Plano East coach Joey McCullough spills it about Guyer

Plano East Head Coach Joey McCullough yells during the second half against Allen at Eagle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in Allen, Texas. The Eagles won 58-23. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News)

Plano East Head Coach Joey McCullough yells during the second half against Allen at Eagle Stadium on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in Allen, Texas. The Eagles won 58-23. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News)

Little bit of what we call a “notebook dump” here, but here’s some things Plano East head coach Joey McCullough had to say about Guyer heading into tonight’s pivotal District 6-6A showdown.

On facing Guyer Friday:
“It’s going to be a 15-round fight. It’s going to come down to who has the more balanced attack — they’ve got the top-ranked rushing attack in the area, so we know the challenge. For us, it’s about ball security, cutting down on the penalties and staying ahead of the chains on first down.”
On the likelihood of a physical matchup:
“I want my kids to walk a fine line. You want them to play physical on defense and keep gap-integrity. We did that last week [against Wylie] and I thought our defense was outstanding.”
On middle linebacker Anthony Hines’ (90 FBS offers) recent play:
“We didn’t ask him to do too much last week, and he had 23 tackles and two interceptions. He’s a good football player. But our whole defense has been playing great lately. We’ve had three weeks of some of the best practice I’ve seen since I’ve been here. When the bell rings tomorrow, it’s game time.”

What you need to know: Plano East

Plano East quarterback Miklo Smalls (1) makes his way to the goal line for a touchdown during the second quarter of their game against Jesuit on Friday, September 2, 2016 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.   (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)

Plano East quarterback Miklo Smalls (1) makes his way to the goal line for a touchdown during the second quarter of their game against Jesuit on Friday, September 2, 2016 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
(Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)

This has been a pretty eventful week for Guyer football, and not for the best of reasons. But that fallout from Guyer’s district-opening win over Plano is over now, and it’s time for a really, really big game even though it’s just September.

Guyer faces Plano East in what many view as the game for second place in 6-6A behind the state’s No. 1 team Allen, and it also could very well be a game to determine seeding in the Division II playoff bracket from 6-6A as Plano East would be a Division II playoff rep along with Guyer if Plano makes the playoffs, which seems like a pretty solid likelihood at this point.

Remember, top seeds get to host a first-round playoff game, and traveling to either Southlake Carroll or Flower Mound Marcus for a first-round game could be a hornet’s nest.

So, let’s get into the game…

The Game: Plano East (2-2, 1-0) vs. Guyer (3-1, 1-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Denton’s C.H. Collins Athletic Complex

Series Record: This is the first-ever meeting between the schools.

What happened last week: Plano East got up big on the smallest school in the district in Wylie before a ferocious Wylie rally fell short and the Panthers still scored a comfortable win.

Guyer dominated the flow of the game against Plano, but some miscues in the penalty department and on special teams helped keep Plano in the game before Guyer eventually pulled away for a 10-point win behind its vaunted rushing attack and 317 yards between its two starting tailbacks.

What to expect: This is going to be a fun game between two teams with a lot of talent on the field. Guyer coach John Walsh likes to talk about what a team looks like “coming off the bus” and he insists the Panthers will look as good as any team out there, specifically their two stud defenders in 6-3, 230-pound middle linebacker Anthony Hines III and 6-3, 300-pound defensive tackle Deiontae Watts. It has the potential to be a track meet.

Final say: Guyer’s rushing attack won’t be able to win this game by itself, and I think Guyer will have to show some more proficiency in the passing game with Hines roaming the second level of defense and Watts clogging up the middle. But make no mistake, the Guyer running game will still have its big moments and it’s still the best aspect of either one of these teams. In the end, that’ll be enough to help Guyer improve to 2-0 in 6-6A play and almost certainly lock up the top seed in the Division II playoff bracket.

Score prediction: Guyer 41, Plano East 28

Q&A time! Plano East Panthers edition

Plano East linebacker Anthony Hines III (19) celebrates after East recovered a fumble during the second quarter of their game against Jesuit on Friday, September 2, 2016 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.   (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)

Plano East linebacker Anthony Hines III (19) celebrates after East recovered a fumble during the second quarter of their game against Jesuit on Friday, September 2, 2016 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
(Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)

Since most of the teams in the new District 6-6A are new to Guyer, Guyer fans and myself, I’ve decided to try something new this year.

