In the past two seasons, Guyer head coach John Walsh had an early-season loss against Cedar Hill to use as a blueprint for improving his football team before district play begins.
After Thursday night’s season opener, he will have to hope for similar improvement after the Longhorns used their speed and athleticism to race past Guyer 54-28 at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
The Longhorns (1-0) racked up 602 total yards against Guyer’s vastly inexperienced defense, which returned just two starters from last season and has an entirely new front seven.
But that wasn’t a surprise to Walsh. His offense’s performance was.
“The reality of this game is I knew it would be in the 40s,” Walsh said. “They outgunned us with our young defense. I’m more disappointed — everyone’s going to talk about our defense — but I’m more disappointed in our second-half offensive performance than I am our entire defensive performance.
“When we get into a game like this, we’re good enough offensively where we should be matching them. We didn’t match them, and that’s disappointing.”
Early on, it appeared the Wildcats (0-1) would have no problem offensively, as the teams traded touchdowns through the first 1 1/2 quarters.
But after that, the Longhorns’ speed took over and Guyer had no answer — offensively or defensively.
Guyer, No. 1 in The Associated Press Class 4A preseason poll, amassed just 311 yards of offense with 193 yards on the ground, which was supposed to be the focal point of the offensive game plan, Walsh said.
“We were going to lean on the running game and try to keep them off the field, but it didn’t quite work out that way,” he said.
The Wildcats failed to get a rusher over the 100-yard mark, led by running back D.J. Breedlove’s 75 yards on 13 carries. He finished with two touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Jerrod Heard, who recently committed to Texas, finished the game 10-of-19 through the air for 118 yards and an interception, rushing for two touchdowns.
No Guyer player came close to matching the production of Cedar Hill’s skill players, however.
Wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo, who has committed to Texas A&M, had a career game, racking up 183 receiving yards with three touchdowns.
Running back/wide receiver Laquvionte Gonzalez, a fellow A&M pledge, rushed for 48 yards, had 44 yards receiving and scored three times, including a 91-yard kickoff return to open the second half to push Cedar Hill’s lead to 14 points.
Walsh knew his team would have to key in on Gonzalez, who also hurt Guyer in the Wildcats’ three-point loss to Cedar Hill in the second game of the 2011 season. They did all they could, but Gonzalez showed his worth when he tied the game at 7 in the second quarter on a remarkable 19-yard touchdown run on which he reversed field and went sideline-to-sideline to score.
“What [Gonzalez] did there was ridiculous,” Walsh said. “When you go sideline-to-sideline like that, that’s special. They have special players, but we knew that.”
Cedar Hill quarterback Damion Hobbs, an Arkansas State commit, torched Guyer’s defense to the tune of 277 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 111 yards and two more scores.
“It was probably a little more than I expected, especially after our scrimmage [against Arlington Bowie],” Cedar Hill head coach Joey McGuire said. “Today was pretty awesome to watch.”
While Walsh was disappointed in his team’s second-half offensive performance, his defense showed some early signs of life with a key goal line stand early in the game. It was the only stop Guyer’s defense got all night as the Longhorns never punted.
“Defensively, I knew where we were,” Walsh said. “The goal line stand was great, but I knew they’d be able to move the ball. Offensively, we just had to keep it close and hopefully put pressure on them so it wasn’t so easy for them in the second half. We were honest, we knew what to expect and where our defense was. I’m more disappointed in our offense in the second half than anything.”
Guyer will get its chance at redemption Thursday when it faces another Class 5A power in Colleyville Heritage and star quarterback Cody Thomas, who has committed to Oklahoma. That game will be played at Southlake’s Dragon Stadium due to lighting issues at Heritage’s stadium.
After that, Guyer will play Flower Mound Marcus to complete its nondistrict schedule before playing its first Class 4A game since its 2010 season opener.
As for the Panthers, Walsh said he is well aware his defense will have to fare better, though the Panthers likely won’t have the speed and athleticism Cedar Hill put on the field. With his recent track record of bouncing back from losses to Cedar Hill, Walsh is confident his team will do it again.
“We better show improvement,” Walsh said. “It’s a similar deal with one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. We have to show improvement. We have to get better from week to week, and it’d better show next week.
“We knew when we scheduled this game that the odds were against us; I don’t care where anybody ranked us. We’re going to get better from it. We always do.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Cedar Hill 54, Guyer 28
G — D.J. Breedlove 7 run (Brad Grems kick), 9:03
CH — Laquvionte Gonzalez 19 run (Bissael Gutierrez kick), 11:49
G — Jerrod Heard 1 run (Grems kick), 10:19
CH — Damion Hobbs 62 run (Gutierrez kick), 9:36
G — Heard 15 run (Grems kick), 7:05
CH — Quincy Adeboyejo 3 pass from Hobbs (kick failed), 3:44
CH — Gonzalez 9 pass from Hobbs (Travis Wilson pass from Hobbs), 0:56
CH — Gonzalez 91 kickoff return (Gutierrez kick), 11:45
CH — Adeboyejo 52 pass from Hobbs (kick failed), 9:46
G — Breedlove 12 run (Grems kick), 7:18
CH — Hobbs 11 run (run failed), 4:13
CH — Adeboyejo 5 pass from Hobbs (Gutierrez kick), 9:27
Rushing: CH — Jared Rayford 13-99, Laquvionte Gonzalez 6-48, Damion Hobbs 10-111, Larry Hill 9-28, Jaidron Hurd 1-25, Tarik Crear 5-20. G — Jerrod Heard 15-62, D.J. Breedlove 13-75, Richard Whitaker 7-56.
Passing: CH — Damion Hobbs 15-24-1-277. G — Jerrod Heard 10-19-1-118.
Receiving: CH — Laquvionte Gonzalez 3-44, Quincy Adeboyejo 7-183, Travis Wilson 2-15, Brandon Harris 3-35. G — Ellis Jefferson 2-11, D.J. Breedlove 3-38, Preston Thrailkill 1-8, Josh Harris 4-61.