Earlier in the week, Guyer head coach John Walsh said he wanted to get all of the horses in his running game involved early and often for the remainder of the season, starting with Friday night’s game against rival Lake Dallas.
It was clear from the onset that Walsh meant what he said. The Wildcats’ rushing attack was out in full force as Guyer rolled to a 66-3 win over the injury-depleted Falcons at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
Guyer (5-2, 4-0 District 5-4A), the state’s sixth-ranked team in The Associated Press Class 4A state poll, did not come out of the gates on fire, scoring just seven points in the first quarter and keeping Lake Dallas close with a muffed punt deep in the Wildcats’ own territory. But once the Wildcats got rolling, there wasn’t anything Lake Dallas could do to stop it.
“That’s gonna be who we are,” Walsh said of the multi-dimensional rushing attack that racked up 321 of Guyer’s 427 total yards. “It’s important for a defense to have to defend all three of those guys. We have three guys going three different ways and either could have the ball.”
Senior quarterback and Texas pledge Jerrod Heard rushed for 109 yards on 10 carries and scored twice, including a highlight-reel 56-yard touchdown run before his night came to an end after just one series in the third quarter that saw Guyer take a 42-3 lead.
But Heard wasn’t the only Wildcat who had his way with Lake Dallas’ rushing defense. D.J Breedlove rushed for two touchdowns, and fellow starting running back Anthony Taylor added two more.
“I thought our defensive front did well at times, but obviously when he [Heard] got out in the open, we couldn’t tackle him,” Lake Dallas head coach Michael Young said.
Guyer’s offense was routinely handed prime field position by a suffocating defense that continued its dominant stretch of football dating back to the second game of the season, a win over Colleyville Heritage that was forfeited for use of an ineligible player.
The Wildcats allowed just 94 total yards to Lake Dallas and sophomore quarterback Dagan Haehn. Haehn was without his top two pass-catching targets in Keegan Brewer, who was injured last week, and Iowa pledge Josh Jackson, who suffered a fractured foot a few weeks back.
“I’m really excited about our defense,” Walsh said. “I’m really proud of how they continue to get better. We can’t worry about who we’re playing or who’s not there. We just have to play our game. Our plan is to play deep into December, and tonight we took steps forward toward that.”
The Wildcats pressured Haehn early and often, using its strong front four to rack up five sacks, including sacks from Carl Thompson and Thomas Ferguson on the game’s first two plays.
“We couldn’t pass protect,” Young said. “We had some sophomores at guard and center that had a hard time against some really good defensive linemen. They learned a pretty good lesson tonight. They’ll learn from it. That’s a good defensive front — one of the best in the state — so our young kids got a little experience there tonight.”
The Falcons (4-3, 1-3) also got no help in the special teams department. They failed on a fake punt attempt on fourth-and-26 from their own 13-yard line on their first possession of the night and had punts of minus-2, 3 and minus-19 yards, giving Guyer short fields with which to work.
“Our punter [Logan Stewart] was sick and couldn’t make it, so that was not good for us,” Young said. “That was a disaster. Our punting was horrible. We would’ve been better off just throwing long interceptions.”
Guyer used those miscues to rack up 49 points over the second and third quarters, as the offense made Lake Dallas pay for its mistakes.
“Our defense has been getting off the field quick and our offense gets off the field quick, so any time you get a short field, it’s good,” Walsh said. “Everyone’s rested and you don’t have to work too hard to get to the end zone.”
Both teams have pivotal matchups next week, with Guyer traveling to Wichita Falls to play Rider in what many see as the District 5-4A championship game. Lake Dallas plays host to Wichita Falls in what is a must-win game for the Falcons’ playoff hopes after dropping three straight games in district play to Rider, Trophy Club Nelson and Guyer.
“We know our back’s against the wall and we have to win Friday night,” Young said. “If we win that, we’re back in the driver’s seat to get in the playoffs. We just need to forget about this and focus on that game.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.
Guyer 66, Lake Dallas 3
DG — Jerrod Heard 7 run (Brad Grems kick)
LD — Nick Krygsman 38 FG
DG — Anthony Taylor 15 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Jerrod Heard 56 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — DJ Breedlove 11 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Tyler Smith 8 pass from Jerrod Heard (Brad Grems kick)
DG — DJ Breedlove 6 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Anthony Taylor 7 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Collin Clayton 8 run (Brad Grems kick)
DG — Brad Grems 20 FG
DG — Brandon Daniel 4 run (Brad Grems kick)
Rushing — DG: Jerrod Heard 10-109, Anthony Taylor 6-53, DJ Breedlove 9-51, Collin Clayton 8-45, David Haynes 5-27, Dale Hodge 4-23, Brandon Daniel 2-13, LD: Brandon Simpson 6-24, Mark Contreras 5-16, Brett Sasser 3-12, Aaron Bearry 3-3, Courtenay Holder 1-0, Tristan Bowen 1--1, Team Stat 4--6, Dagan Haehn 6--16.
Passing — DG: Jerrod Heard 5-12-0-84, David Haynes 1-3-0-19, Brandon Daniel 1-1-0-3, LD: Dagan Haehn 13-25-2-62.
Receiving — DG: David Haynes 2-60, Issac Singletary 1-19, Tyler Smith 1-8, Alex Honey 1-8, Jose Carrillo 1-8, Collin Clayton 1-3, LD: Brett Sasser 5-45, Garrett Shackelford 3-10, Brandon Simpson 5-7.