Entering his team’s final tuneup before the postseason begins, Guyer coach John Walsh wanted to get his passing game clicking on all cylinders in Thursday’s regular-season finale against Fort Worth Brewer.
Turns out, the Wildcats didn’t get a chance to do that as they hit several big running plays early in the game and rolled to a 70-7 victory at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex on a night when most of Guyer’s starters didn’t see the field in the second half.
Guyer (8-2, 7-0 district), the No. 7 team in the Associated Press Class 4A state poll, managed just 139 yards through the air, but its reliable running game did its job, racking up 452 yards on 45 rushing attempts. Guyer rolled up 463 yards of offense in the first half alone.
“I think we would’ve had more opportunities to throw the ball, but we had such big plays in the run that allowed for less downs so we didn’t get many opportunities to throw the ball,” Walsh said.
After Guyer scored on its opening drive on a 25-yard scoring strike from Texas pledge Jerrod Heard to Alex Honey, the Bears (3-7, 0-7) answered with a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Christian Gibson.
Guyer busted the game open in a hurry in the second quarter, scoring 28 unanswered points behind its dominant ground attack.
Heard capped his big night with a highlight-reel 9-yard touchdown run that covered about 40 yards of running with just 21 seconds left in the half to send Guyer to halftime with a 42-7 lead.
The senior finished his night with 186 rushing yards on just nine carries and completed half of his 10 pass attempts for 85 yards, a touchdown and an interception thrown in the end zone with just more than seven minutes remaining in the half.
“We’re playing for us,” Heard said. “We wanted to start fast and we want to score on the first drive every time, and we did that. That’s what we were working on. We were happy with the way we played. We played fast and physical and got the job done. It was a great night for us offensively and defensively, so I’m happy.”
Just like Heard, starting running backs D.J. Breedlove and Anthony Taylor were finished at halftime, racking up 105 and 80 yards, respectively, with a touchdown apiece.
Guyer’s backup quarterback David Haynes, who is also a starting wide receiver, went 6-for-7 passing for 54 yards and rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown. Backup running back Collin Clayton rushed for two second-half touchdowns.
Walsh’s team had never scored 70 points in program history, but the Wildcats did just that after a 39-yard interception return for a touchdown from Brandon Daniel with just more than six minutes to play.
The Wildcats defense forced four turnovers on the night — a fumble and three interceptions.
Guyer’s defense allowed just 105 total yards and no offensive touchdowns to Brewer and was once again dominant against the run, allowing just 25 yards on 13 rushing attempts.
Walsh was particularly pleased with the opportunistic play of his defense, including the defensive touchdown.
“Like always, they shut the run down and we were opportunistic in the secondary and the second level [of defense],” Walsh said. “When we get turnovers and get our offense more opportunities and get them off the field rested, that’s championship football.”
The Wildcats will now begin their Class 4A Division I state title defense, beginning Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. against Saginaw at Northwest ISD Stadium.
Guyer defeated Saginaw, 42-14, in the bi-district round of last year’s playoffs.
“We’ve been itching for the last couple of weeks to get to the playoffs,” Walsh said. “Tonight’s a special night for our seniors, and I thought they closed it out great at C.H. Collins, but we’re excited to get to Northwest and start our playoff run.”
The Wildcats’ senior quarterback said he is already envisioning how his high school career will come to an end, and he said the road there begins against Saginaw.
“It’s going to be an emotional run for all of us, and it all matters now,” Heard said. “The boys understand what we need to do. We’ll hopefully be there at [Arlington’s AT&T Stadium for the state championship game] at Christmastime.”
Guyer 70, Fort Worth Brewer 7
Fort Worth Brewer
DG — Alex Honey 25 pass from Jerrod Heard (Brad Grems kick)
FB — Christian Gibson 94 kickoff return (Jose Godinez kick)
DG — Jerrod Heard 8 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Anthony Taylor 51 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Jerrod Heard 57 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — DJ Breedlove 41 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Jerrod Heard 9 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Collin Clayton 1 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Collin Clayton 1 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — David Haynes 19 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Brandon Daniel 39 interception return (Brad Grems kick)
Rushing — DG: Jerrod Heard 9-186, DJ Breedlove 8-105, Anthony Taylor 7-80, David Haynes 6-57, Collin Clayton 7-21, Brandon Daniel 2-13, Laith Smadi 1-8, Dharrius Timmons 1-3, Eric Ramon 1-1, Team Stat 3--22, FB: Tre Johnson 10-15, Christian Gibson 2-5, Brian Kueck 1-5.
Passing — DG: Jerrod Heard 6-12-1-85, David Haynes 6-7-0-54, FB: Brian Kueck 12-26-3-80.
Receiving — DG: Alex Honey 2-28, Eric Ramon 1-27, Anthony Taylor 2-26, Collin Clayton 3-25, Issac Singletary 1-13, Tripp Reed 1-10, DJ Breedlove 1-6, David Haynes 1-4, FB: Cole Wallis 3-43, Christian Gibson 2-23, Cameron Lattin 1-10, Howard Pulley 1-5, Jameson Carson 1-4, Tre Johnson 4--5.