Robinson holds firm as Scout’s No. 1 QB

 

Denton Guyer High School quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) throws a pass as he is pressured by San Angelo Central High School defensive tackle Jordan Schellhase (41) during the second quarter as Denton Guyer High School hosted San Angelo Central High School at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Friday, November 27, 2015.  (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Denton Guyer High School quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) throws a pass as he is pressured by San Angelo Central High School defensive tackle Jordan Schellhase (41) during the second quarter as Denton Guyer High School hosted San Angelo Central High School at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Friday, November 27, 2015. (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Depending on which recruiting service you look at, and when you do it, there’s been a pretty consistent game of tug of war between Guyer junior quarterback Shawn Robinson and fellow junior signal caller Tate Martell from famed Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas.

My boy Greg Powers of Scout.com just tweeted out the newest set of Scout rankings for the 2017 class, and Robinson sits atop the quarterback perch and checks in at No. 11 in the Scout 300 — the top 300 players in the country. Martell is No. 13 overall, and both players earned the coveted five-star ranking from Scout.

Here’s what Scout’s Brian Dohn wrote about Robinson, who is coming off a bit of a “sophomore slump” his junior season in his second season at Guyer after playing his freshman season at Saginaw Chisholm Trail.

Shawn Robinson, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder from Denton (Texas) Guyer, is verbally committed to TCU. He picked the hometown Horned Frogs over offers from a host of national names and fits well in the Sonny Cumbie / Doug Meachem offense.

Powers wrote the following as a more in-depth look at what the TCU pledge brings to the table.

Robinson has all of the tools that you are looking for in a young quarterback prospect. Physically and mentally he is prepared for the next level. Had a tough time picking the area of improvement for his profile. Has the true ability to beat you with his arm or his legs any snap. He works well outside the pocket extending plays and will find receivers before just taking off when things break down, but when he does run he is a threat to score.

These accolades are nothing new for Robinson, who helped lead Guyer to the regional final in Class 6A Division II this past season despite an up-and-down season. When it was showtime in the playoffs, however, Robinson was at his best.

Guyer football’s stunning signing day void

Former Guyer linebacker Mike Carrillo will sign with Trinity Valley CC after a standout career at Guyer. He's part of a signing class that includes no FBS players but still put together the second-best playoff run in the state's largest classification in program history.

Former Guyer linebacker Mike Carrillo will sign with Trinity Valley CC after a standout career at Guyer. He’s part of a signing class that includes no FBS players but still put together the second-best playoff run in the state’s largest classification in program history.

There are two ways you could look at Guyer’s lack of high-profile college football signees as National Signing Day rolls around on Wednesday.

For the first time since 2007, when Guyer went 1-9, the Wildcats will be without a player signing with a Football Bowl Subdivision program this year. That year, former quarterback Jake Witt signed with FCS program Nicholls State but went on to transfer to Florida International, an FBS school. Heck, even in 2006, the Wildcats had one player go on to an FBS program when tight end Mark Weber went to Air Force and that was from an 0-10 Guyer team in its first year of existence.

In all, Guyer has had 45 players sign Div. I scholarships in its 10 years of varsity football, and 36 of those 45 have been the FBS variety.

But this year, after a 10-4 season that saw Guyer advance to the regional final in Class 6A, the Wildcats will have no players sign with an FBS program, or even an FCS program for that matter. So what’s that mean? Well, it depends on how you look at it.

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The day after: Thoughts on the new 6-6A

The UIL announced the new districts for its realignment at the Birdville Fine Arts Complex in North Richland Hills on Monday, February 1, 2016. (David Woo/The Dallas Morning News)

The UIL announced the new districts for its realignment at the Birdville Fine Arts Complex in North Richland Hills on Monday, February 1, 2016. (David Woo/The Dallas Morning News)

In Sunday’s paper, I wrote about some possible scenarios for Guyer in the newest district alignment following Monday’s biennial UIL realignment. The most logical of the bunch seemed to be a pairing that featured the four schools from Lewisville ISD (all in Denton County) along with old district foes Trophy Club Nelson, Coppell and Southlake Carroll.

It seemed to be a great idea and the most logical way to put Guyer alone in 6A in terms of Denton ISD schools. But as we all know, logic doesn’t always make the cut when it comes to realignment, and the result for Guyer was shocking to pretty much everyone.

