FORT WORTH — When Guyer and junior quarterback Jerrod Heard took possession of the ball with just under a minute to play in the first half, Friday night’s game was already well in hand for the Wildcats.
As Heard & Co. tried to add some cushion to their halftime lead, Heard found Ellis Jefferson over the middle of the field for what looked to be a 34-yard touchdown pass to give Guyer a five-touchdown lead. However, the play was called back because of a personal foul penalty on a Guyer offensive lineman to push the Wildcats back to the White Settlement Brewer 48-yard line.
No problem for Heard, who weaved through the Brewer defense on the next play to score from 48 yards out to give Guyer its extended cushion heading into the locker room in a 62-8 win over the Bears in the teams’ regular-season finale.
“You want to come in and go into your 2-minute offense, and you want to capitalize,” Guyer head coach John Walsh said. “And usually when you have penalties, you don’t capitalize. He [Heard] was limping a little bit, but we had some time while they were marking off the penalty and we had that in our back pocket, so we just said, ‘Go ahead.’”
It was just one of those special nights for Heard, who is committed to Texas. Heard completed 10 of 16 passes for 131 yards but did his real damage on the ground. He rushed for 196 yards on only 10 carries, seemingly toying with Brewer’s defense at times. He scored four times, including touchdown runs of 49 and 48 yards, to pace his team to a 35-0 halftime lead.
“We’re needing him to have some momentum going into the playoffs,” Walsh said of Heard. “Because we’ll go as the offensive line goes and as Jerrod goes. I think he’s playing well, and he’s playing well at the right time.”
Guyer (8-2, 7-0 District 4-5A), the No. 9 team in The Associated Press state poll, will play Saginaw in the Class 4A Division I bi-district round at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Justin Northwest.
Heard and most of his fellow starters were observers early in the third quarter as Walsh had said earlier in the week he would rest his starters early in the game, regardless of score, to be sure his players remain healthy for the playoffs.
The Wildcats got off to a slow start for the second straight week as they were forced to punt on their first drive of the game like they were in last week’s blowout of Wichita Falls.
Much like in that game, nothing seemed to go wrong offensively for Guyer from that point on as it scored on its next nine possessions to end the game.
“Do I like it? No.” Walsh said of the first-drive problems. “Is it kind of expected with having things wrapped up? Yeah. I think we’ll be ready come playoff time to start games fast.”
The Bears (5-5, 2-5) did not help themselves as they dropped two sure touchdown passes early in the game before it was well in the Wildcats’ hands, but the way Guyer’s offense was rolling, it likely wouldn’t have mattered.
The Wildcats racked up 564 total yards and held Brewer to 116 total yards after star running back C.J. Washington was knocked out of the game with an apparent thumb injury on the Bears’ fifth offensive play.
Guyer’s defense has now given up 31 points over its past four games since allowing 28 to Trophy Club Nelson on Oct. 11.
“I’m extremely proud of how are defense has continually matured and gotten better each week,” Walsh said.
Walsh said he was mostly pleased with the way his team responded after a fairly long road trip with nothing on the line, as Guyer had already wrapped up the outright District 5-4A championship with last week’s win and has already known its playoff opponent for three weeks.
He said he was disappointed in his offensive line play and kicking game because of some long returns the Bears were able to get. The Wildcats also were flagged 14 times for 145 yards, but Walsh said he is happy to be finished with the regular season and moving on to the postseason.
“We’ve been looking forward to getting out of the regular season for two weeks now for practice purposes, just to have some intensity during the week,” Walsh said. “When you’re in an elimination game, kids know you have to be at your best or you’ll be going home. We’re looking forward to just having good weeks of practice and being excited all week for the playoffs.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872. His e-mail address is email@example.com .
Guyer 62, Fort Worth Brewer 8
G — Jerrod Heard 49 run (Brad Grems kick), 4:58
G — Heard 15 run (Grems kick), 0:27
G — Heard 8 run (Grems kick), 10:34
G — Richard Whitaker 1 run (Grems kick), 4:56
G — Heard 48 run (Grems kick), 0:11
G — D.J. Breedlove 5 run (pass failed), 8:46
G — Whitaker 7 run (Grems kick), 5:45
G — David Haynes 3 run (Tanner Hunt kick), 3:14
B — Skyler Howard 32 run (Cole Wallis pass from Howard), 11:17
G — Anthony Taylor 19 run (Kolos Urbanyi kick), 1:56
Rushing — G: Jerrod Heard 10-196, Richard Whitaker 6-37, D.J. Breedlove 5-41, Nate Maki 1-4, David Haynes 10-63, Anthony Taylor 4-55. B: C.J. Washington 2-(-2), Skyler Howard 14-49, Chris Gibson 15-9, Colby Morris 3-4.
Passing — G: Jerrod Heard 10-16-0 131, David Haynes 4-7-0 37. B: Skyler Howard 5-16-0 48, Colby Morris 1-1-0 8.
Receiving — G: Josh Harris 2-31, Tyler Smith 1-18, D.J. Breedlove 1-(-7), Adam Scott 1-7, Preston Thrailkill 1-26, Logan Helal 1-9, Ellis Jefferson 3-46, Richard Whitaker 1-17, Jonathan Pershall 1-11, Anthony Taylor 2-10. B: C.J. Washington 2-19, Cole Wallis 1-9, Jonah Guardiola 1-10, Chris Gibson 2-18.