Star Local Media, has covered pretty much all of these teams with the exception of Guyer and Wylie for years, so we’re going to do a Q&A each week about Guyer’s upcoming game.

This week, of course, it’s Guyer and Plano East in the teams’ first meeting in history.

Without further delay, here’s the “conversation” Tim Glaze, who covers East for Star Local Media, and I had over good ol’ electronic mail, along with a score prediction from each of us.

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Update: Plano ISD issues statement, AD apologizes for dirty play

 

Guyer head coach John Walsh, top, and Plano head coach Jaydon McCullough on their respective sidelines. The Dallas Morning News photos

Guyer head coach John Walsh, top, and Plano head coach Jaydon McCullough on their respective sidelines. The Dallas Morning News photos

A play in Guyer’s win over Plano on Friday night that drew attention and concern from both Guyer coaches and fans, as well as the high school football community, has been addressed by the Plano coaching staff and the district’s athletic department.

The play occurred late in the first quarter of Friday’s 34-24 Guyer win over Plano when a Plano defensive end took a cheap shot away from the play on Guyer tight end Brian Polendey, who was already engaged with a linebacker. The defensive end dove directly at Polendey’s knee, which buckled as a result. He was then seen on film doing the same thing on the following play to another Guyer tight end. Polendey, a Miami pledge who will enroll early in January, was not injured on the play.

Guyer head coach John Walsh said the District 6-6A chairperson, Allen athletic director Steve Williams, was notified of the incident. On Monday, Williams said the matter would need to be handled by the Plano ISD and Denton ISD athletic directors.

Plano ISD athletic director and former Plano coach Gerald Brence said he spoke with Denton ISD athletic director Joey Florence on Monday. Brence said the issue is settled.

“It’s unfortunate,” Brence said of the play. “We’re glad no one got hurt. Second, we’ll be sure nothing like this happens again, and I think it’s a learning experience for everyone involved.”

After speaking with Brence, Florence agreed.

“Obviously, I think it’s a Plano ISD situation now,” said Florence, who was the longtime coach at Ryan. “We all coach. We’re all in the kid business, and kids make mistakes. In my opinion, they have done the right thing. They’ve addressed us and assured us they have handled the matter. We’re very fortunate the young man wasn’t injured. I think we’d be having a different conversation had he been.

“I appreciated the Guyer coaches for standing up for their kid. John’s spot-on to be angry and to demand an explanation, and I was the same way. I’m proud of John for calling it out. But I also appreciated the stance [Brence] and the [Plano] staff had. [Brence] called me and assured me they’d take care of it.”

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Weekend recap: One rivalry resumes, another begins (for wrong reason)

Denton Guyer High School running back Myron Mason (2) breaks off a big run during the second half as Plano Senior High School hosted Denton Guyer High School at John Clark Field in Plano on Friday night, September 23, 2016.  (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Denton Guyer High School running back Myron Mason (2) breaks off a big run during the second half as Plano Senior High School hosted Denton Guyer High School at John Clark Field in Plano on Friday night, September 23, 2016. (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Ryan and Denton resumed their rivalry after a four-year hiatus on Friday. This time, Ryan was good (as usual) and Denton was good too (not the case the last time the teams played), but Ryan showed they are still above and beyond what anyone else in District 5-5A is.

Meanwihle, Guyer had a big win over Plano that wasn’t too aesthetically pleasing and was soured by a dirty, dirty play in the game that is sure to create some bad blood when the teams meet next year at C.H. Collins.

My buddy Steve and I take a look back on the area football weekend with our weekly recap, coming now…

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Guyer tight end gets apology from Plano coaches

Area standout Denton Guyer High School tight end Brian Polendey (83) gets a block on Plano Senior High School defensive lineman Daniel Tolliver (40) during the second half as Plano Senior High School hosted Denton Guyer High School at John Clark Field in Plano on Friday night, September 23, 2016.  (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Area standout Denton Guyer High School tight end Brian Polendey (83) gets a block on Plano Senior High School defensive lineman Daniel Tolliver (40) during the second half as Plano Senior High School hosted Denton Guyer High School at John Clark Field in Plano on Friday night, September 23, 2016. (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Plano coaches apologized to Guyer tight end Brian Polendey and head coach John Walsh after seeing film on Saturday of a cheap shot that appeared to be an attempt to hurt the Miami recruit’s right knee late in the first quarter of Friday night’s District 6-6A opener.

