Guyer didn't have much to play for in Friday night's regular season finale against Plano West.
The Wildcats entered Week 11 with their first-round playoff matchup against Trophy Club Byron Nelson already set in stone and the Wolves were winless in the season.
It wasn't pretty, but Guyer (7-3, 5-2 District 6-6A) did enough on its first three possessions offensively to set the game on its course before going on to defeat Plano West 34-0 on a night that featured eight turnovers and 22 penalties between the two teams.
"I thought everything was great, except for the turnovers in the second quarter," Guyer coach John Walsh said. "I was ticked off about that, but other than that our defense played great."
The highlight of the game came between the first and second quarters when Guyer student Royce Barlow carried the ball 24 yards into the end zone on an untimed down, igniting a big celebration from the Wildcats' fans and cheerleaders.
The play was one Walsh said Barlow and the Wildcats have been looking forward to.
"Royce has been asking me for three years if he could play in a real game," Walsh said. "He's a good guy, and it's well deserved. I think everybody out here that knows Royce was extremely happy for him."
While the Wildcats controlled the game, the majority of their offensive production came early in the first quarter.
Guyer forced a three-and-out on Plano West's opening possession and scored on the very next play as Kaedric Cobbs took a handoff and broke through several tackles on a 39-yard touchdown run.
A De'Ray Darthard interception on the ensuing Wolves led to another short scoring drive, as it took just five plays for the Wildcats to return to the end zone with quarterback Luke Stillwell punching in an 8-yard run.
The Guyer defense, led by Garrett Tucker, Arian Bhat, Grant Mahon, Lawrence Norton, Isaac Carrillo and Cole Ramsey up front, completely shut down the Plano West offense with another three-and-out.
But the Wildcats' next touchdown, an 8-yard pass from Stillwell to Harrison Bohannon, was their last of the first half.
"We did what we do — we were moving the ball on the ground and were able to mix in some passes from time to time," Walsh said. "I thought we were throwing the ball pretty well early but just made some critical mistakes in the second."
Guyer struggled to hang on to the football as untimely drops and tipped passes led to three first-half interceptions.
Fortunately, the defense played well enough to make up for the offensive struggles. The Wildcats continued to control the battle of the line of scrimmage and held Plano West to 54 yards on 19 carries (2.8 yards per carry) in the first half.
In addition to Darthard's interception, Cade Ford hauled in two interceptions of his own while the Wildcats also recovered a fumble inside the 2-yard line.
"They kept getting the ball back for us," Walsh said. "It was a good night, because even the last turnover we had before the half allowed our defense to work on defending a Hail Mary. So I'm trying to find a little bright side even in the turnovers."
With the game well in hand, Walsh turned to his second unit to close out the game. Sophomore quarterback Trace Jewell found sophomore Travis Romar on a highlight-reel 23-yard touchdown pass for the final score of the game.
"It felt great throwing a touchdown pass to a guy in my class," Jewell said. "Travis and I have been playing together for a while now, so it was cool to connect with him."
The Wildcats will now shift their focus to Trophy Club Nelson for next week's Class 6A Division II bi-district playoff game. Guyer defeated the Bobcats 52-24 last season.
Guyer 34, Plano West 0
DG -- Kaedric Cobbs 39 run (Cole Schroeder kick)
DG -- Luke Stillwell 8 run (Cole Schroeder kick)
DG -- H Bohannon 8 pass from Luke Stillwell (Cole Schroeder kick)
DG -- Cole Schroeder 2 pass from Luke Stillwell (Cole Schroeder kick)
DG -- Travis Romar 23 pass from Trace Jewell (kick failed)
Rushing -- DG: Kaedric Cobbs 8-109, Trace Jewell 8-51, Luke Stillwell 6-36, Chris Northcutt 5-33, Devin Jefferson 7-32, H Bohannon 1-7, PW: Jake Sweeney 19-114, Jacob Stephens 4-29, Da'Vonte Carline 9-25, Danny Davis 3--7.
Passing -- DG: Luke Stillwell 14-21-3-202, Trace Jewell 2-3-0-33, PW: Jake Sweeney 6-21-3-61, Danny Davis 1-1-0-1.
Receiving -- DG: Seth Meador 5-95, Travis Romar 2-33, Dylan Parham 2-32, Cole Schroeder 3-30, Kaedric Cobbs 2-24, Josh Nicholson 1-13, H Bohannon 1-8, PW: Danny Davis 2-44, Da'Vonte Carline 3-9, Cole Carter 1-8, Demarco Dennison 1-1.