Instead, Guyer ended up in the new District 6-6A, not with the Lewisville ISD schools, Nelson and Carroll, but instead with Allen, three Plano schools, two McKinney schools and Wylie??? That means Guyer’s closest trip for a district game will be a 26.6-mile trip through rush hour traffic to Plano West. (Flower Mound Marcus, for instance, would’ve been 7.2 miles). Continue reading

Argyle’s Gray expecting to be back soon

Argyle forward Vivian Gray (12) drives under pressure from Waco La Vega guard Kobi Gill (2) during their UIL Class 4A state semifinal girls basketball game on Friday, March 6, 2015 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)

Argyle forward Vivian Gray (12) drives under pressure from Waco La Vega guard Kobi Gill (2) during their UIL Class 4A state semifinal girls basketball game on Friday, March 6, 2015 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)

There isn’t a better girls basketball player in our area than Argyle star Vivian Gray.

The 6-1 forward is listed as the No. 14 player in the Class of 2017 by ESPN’s HoopGurlz national rankings and led the Lady Eagles to the Class 4A state championship a year ago after falling just short as a freshman.

On Tuesday night, the Lady Eagles scored a big 64-31 victory over Gainesville without Gray in the lineup, as she was sitting out with a muscle strain around her hip flexor. It was the first game she’s missed in her three seasons of high school basketball, and she hopes to end her streak of not playing at that one game.

Gray said on Thursday she was hurting last Friday when top-ranked Argyle routed the state’s fifth-ranked team from Sanger. In that game, Gray scored 17 points, tying her for the game high, including a couple of unguardable turnaround jumpers on the baseline that showed why she’s thought of so highly.

It was obviously worse on Tuesday night, but she said she’s nearing a return and deemed herself questionable to play in Friday’s game against Krum but said she expects to return no later than next week when Argyle plays Aubrey on Tuesday and clashes with Celina on Friday.

Weekend recap: End of the road

Allen quarterback Mitchell Jonke (2) dives for a touchdown as Ryan linebacker Nick Watts tries for the stop in the first quarter during the Allen High School Eagles vs. the Denton Ryan High School Raiders playoff football game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Saturday, December 5, 2015. (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)

Allen quarterback Mitchell Jonke (2) dives for a touchdown as Ryan linebacker Nick Watts tries for the stop in the first quarter during the Allen High School Eagles vs. the Denton Ryan High School Raiders playoff football game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Saturday, December 5, 2015. (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News)

While Argyle and Lake Dallas lived to see another week and a state semifinal football game, this past weekend marked the end of the road for three other DRC-area teams, as Guyer, Ryan and Krum all lost in the regional final round.

Buckle up, as Steve and I look back on the week that was and look ahead to next week’s games while putting a bow on the season of the departed teams.

Ryan vs Allen

AB: When I was on Dave Campbell’s Texas Football podcast on Friday, I was asked what Ryan would have to do to win this game and what kind of chance I thought the Raiders had at pulling the gigantic upset. I proceeded to tell them my line about how I told myself after the Ryan-Guyer game that I was finished picking against Ryan. Then, came this game. Sorry, but I just don’t see anyone beating Allen this year. The fact Ryan made the game somewhat interesting is a testament to the year the Raiders had, and to do that without super-special two-way star Tyreke Davis was really impressive. Another thing from that podcast: It was brought up that we might as well start calling Ryan the 2016 Class 5A Division I state champion, because, y’all, it’s gonna happen. Great season for the Raiders, and I think it’s safe to say their 13-0 start was totally unexpected, and I’ll call Steve a liar if he says otherwise.

SG: I wrote in my game story that Ryan had practically every card in the deck stacked against it heading into this game, but in no way was that to suggest the Raiders didn’t belong there. Many experts refused to give Ryan its due credit this season, and maybe that’s because as reporters we get comfortable seeing certain teams in the mix every year. The thing is, Ryan is one of those teams. Yes, the Raiders were coming off a 5-5 season, but going 13-1 this year is about the standard since 2000. There was every reason to believe Ryan could beat Allen, at least in my opinion. That didn’t happen, but that’s OK. This program is back in the mix, and with a drop to Class 5A next year, will go from being the team no one wanted to pick each week this season to being the odds on favorite. This season only proved that point.

Guyer vs Mansfield

AB: This game got out of hand, but not before Guyer blew a chance to possibly get the ball rolling the other way when they shot themselves in the foot repeatedly in the first quarter. Truthfully, Guyer had a great chance to have a three-score lead in the first quarter, as its defense was bottling up Mansfield’s offense and getting turnovers of its own. Only problem was, Guyer had three first-quarter fumbles and five turnovers in the game, and oh, another thing, Mansfield was really, really good. Like John Walsh said after the game, those fumbles made the game out of hand, but I’m not exactly positive Guyer would’ve won that game even without the fumbles. It definitely would’ve been a lot closer though. A lot happened to Guyer this year — injuries, identity shift, and other stuff — and for the Wildcats to find themselves in Round 4 with a chance at the state semis speaks volumes about what they were able to do this season.