Coaches’ film from the game shows Guyer handing the ball off to a running back and running right while Polendey, a senior, is blocking away from the play on the left side.

He is engaged with Plano’s outside linebacker when a defensive end leaves his man, runs away from the play and the ball-carrier and dives at Polendey’s knee, which buckled as a result.

“The play was going away from me, and I was blocking down on their linebacker and felt someone diving to my leg,” Polendey said. “I didn’t know if someone threw him there or what, but it completely took out my knee.”

Longtime Plano coach Jaydon McCullough said the type of play is not one he or his staff supports, and he said his player had been reprimanded. He declined to detail the punishment.

“I’ve already spoke to [Walsh] about it,” McCullough said. “We don’t condone that. We don’t teach it. It’s been addressed. The player has been reprimanded. It wasn’t malicious. The kid started crying when we talked to him about it. I don’t know why he did it. We’ve apologized to [Polendey] and the Denton Guyer football team.”

Polendey said Plano defensive coordinator Brent Graham called him on Saturday afternoon to apologize.

“I’m not angry with Plano or something,” Polendey said. “I thought they played a good game and good luck to them this season. I just want everyone to be safe. I don’t want to see anyone get a career-ending injury or anything like that.”

Plano, which lost the game 34-24 after allowing Guyer to run for 353 yards and five touchdowns, has a history of similar play.

In a 2014 game against Plano, Hebron star offensive lineman Zach Rogers, who is now at Arkansas, suffered a broken ankle on a similar play — one Walsh said he also saw film of on Saturday morning.

“I’ve been coaching for 22 years, and I’ve never seen anything like that,” Walsh said. “When the video hit the media this morning, I was told about the Hebron thing and I called [Hebron coach Brian Brazil] and he told me what had happened with them. I watched that, too. I’m not going to assume anything, but I know it’s a very unethical play.”

On Friday night, no penalty was called on the play in question, and Guyer coaches didn’t realize what had happened until running backs coach Michael Sampson saw the play in film review around 4 a.m. Saturday. It was clear then what had happened.

“We all watched it when we got to school [Saturday] morning at 8 o’clock,” Walsh said. “My initial reaction was just anger. The game we play, the safety of my boys is the utmost importance.”

Polendey said he felt fortunate to not have suffered a serious injury on the play.

“Initially, it really did hurt,” he said. “That part of my knee isn’t covered and the way he hit me, it was his helmet on my knee. If my leg had been locked out and straight, I probably wouldn’t be walking today.

“I didn’t think it was that bad until I saw it on film. On the play after that he tried to do the same thing to another kid on our team. It wasn’t just one play. It was more than just one time.”

Once he saw the play on film, Polendey said he was “pretty mad.”

“I wasn’t aware of how bad it was,” he said. “I was just like ‘Wow.’ There’s a difference between playing physical football and hurting people. When you’re playing physical football, you’re not trying to hurt people. You’re just trying to win games.

“On a couple of plays last night, I think the refs might’ve missed it because the play was going away from us and that stuff was happening. It’s important to pay attention to that stuff if you’re the ref because you can’t just let that stuff go on.”

Guyer (3-1, 1-0) continues district play on Friday when it hosts Plano East, while Plano (2-2, 0-1) travels to McKinney.

 

What you need to know: Plano

Rowlett High defensive back Dylan Bauer (19) forces Plano High running back Kyron Cumby (2) to fumble the ball on a long run during the second half at Homer B Johnson Stadium in Garland, Texas, Friday, September 9, 2016. The fumble eventually led to a Rowlett touchdown.(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

Rowlett High defensive back Dylan Bauer (19) forces Plano High running back Kyron Cumby (2) to fumble the ball on a long run during the second half at Homer B Johnson Stadium in Garland, Texas, Friday, September 9, 2016. The fumble eventually led to a Rowlett touchdown.(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

Well, folks. It all starts tonight. In the most cliche manner possible, high school football coaches will tell you ad nauseam about how there are three seasons in the high school football season (nondistrict, district and playoffs). As cliche as it is, it’s very true, and this week begins Guyer’s schedule in its new District 6-6A, which features the four largest enrollments in the state. It’s truly the district of the big boys as Guyer will meet four teams with 3,000 or more kids on top of Guyer’s enrollment.

Want another cliche? These district games will all be competitive. There don’t appear to be any true slouches.

