There was one main aspect of Guyer’s offense that coach John Walsh wanted to see hitting on all cylinders in Friday night’s scrimmage against Aledo.
And in the Wildcats’ final tuneup before their regular-season opener Thursday at Cedar Hill, Walsh said his team’s ability to throw the ball effectively out of a passing formation was a huge success.
In his 20 plays of action during the scrimmage, which included two live quarters and a controlled portion, Guyer senior quarterback Jerrod Heard showed great improvement in the passing game over last year, when he led the Wildcats on a Class 4A Division I state title run that included knocking off Aledo in the second round of the playoffs.
Heard finished the night 7-of-13 passing for 122 yards with an 8-yard touchdown strike to backup quarterback David Haynes, who also will serve as one of Guyer’s top wide receivers this season. Most of Heard’s passes came in four-wide shotgun sets, and Guyer didn’t rely on play-action to set the passes up.
“I was extremely pleased with our drop-back passing game,” Walsh said. “I thought our protection was good. Jerrod threw the ball on time. He was extremely accurate. That’s one part of our game we weren’t good at last year. We had to play-action. We looked like if we have to go out and move the ball through the air, we can do it.”
Starting guard Blake Timmons gave the Wildcat coaches a scare early in the scrimmage when he exited with a minor ankle sprain, and despite being on crutches after the game his playing status sounded promising for Thursday.
“Timmons went down with an ankle with our [first team], and we put a couple of guys in there that didn’t get that job done that we thought they should,” Walsh said. “That was probably the only part of tonight I wasn’t happy with.”
If Timmons can’t play Thursday, the No. 1 Wildcats would be without two starting offensive linemen, as left tackle Bryan Barrett will miss the game due to injury after being held out of Friday’s scrimmage along with tight end Jonathan Pershall.
Jerod Fritsch took Barrett’s place Friday against No. 3 Aledo and wasn’t noticed at all, which is a good thing for an offensive lineman.
“Losing anybody like [Barrett] is a big factor, but it’s nice to know we have someone stepping up in Jerod Fritsch, and he’ll do real good. He played really well tonight.”
Another guy who played well was junior receiver Alex Honey, who had three grabs for 67 yards and a touchdown from Haynes.
“In the beginning, I was a little jittery and wasn’t really on top of my game, but I started picking it up,” the 6-foot-3, 180-pound receiver said.
Haynes added three grabs for 32 yards and a touchdown and passed for 56 yards and a score.
Safety Jordan Wallace and outside linebacker Demontrie Taylor each had interceptions for Guyer’s defense.
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.