Two area high school football teams are one victory away from playing for the state’s biggest prize. Argyle and Guyer advanced to their respective state semifinal matchups following wins on Monday.
Jerrod Heard has shown a tendency over his career to play better as the games get bigger. That was clear last postseason, when Heard had his two biggest games in the final two games of Guyer’s state championship season. On Monday night at UNT’s Apogee Stadium, Heard got a head start while vaulting his team into the Class 4A Division I state semifinal for the second straight season with a 53-28 win over Birdville in the Class 4A Division I Region I final.
There was nothing ice-cold about the Guyer Wildcats on Monday night.
On paper, tonight’s regional final rematch between Guyer and Birdville looks to be a classic matchup of strength vs. strength — Birdville’s top-ranked rushing offense in the area and Guyer’s No. 1 rush defense.
At the moment, the Guyer football team is focused on defending its Class 4A Division I state championship, but after what they hope is a Dec. 20 title game at AT&T Stadium, the Wildcats will shift their attention.
LUBBOCK — For the second straight week, Guyer’s D.J. Breedlove had the type of performance that can carry a team to victory in the postseason. The only difference in Saturday afternoon’s regional semifinal against Amarillo was that Breedlove got a lot of help from his friends.
Coming off a state tournament appearance in 2012, the volleyball season didn’t end like Argyle would have liked in 2013, but the Lady Eagles still had plenty to remember in a year that saw them eliminated by eventual Class 3A champion Decatur.
Guyer came into Tuesday night’s nondistrict game against North Crowley facing a distinct height disadvantage.
MANSFIELD — Guyer running back D.J. Breedlove wasn’t perfect Friday night. But on a night when the weather and wet footballs caused headaches for both teams, Breedlove did plenty right in helping Guyer to a 42-13 win over Waco in the area round of the Class 4A Division I playoffs at Vernon Newsom Stadium.
In the middle of a week of preparation for what is expected to be one of Guyer’s toughest games of the season, the Wildcats’ senior quarterback took a break on Monday evening. Jerrod Heard was honored during a news conference at Guyer with an official invitation to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the prestigious high school All-American game.
JUSTIN — By the time the Guyer offense got on track in Friday night’s playoff opener, the Wildcats’ ticket to the Class 4A Division I area round had been all but punched. Despite a slow start from Guyer’s offense, thanks to a turnover and some untimely penalties, Guyer jumped on Saginaw early with opportune play from its defense and special teams on
ROUND ROCK — Devin Norton accomplished her goal Saturday. “I wanted to come home with a medal, and I did that,” the Guyer senior said.
It is no secret that Guyer is proficient at running the football. The Wildcats have long been one of the area’s top rushing teams — a throwback, in a way, in an era of pass-happy offenses. This season, Guyer (7-2, 6-0 District 5-4A) is averaging just shy of 350 yards per game on the ground while rarely relying on the passing of Texas pledge Jerrod Heard.
IRVING — For four years, Guyer has had no one starting at setter other than Madison Walford. For the entire 2013 regular season, Makena Stillwell was the starting setter for Guyer’s junior varsity squad and was set to be called up for the postseason, but she wasn’t expected to be a key contributor.
The cross country course at Mae Simmons Park in Lubbock has become a pretty familiar site for Guyer’s Devin Norton.
WICHITA FALLS — With one game remaining in the regular season before the Guyer football team begins its Class 4A Division I state title defense run, head coach John Walsh is suddenly feeling pretty good about his offense. After the Wildcats struggled through a scoreless first quarter before scoring 56 points in a win over Wichita Falls Rider last week, Walsh questioned whether his team could get off to a fast start. Against the Coyotes, the Wildcats did just that, scoring on their first two possessions of the first half and first three of the second half to cruise to a 49-3 win over Wichita Falls on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
If Denton wants to extend its playoff streak to three straight years, the Lady Broncos will have to come up with one more win. Denton, Azle and Wichita Falls Rider finished the regular season tied for third place in District 5-4A, setting up a mini-tournament in Bowie on Friday.
In the final District 5-4A match for both teams, Guyer looked to be heading into the playoffs with all phases of its game in shape with a 25-22, 25-14, 25-19 sweep at Denton on Tuesday.
WICHITA FALLS — For the first time in five seasons, the Guyer football team made a trip up north to Wichita Falls’ Memorial Stadium, and it didn’t go as planned. After the team buses broke down, the Wildcats were only able to go through about half of their pregame warm-ups before taking on Wichita Falls Rider in what essentially amounted to the District 5-4A title game.
Jerrod Heard has waited for quite some time to play at Wichita Falls’ Memorial Stadium. Guyer’s senior quarterback, who has orally committed to Texas, was in eighth grade the last time the Wildcats played a game in Wichita Falls — a year before moving up to Class 5A for a two-year stint.
Guyer had a chance to win its first team tennis area championship by defeating a team it’d already beaten this year, but an early upset set the tone for Trophy Club Nelson to avenge an earlier loss to Guyer by beating the Wildcats 10-8 on Saturday.
Earlier in the week, Guyer head coach John Walsh said he wanted to get all of the horses in his running game involved early and often for the remainder of the season, starting with Friday night’s game against rival Lake Dallas. It was clear from the onset that Walsh meant what he said. The Wildcats’ rushing attack was out in full force as Guyer rolled to a 66-3 win over the injury-depleted Falcons at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
The Guyer Lady Wildcats may be starting to play their best volleyball at just the right time. Going up against rival Lake Dallas, the district-leading Lady Wildcats showed no signs of a letdown against the slumping Falcons, racing to a 25-12, 25-12, 25-12 sweep Friday night.
“I’m scared, I’m scared,” said a frantic-sounding Michael Bryce Underwood while calling 911 late Aug. 31. One day after the 17-year-old Underwood was indicted on a manslaughter charge and 911 recordings were made public, reactions were muted among those who knew the victim, Guyer High School student-athlete Nathan Maki.
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.
Winning last year’s game against Trophy Club Nelson wasn’t a huge problem for Guyer, but even after roaring to a 53-28 win despite being held scoreless in the first quarter there was a bad taste in the Wildcats’ mouths.
The first offensive possession for Guyer was arguably the worst the Wildcats played all night as Jerrod Heard’s interception gave the Denton Broncos valuable field position inside the Wildcats’ red zone, but Guyer’s defense held strong and forced the Broncos into a failed field goal try. From there, Heard and the Wildcats wasted no time in getting their offense working as efficiently as an assembly line, steamrolling their way to a 66-7 District 5-4A victory on their homecoming night Friday at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
Last year’s contest between Guyer and Denton really wasn’t much of a contest. The Wildcats shut out the Broncos 62-0, with their offense scoring on their first play from scrimmage and their defense holding Denton to 30 rushing yards and 144 passing yards.