Guyer begins its 6-6A slate against Plano, one of the two teams in the district Guyer has seen before, and here’s all you need to know about the big matchup.

The Game: Guyer (2-1) at Plano (2-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Plano’s John Clark Stadium

Series Record: Guyer leads the all-time series 1-0, winning a 59-28 game in the bi-district round of the 2014 playoffs. Guyer led that game 56-14 after three quarters.

What happened last week: Well, a bye for both teams. But two weeks ago, Plano had four lost fumbles in a 31-7 loss to Rowlett after starting the year 2-0. Guyer routed an overmatched, undermanned Dallas Kimball team with a 63-7 thrashing in which Guyer’s starters were gone after one half.

What to expect: Two run-heavy teams and hopefully, for my selfish-sportswriter-on-deadline self, a fast game. Seriously, Plano is roughly 80 percent run, 20 percent pass. Guyer has rushed for 1,079 yards and passed for just 272 yards in its three games. That’s essentially an 80-20 split as far as yardage totals go. One difference between the two seems to be explosiveness on offense. Though Guyer runs the ball a lot, it is explosive in doing so. Plano, though it has explosive backs, is more of a plodding, 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense behind a very impressive offensive line.

Final say: Because of that, I think Guyer wins this game fairly easily. For a half or maybe even three quarters, it’ll be a good, competitive game but ultimately Guyer’s playmakers will take over and make the game a pretty easy Guyer win.

Score prediction: Guyer 55, Plano 28

Q&A time! Plano Wildcats edition

Denton Guyer sophomore running back Noah Cain (7) hurdles senior fullback Trevor Caples (22) as DeSoto senior linebacker Orion Smith (15) moves in for the tackle during the second half of a high school football game at Eagle Stadium in DeSoto, Texas, Friday, September 2, 2016. (Jeffrey McWhorter/Special Contributor)

Denton Guyer sophomore running back Noah Cain (7) hurdles senior fullback Trevor Caples (22) as DeSoto senior linebacker Orion Smith (15) moves in for the tackle during the second half of a high school football game at Eagle Stadium in DeSoto, Texas, Friday, September 2, 2016. (Jeffrey McWhorter/Special Contributor)

Since most of the teams in the new District 6-6A are new to Guyer, Guyer fans and myself, I’ve decided to try something new this year.

Matt Welch, of Star Local Media, has covered pretty much all of these teams with the exception of Guyer and Wylie for years, so we’re going to do a Q&A each week about Guyer’s upcoming game.

This week, of course, it’s the battle of the Wildcats. Guyer and Plano have met once before in a bi-district playoff game in 2014. Guyer won that one easily, but Plano has a new defensive look and appears to be bound for another playoff season.

Without further delay, here’s the “conversation” Matt and I had over good ol’ electronic mail, along with a score prediction from each of us.

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AP poll sweetens Ryan-Denton matchup

Denton Ryan senior wide receiver Jimmy Love (13) tries to evade tackles from Wylie East senior defensive back Corey Gentle (4) and junior linebacker Justin Smith (12), Thursday, September 8, 2016, in Wylie, Texas.  Jeff Woo/DRC

Denton Ryan senior wide receiver Jimmy Love (13) tries to evade tackles from Wylie East senior defensive back Corey Gentle (4) and junior linebacker Justin Smith (12), Thursday, September 8, 2016, in Wylie, Texas. Jeff Woo/DRC

The new AP poll is out, a little bit later than usual, and there isn’t much change to speak of in terms of our area teams.

Argyle, which drove all the way to Abilene for a much-hyped game with Wylie on Friday only to have it canceled due to lightning, remained strong at No. 2 in the Class 4A poll.

The only movement among area teams was Denton moving up a spot to No. 6 in the 5A poll, making Friday’s District 5-5A opener between Denton and Ryan a No. 3 vs. No. 6 matchup.

Here is The Associated Press high school poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records, points based on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, and the team’s ranking in last week’s poll:

Class 6A
School Record Total Points Prv
1. Allen (22) (3-0) 243 1
2. Converse Judson (2) (4-0) 211 3
(tie) DeSoto (1) (3-0) 211 2
4. Lake Travis (3-1) 145 4
5. Euless Trinity (3-0) 142 5
6. Austin Westlake (3-1) 117 6
7. Cedar Hill (2-1) 96 7
8. Cibolo Steele (3-1) 68 8
9. The Woodlands (4-0) 49 10
10. Galena Park North Shore (2-1) 43 9

Others receiving votes: San Angelo Central 30. Round Rock Cedar Ridge 5. Katy 5. Austin Bowie 5. Dickinson 3. Beaumont West Brook 1. Southlake Carroll 1.