SG: I was a little surprised by this outcome. This round of playoffs is always tough to predict because every team that has made it this far is extremely talented. Mansfield is a perfect example, but a Guyer win was not out of the question. Had Guyer lost by one or two touchdowns, I wouldn’t have batted an eye, but to lose 44-7? I remember reading my buddy Adam on Twitter that Guyer’s opening touchdown drive looked incredibly easy. But they didn’t score again and were held to a paltry 190 yards. Guyer hasn’t lost by that wide a margin, or been beaten that soundly, since it was a fledgling program 9-10 years ago. It’s far from a death sentence, and the Wildcats have plenty to be proud of in a season where – like Ryan – many experts weren’t giving them enough credit.

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What you need to know: Mansfield

Arlington Lamar junior safety Tre'shun Miller (26) is unable to stop Mansfield junior running back Kennedy Brooks (5) from scoring a touchdown during the second half of a high school football playoff game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Saturday, November 28, 2015. Mansfield won 34-29. (Brandon Wade/Special Contributor)

Arlington Lamar junior safety Tre’shun Miller (26) is unable to stop Mansfield junior running back Kennedy Brooks (5) from scoring a touchdown during the second half of a high school football playoff game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Saturday, November 28, 2015. Mansfield won 34-29. (Brandon Wade/Special Contributor)

It’s Game 14 now, and everyone left in the playoffs is a big boy. Guyer is experienced at deep runs, having been to the fourth round five times in school history, and winning all five of them. Mansfield is playing in December for the first time in school history, but don’t think that means they aren’t supposed to be here.

The Game: Mansfield (11-2) vs. Guyer (10-3), Saturday, 2 p.m., at Southlake’s Dragon Stadium

Series record: The teams have one previous meeting, in the 2011 area round. Mansfield ran away late with that game while Guyer struggled offensively thanks to seven sophomore starters, including Jerrod Heard.

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Weekend recap: Winner-winner, chicken dinner

Denton Guyer High School cornerback Dio Williams (38) celebrates an interception in the end zone to help secure the win in front of San Angelo Central High School wide receiver Cal Vincent (7) during the fourth quarter as Denton Guyer High School hosted San Angelo Central High School at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Friday, November 27, 2015.  (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Denton Guyer High School cornerback Dio Williams (38) celebrates an interception in the end zone to help secure the win in front of San Angelo Central High School wide receiver Cal Vincent (7) during the fourth quarter as Denton Guyer High School hosted San Angelo Central High School at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Friday, November 27, 2015. (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Can you believe it? Every team in our coverage area playing in the third round won this week (with one still to play). Can’t say I saw that one coming (looking at you, Krum!). I think it’s safe to say this is the most teams we’ve ever had playing in the fourth round of the playoffs, and it’s come in a year we expected to be a down year for the area as a whole when the season began.

Without further delay, let Steve and I take you on a trip down memory lane to just a couple of days ago with our weekly recap.

Guyer vs San Angelo Central

AB: For a quarter, it looked like Guyer would once again literally run away with another playoff victory. Myron Mason had two touchdown runs early, including a long one, to give the Wildcats a pretty quick 14-0 lead over the seemingly overmatched Bobcats from West Texas. Then, Guyer allowed a kickoff return TD, and it was game on. Shawn Robinson wasn’t himself, and even got benched for a series in the third quarter, but to his credit he came back in and busted his one big run of the day — an 80-yarder —to set up a remarkable Hail Mary from 3 yards out (if that’s possible) to freshman wide receiver De’Vion Harmon to take the lead for good. Guyer pushed its lead to two scores in the closing minutes with a 75-yard score from Mason but Central rallied and had the ball throwing to the end zone to tie it as time expired. It was a gutty win for Guyer, whose offense wasn’t at full tilt, but the Wildcats got a great performance from its defense, led by PJ Broussard, Michael Carrillo and Dio Williams, against a really potent Central passing attack. Now, it’s on to the fourth round, a round in which Guyer is 5-0 all-time.

SG: Guyer found itself in a dogfight against San Angelo, saw its starting quarterback benched for a short period in the second half, and still found a way to come out with some late-game heroics in a 35-27 win. I wasn’t at this game so I’m not going to speculate on the reasons why Shawn Robinson was pulled in favor of Luke Stillwell. But whatever the reason may be, I expect Walsh and Robinson to figure it out by the time this Saturday’s game against Mansfield comes around. The Wildcats are still alive to fight another day, but Robinson and his ability to do the near impossible are a key factor in whether or not Guyer moves on to the state semifinals. This isn’t the time to let inner strife get in the way.

