While I was at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington enjoying my last free Friday night until Christmas vacation, watching Adrian Beltre hit for the cycle and Matt Harrison flirt with a no-no, Guyer was in the faraway land of Aledo playing the three-time defending 4A Division II state champion Bearcats in the final tuneup before Thursday’s season opener.
Finally got up with Guyer coach John Walsh, who seemed relatively pleased with his team’s performance in the scrimmage.
To no surprise, Jerrod Heard looked good. The recently committed Texas Longhorn did throw one interception but commanded the offense and moved the ball well against Aledo’s defense, which is said to be the team’s strength this season with the departure of all-world RB Johnathan Gray. And judging by Walsh’s thoughts, as I’ve suspected you can expect to see Heard run the ball A LOT more this season. Last year, he rushed for just more than 700 yards and five touchdowns, a far cry from the J.W. Walsh rushing numbers we grew accustomed to seeing. Heard is every bit as talented as Walsh, and should be in line for a big season on the ground.
Ellis Jefferson didn’t play as he’s still been nursing a minor hamstring injury. The Arizona State-committed wide receiver will be Heard’s go-to guy and will be ready to go Thursday night against Cedar Hill.
Overall, Walsh said the offense is well ahead of the defense right now, which isn’t a surprise. After all, the Guyer defense has four new defensive linemen and three new linebackers. That’s a lot to replace. They’ll be OK, but they’re still trying to play catch-up and will likely need all three non-district games to get going before they roll into 5-4A play next month.
Guyer’s game on Thursday should be a shootout against Cedar Hill, a team that Walsh went and scouted in its recent scrimmage against Arlington Bowie and said the offense looked to be in “mid-season form”. The Longhorns are loaded with talent and speed, as Guyer fans are well aware of after the teams have met three times in the past two seasons (Cedar Hill winning two regular-season games and Guyer winning a playoff matchup in 2010). Look for both offenses to have success. If there’s a game Guyer is going to lose in this three-game nondistrict slate against powerful Class 5A programs, it might be this one.