin 78 pass from Damon Witmer (Matt Wagner kick)

DG -- Kaedric Cobbs 10 run (Cole Schroeder kick)

DG -- Luke Stillwell 14 run (Cole Schroeder kick)

DG -- H Bohannon 63 pass from Luke Stillwell (Cole Schroeder kick)

DG -- Cole Schroeder 23 FG

MY -- Quinton Quirrenbach 34 pass from Damon Witmer (Gavin Baechle kick)

Team Stats DG MY
First Downs 24 10
Rushing Yards 53-330 27-69
Passing Yards 128 154
Passing 6-11-0 5-20-1
Punts-Avg 2-36.00 5-44.20
Penalties 8-67 1-10
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 0-0

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Rushing -- DG: Kaedric Cobbs 19-124, Luke Stillwell 14-92, Devin Jefferson 13-70, Seth Meador 3-23, Trace Jewell 2-11, H Bohannon 2-10, MY: Matt Gadek 19-85, Cordrick Dunn 4-14, Damon Witmer 4--30.

Passing -- DG: Luke Stillwell 6-11-0-128, MY: Damon Witmer 5-19-1-154, Chris Mathey 0-1-0-0.

Receiving -- DG: H Bohannon 1-63, Trent Ponsonby 3-31, Kaedric Cobbs 1-30, Cole Schroeder 1-4, MY: Troydell Griffin 1-78, Quinton Quirrenbach 2-53, Trey Pearson 1-24, Cordrick Dunn 1--1.