Ryan vs Amarillo Tascosa, Today

AB: My buddy Steve had to play the waiting game, and what seemed like a logical conclusion the whole time was finally reached officially on Saturday morning. Now, the Raiders finally get to hit the field in Amarillo on Monday afternoon against a 10-2 Amarillo Tascosa team with its throwback offense, similar to the one run by Amarillo against Guyer in 2013. Those old-school West Texas squads aren’t as athletic as Guyer or Ryan, so they try to play keep-away and keep their team in games, and that’s what Tascosa will do today. Ultimately, I think Ryan will be too much for Tascosa, they’ll improve to 13-0 on the season and have a battle of undefeated teams on Saturday against Allen. That’ll be fun.

SG: I’m here in Amarillo and in a few short hours I’ll be covering the third-round Class 6A Division I slugfest between Ryan and Tascosa. It’s hard to tell just how good Tascosa (10-2) really is. The Rebels run a triple option attack, which if you didn’t know, isn’t used often. That will be a challenge for the Raiders’ defense, plus the fact there are no common opponents to compare against. I have to believe Ryan is ready for this showdown, and for the first time in quite some time, I think many of my fellow experts agree. Offensively, Ryan has proved itself time and time again and picked up big wins over Plano East and South Grand Prairie to set up this showdown. Should Ryan win this game, too, it will set up a quick turnaround to face Allen on Saturday. It will be the toughest challenge the Raiders face, but first, you got to knock off Tascosa. Follow me for updates on Twitter (@NewspaperSteve) starting at 3 p.m.

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What you need to know: San Angelo Central

Guyer junior quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) throws against Southlake Carroll, Friday, November 20, 2015, at Eagle Stadium in Allen, TX. David Minton/DRC

Guyer junior quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) throws against Southlake Carroll, Friday, November 20, 2015, at Eagle Stadium in Allen, TX. David Minton/DRC

Well, we already got into the Guyer-San Angelo Central prep on Wednesday with a pretty sweet Q&A with former Central beat writer Quinton Martinez. But we can’t break tradition now, so here’s our weekly standard breaking down what you need to know about Guyer’s upcoming opponent.

It’s Game 13 now, so there are no more pushovers, especially not in Class 6A, and Central is no joke. The Bobcats are 11-1 with their one loss coming to Abilene in a game that saw the Eagles run all over Central. Of course, Guyer is coming off a game that saw it run for 544 yards against the Southlake Carroll Dragons. It’s going to be a fun chess match of a game between two potent offenses with different identities, so let’s get to it.

The Game: San Angelo Central (11-1) vs. Guyer (9-3), Friday, 2 p.m., at AT&T Stadium

Series record: The teams have never met. It almost happened last year, but Guyer was beaten by the Dragons in the area round before Carroll decimated the Bobcats’ defense. For what it’s worth (which is nothing), Guyer head coach John Walsh and a lot of his staff members are 6-0 all-time against the Bobcats from their days with Brownwood.

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Know your enemy: San Angelo Central

 

Patrick Dove/Standard-Times Central High School's Brennen Wooten leaps over Permian defenders and into the end zone for a touchdown Friday night to extend their lead during a District 3-6A game at San Angelo Stadium.

Patrick Dove/Standard-Times
Central High School’s Brennen Wooten leaps over Permian defenders and into the end zone for a touchdown Friday night to extend their lead during a District 3-6A game at San Angelo Stadium.

I’m a big fan of questions, and I’m also a big fan of answers. That’s why I enjoy about my colleague Brett Vito’s weekly Q&A with the UNT opponent’s beat writer. So I thought since this week’s Guyer opponent is pretty unfamiliar to the Metroplex, I’d attempt to do the same thing.

There was only one problem, Central’s beat writer at the San Angelo Standard-Times, Quinton Martinez, left to take a job in Corpus Christi recently, and current beat writer Charles Bryce debuted on the job just last week. So, I entrusted the departed Martinez to be my subject, and boy, he provided some really good information.

