In the week leading up to Friday’s game against Flower Mound Marcus, the Guyer coaching staff stressed the physical nature of football the Wildcats would see from the Marauders.
But physical football is nothing new to Guyer, and the Wildcats won the trenches on both sides of the ball en route to a 35-17 win over Marcus at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
“All week long, they [Marcus] said they’re physical and big and they would power us, counter us and zone us [in the run game],” said Guyer defensive end Thomas Ferguson. “We just got out there and knew what was coming, and we dominated.”
The Wildcats (2-1) held Marcus’ vaunted power rushing attack to 37 yards on 31 carries while racking up 297 rushing yards of their own.
Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard had 15 carries for 141 yards and three touchdowns while passing for 208 yards and another score, and the Texas pledge was a busy kid in the 24 seconds of game time that were the bookends around halftime.
Guyer, ranked No. 3 in The Associated Press Class 4A state poll, had not been in a two-minute situation yet this season and really never was in 2012, but Walsh got to test his offense before the close of the first half.
The Wildcats started at their 26-yard line with 2:02 remaining in the first half after the Marauders had scored to take a 10-7 lead.
Guyer needed eight plays to march 74 yards, highlighted by a double-reverse flea-flicker from Heard to D.J. Breedlove for a 30-yard gain, and with four seconds remaining in the half, Heard plunged in from a yard out to send Guyer to the half with a 14-10 lead.
The Wildcats received the opening kickoff, and it was returned 60 yards by starting linebacker Michael Carrillo. On the first offensive snap of the second half, Heard went untouched up the middle for a 40-yard touchdown scamper to give the Wildcats 14 quick points to go from a 10-7 deficit to a 21-10 lead.
Then, the rout was on.
“We don’t fast-tempo people because I like playing the game like we play it,” Guyer head coach John Walsh said. “But we do have quick-strike guys all over the place, and we have quick-strike plays. Those quick-strike guys and quick-strike plays hit hard and fast. That’s huge momentum.”
Playing without senior quarterback Cole Erwin, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last week, the Marauders (1-2) turned to Taylor Gibbs. He was was efficient in the first half, going 10-for-13 for 136 yards and a touchdown, but his fortunes changed in the second half as he went just 3-for-12 for 71 yards.
Ferguson pointed back to that quick 24-second stretch as the point he knew the game was over, even though there was still nearly a full half to play.
“That was when we knew we had the momentum, and we knew they were done,” Ferguson said. “When you look across and see them, you just know. We knew they were mad and we were on top.”
Heard, who accounted for two of his four touchdowns in that span, played his most crisp game yet on the young season, Walsh said.
Heard agreed, saying it was the best start during any of his three seasons as Guyer’s starting quarterback for a traditionally slow-starting team that likes to peak in November and December.
“In my three years of starting, I think this is the greatest start we’ve had,” Heard said. “It’s almost scary. That’s a great sign with our offense and definitely with our defense. Our defense helped us a lot getting the ball back to us. They deserve a ton of credit.”
Walsh said Heard’s quick start to the season is in line with the rest of his team’s.
“He’s getting better each week,” Walsh said of Heard. “That’s his nature. He’s getting better quicker in the season this year than he did last year. He’s one of our stallions, and we’re going to keep riding him all the way.”
Now with a bye week coming before District 5-4A play begins Sept. 27 at Azle, Walsh said his team can get healthy and get even better.
Guyer has played its first three games with a makeshift offensive line and has two injured starting cornerbacks, but now they’re starting to get healthy and should be back for district opener.
“We’re rather healthy,” Walsh said. “And we’re actually going to get a little better because we’ll get some guys back on the field.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.
Guyer 35, Flower Mound Marcus 17
DG — Jerrod Heard 66 run (Brad Grems kick)
FM — Jon Coppens 32 FG
FM — Cade Erwin 23 pass from Taylor Gibbs (Jon Coppens kick)
DG — Jerrod Heard 1 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Jerrod Heard 40 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Anthony Taylor 28 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — DJ Breedlove 51 pass from Jerrod Heard (Brad Grems kick)
FM — Kaden Smith 19 pass from Taylor Gibbs (Jon Coppens kick)
Rushing — DG: Jerrod Heard 15-141, Anthony Taylor 9-61, Adam Scott 3-43, DJ Breedlove 7-36, David Haynes 6-15, Collin Clayton 1-1, FM: John Hutcherson 7-24, Cade Erwin 1-14, Alex Albright 9-5, Dylan McKie 1-0, Mark Demery 9--2, Taylor Gibbs 4--4.
Passing — DG: Jerrod Heard 11-17-0-208, David Haynes 0-1-0-0, FM: Taylor Gibbs 16-25-0-207.
Receiving — DG: DJ Breedlove 3-80, David Haynes 3-66, Alex Honey 2-34, Tyler Smith 1-20, Adam Scott 1-6, Jonathan Pershall 1-2, FM: Kaden Smith 5-73, Jack Cushing 2-41, Cade Erwin 2-33, Blake Bowling 2-20, Tanner Rutz 3-20, Mason Ferguson 1-14, Mark Demery 1-6.