Class 5A
School Record Total Points Prv
1. Cedar Park (12) (4-0) 229 1
2. Aledo (5) (3-0) 222 2
3. Denton Ryan (4) (4-0) 206 3
4. Manvel (4) (3-0) 193 4
5. Richmond Foster (4-0) 137 6
6. Denton (4-0) 78 7
7. Lancaster (3-1) 70 8
8. Waxahachie (4-0) 69 10
9. Texarkana Texas (4-0) 64 9
10. Frisco Lone Star (3-1) 46 5

Others receiving votes: College Station 22. Grapevine 15. Lubbock Cooper 9. Dallas Highland Park 5. Port Neches-Groves 4. Dripping Springs 3. Canyon 2. Cleburne 1.

Class 4A
School Record Total Points Prv
1. West Orange-Stark (15) (4-0) 237 1
2. Argyle (6) (3-0) 220 2
3. Carthage (3-0) 186 5
4. Waco La Vega (2) (4-0) 177 4
5. Cuero (1) (4-0) 136 6
6. China Spring (1) (4-0) 130 7
7. Gilmer (3-1) 77 3
8. Henderson (4-0) 69 10
9. Abilene Wylie (2-1) 46 9
10. Geronimo Navarro (4-0) 33 NR

Others receiving votes: Van 19. Celina 12. Liberty Hill 9. Sweetwater 8. El Campo 8. Kennedale 4. Stafford 3. Gladewater 1.

Class 3A
School Record Total Points Prv
1. Brock (19) (4-0) 244 1
2. Newton (5) (4-0) 218 2
3. Franklin (1) (4-0) 200 3
4. Malakoff (3-0) 179 4
5. Sunnyvale (4-0) 136 5
6. Cameron Yoe (3-1) 104 7
7. White Oak (4-0) 88 8
8. Big Sandy Harmony (4-0) 61 9
9. Canadian (2-2) 28 10
10. Crockett (4-0) 26 NR

Others receiving votes: Wall 17. La Marque 16. Grandview 14. Cisco 10. Sonora 10. East Bernard 6. Elysian Fields 4. George West 4. Hallettsville 3. Mineola 3. Rockdale 3. Coleman 1.

Class 2A
School Total Points Prv
1. Refugio (21) (3-0) 246 1
2. Bremond (3) (4-0) 212 2
3. Iraan (1) (4-0) 177 3
4. Albany (4-0) 162 5
5. Mart (4-0) 136 6
6. Tenaha (4-0) 113 7
7. Lovelady (3-0) 83 8
8. Shiner (3-1) 74 9
9. Stratford (2-1) 56 4
10. Wellington (4-0) 48 10

Others receiving votes: Price Carlisle 6. Muenster 5. Goldthwaite 5. Crawford 4. Evadale 1. Christoval 1. Mason 1.

Former Guyer standout inks with Raiders

Oklahoma State's Jimmy Bean speaks to reporters at Cotton Bowl Media Day, Monday, December 30, 2013, in Arlington, TX. David Minton/DRC

Oklahoma State’s Jimmy Bean speaks to reporters at Cotton Bowl Media Day, Monday, December 30, 2013, in Arlington, TX. David Minton/DRC

Jimmy Bean looked like he was a lock to be the first Guyer football player drafted by an NFL team.

The formerly underweight, long and rangy defensive end filled out at Oklahoma State and turned into one of the better defensive ends in the Big 12 before suffering a season-ending knee injury in a game against Texas Tech last season, effectively ending Bean’s collegiate career.

To show what NFL teams thought of Bean, he was still invited to the NFL combine last winter in advance of the draft even though he couldn’t partake in much of the drills, but teams still wanted to get a look at him and most importantly put him through the interview process.

By the time the draft rolled around, it was decided Bean’s knee still wasn’t 100 percent and teams passed on him. On Wednesday, Bean signed a deal to join the practice squad of the Oakland Raiders, putting him on the road to beginning his NFL career.

The 6-5, 264-pound (his measurements at the combine) Bean will now (theoretically) be on the same defensive line as former Ryan standout Mario Edwards Jr., who was drafted in 2015 out of Florida State.