So, without further delay, here it is, with Martinez’s answers in italics:

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Weekend recap: Upset city

Denton Ryan quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) shows the ball under pressure in the fourth quarter during a high school football class 6A division I Region I area playoff round game between Denton Ryan and South Grand Prairie at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Friday November 20, 2015. Denton Ryan beat South Grand Prairie 43-35. (Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News)

Denton Ryan quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) shows the ball under pressure in the fourth quarter during a high school football class 6A division I Region I area playoff round game between Denton Ryan and South Grand Prairie at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Friday November 20, 2015. Denton Ryan beat South Grand Prairie 43-35. (Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News)

I tweeted something that I have to brag about a bit on Friday night, because I think it was a telling tweet. It went something like this: “Remember when Ryan wasn’t very good until they beat Guyer, but it didn’t matter because Guyer wasn’t very good?” Welp, here we are in the regional semifinal and both teams are still alive and coming off perhaps the two most impressive wins in the state over the weekend, particularly Guyer’s curb-stomping of Carroll. Both teams proved a lot in games that were seen as upsets, while Denton ran into the Aledo buzzsaw. Steve and I look back on a great weekend of area playoff games. Enjoy…

Ryan vs South Grand Prairie

AB: The Raiders just keep on winning, and just when I thought their run of success might be coming to an end (I was following along as best I could on the Dallas Morning News’ live stat website), they kicked it into another gear and shocked a South Grand Prairie team that was coming off a defeat of state powerhouse and previously unbeaten Euless Trinity. I picked Ryan to win this game, and I’ll do it again this week against Amarillo Tascosa, because I’ve finally come to the conclusion this is a really good football team. There are a couple of reasons for that — first off, the defense is as advertised, and despite giving up some points the last two weeks has come through when needed, and second, Spencer Sanders, y’all. The sophomore quarterback has been so impressive really since Ryan’s win over Guyer, when he was superb.

SG: Pack your bags for Amarillo, folks. Ryan beat South Grand Prairie last week by forcing four turnovers in a game that, prior to those momentum changers, looked like it could get away from the Raiders. But it didn’t, and that’s something Ryan has done time and time again. At 12-0, I believe Ryan will win over some “experts” who may have previously viewed them as an underdog going into this Saturday’s showdown against Tascosa. Then it’s a date with Allen or Arlington Martin. Let me give credit to linebacker Nick Watts. Not only did he have a fumble recovery in the third quarter against SGP and a clutch interception late in the fourth, but I hear he also forced two fumbles. Rodney Gladney’s 82-yard kickoff return before halftime kept Ryan in it, and Spencer Sanders was as cool as the other side of the pillow with his team needing to overcome a 5-point hole in the final 8:50 of the game.

Guyer vs Southlake Carroll

AB: If Guyer’s playoff win over Hebron last week was one of the most odd, weird games I’ve ever covered. Friday night’s win over the heavily favored Southlake Carroll Dragons was one of the most impressive ones. John Walsh told me before the game they were going to milk the clock and play ball-control offense with their three-headed rushing attack because it was their best chance of pulling off the upset, and I wasn’t sure what to think. Not that I didn’t believe him, but that’s not in Walsh’s quick-strike, score, score, score DNA. But the Wildcats did it to perfection, and it was thing a beauty. Big, big kudos to Shawn Robinson, who has taken some deserved criticism at times this year, but man, he’s hit his playoff switch really over the last four games — Keller Timber Creek, Ryan, Hebron and Carroll. I’ve said all along, Guyer is a dangerous team in the playoffs because IF they figure things out and get right, they can beat anyone, largely because of Robinson and their running game with Myron Mason and Noah Cain, who neared 200 rushing yards himself as a FRESHMAN in Class 6A football. Now, Guyer gets to play my hometown, boyhood team, San Angelo Central. That’s right, I grew up as a kid dreaming of being a Bobcat before moving to DFW in middle school. I don’t know a lot about Central now, other than they can score lots of points and their defense is better against the run than the pass, so Guyer might have to change up its strategy a bit this week and put more on Robinson’s arm. Don’t worry, though, the way he’s playing now, he’s plenty capable of that.

SG: Dragon slayers. I loved the headline from Adam’s game story except that they hadn’t “become” anything. Guyer has longstanding success against Carroll, and it wasn’t long ago that the Wildcats beat the Dragons twice in one season. Many “experts” picked against the Wildcats. I have to admit I figured it would be a tighter game than what happened, but Southlake has shown it is susceptible to giving up huge chunks of yards in the run game. Guyer took advantage to the tune of 544 rushing yards. That was the game plan going in, and they worked it to perfection. Shawn Robinson, Noah Cain and Myron Mason all rushed for at least 104 yards. Robinson tallied 263 yards on the ground on a night where he only needed to throw for 65 yards. Heck of a performance, and now it’s on to the third round – Guyer’s deepest run in the state’s largest classification since making it to the 2010 state final.

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