Weekend Recap: The Final Four

Guyer head coach John Walsh talks to junior quarterback Jerrod Heard (2) during a timeout against Birdville during Saturday's Class 4A Division I Region I final at Dragon Stadium in Southlake. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

Guyer is one of four teams still left in the Class 4A Division I playoffs.

Yep. Guyer, Tyler John Tyler, Georgetown and Leander Rouse are the envy of 60 other teams that started the 4A DI playoffs almost a month ago.

The Wildcats won an offense-laced regional final and defeated Birdville 52-42. Adam Boedeker and I were both there to witness the game, and here’s what we saw.

Class 4A Division I regional final, Southlake’s Dragon Stadium
Guyer 52, Birdville 42

Adam Boedeker: Well, here we go, Guyer fans. Your team is back to familiar territory as the Wildcats are set to play in their fourth state semifinal in the past five seasons — two previous in 4A (both losses to Longview) and once in 5A when they beat Longview en route to the 5A Division II state championship game.

The offense was what it’s been for weeks now, which is hitting on every cylinder imaginable. The offensive line, the quarterback, the running backs, Ellis Jefferson, heck even Brad Grems kicked a huge field goal for the second straight game that helped keep the opponent at arm’s length. The running game was on all day long, averaging over 10 yards per carry on 40 carries, an incredible number no matter who you’re playing (and for the record Birdville was pretty awful on defense, but still).

While giving up 42 points is never a good thing for a defense, it seemed to be the result of a recent trend for Guyer, which is folding up shop just a little bit too early. Against Aledo, it was definitely the case, and on Saturday the Wildcats had a 17-point lead in fourth quarter and appeared to be in cruise control before Birdville ripped off 21 fourth-quarter points. Also, Birdville’s offense was really stinkin’ good and had the best RB Guyer has seen this year in Xavier Turner and a really good, scrappy dual-threat quarterback in Justin Martin.

So as I wrote on Saturday, John Walsh might not have been happy with his team’s defensive performance late in the game, but he was ecstatic with their halftime adjustments as they shut Birdville out in the third quarter, which ended up deciding the game.

I’ll have more in the coming days on Guyer’s matchup with Tyler John Tyler on Friday night at Midlothian (7:30 p.m.). But just know this, it’s going to be a heck of a game and will have no shortage of offense on display.

Ben Baby: This was the first full Guyer game I had seen all season. And I was nothing short of impressed by Guyer’s offense on Saturday afternoon.

Junior quarterback Jerrod Heard had some incredible runs throughout the game, where it looked like he was headed nowhere and then he’d prance around the field and end up with a 20-yard run. He also had some key throws, including two touchdown passes to Ellis Jefferson, who’s tremendous day has previously been documented. 

You can’t really praise a defense too much after it surrenders more than 40 points in a game. The defense held Birdville (13-1) scoreless in the third quarter, allowing the Guyer (12-2) to loosen its collar only slightly before Birdville ripped off 21 points in the fourth quarter.

DL Thomas Ferguson had two huge sacks on third downs on Saturday and those should definitely be noted.

The atmosphere was great in Southlake. Birdville almost completely filled its home side of the field, and Guyer’s visitor side was far from vacant.

Coming into the game, I was chided in the press box by some passer-by for having told him by the elevator that I thought Guyer was going to win via blowout. I was definitely wrong. Birdville fell behind 14-0 but turned it into a great game.

Other notes

– At SMU, Southlake Carroll and DeSoto played the game of the decade so far. DeSoto beat the Dragons 49-45, stopping Carroll QB Kenny Hill three times to end the game. Watch for yourself, as the Carroll fans firmly believe Hill scored on the last play, but I’m not so sure he wasn’t already down. Just go look it up on YouTube (WARNING: You’ll probably encounter some foul language, which is why it’s not being posted here.)

– Somebody should tell Katy it’s playing playoff teams. Katy beat Cypress Ranch 70-21. Yikes.

– Wichita Falls Rider, Guyer’s District 5-4A companion, advanced to the 4A Division II semis with a 33-7 win over Wolfforth Frenship.

Pairings from 5A to 2A: 

5A Division I: DeSoto vs. Allen, Houson Lamar vs. Northside O’Connor.

5A Division II: Cedar Hill vs. Austin Westlake, Katy vs. Cibolo Steele.

4A Division I: Guyer vs. Tyler John Tyler, Georgetown vs. Leander Rouse

4A Division II: Wichita Falls Rider vs. Lancaster, Manor vs. Cedar Park

3A Division I final: Stephenville vs. El Campo

3A Division II: Gilmer vs. Graham, Navasota vs. Bellville

2A Division I: Wall vs. Daingerfield, Newton vs. Cameron Yoe

2A Division II: Sonora vs. Corsicana Mildred, Elysian Fields vs. East Bernard