Guyer head coach John Walsh talks to quarterback Jerrod Heard (2) in a game earlier this season against Colleyville Heritage. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)
As if there wasn’t enough anticipation being built up around Friday’s state semifinal game between Guyer and Tyler John Tyler, it seems that both coaches have engaged in some attempts at gamesmanship this week, most notably when it comes to film trade.
In fact, JT head coach Ricklan Holmes (@PokesAce) has taken to Twitter multiple times a day this week to let his followers know that “mind games” won’t faze him, also comparing his team to caged dogs that are going to “Grrrrrrrrr.” The film thing is an interesting story. See if you can follow…
Guyer defensive end Thomas Ferguson (17) celebrates with linebacker Terence Belton (24) after sacking the Birdville quarterback on Saturday at Dragon Stadium in Southlake. This week, the Guyer defense must prepare for one of the fastest offensive units its seen all year. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)
There are several key matchups and aspects of Friday’s state semifinal game between Guyer (12-2) and Tyler John Tyler (13-1), but the biggest, most broad one has to be the contrast of the teams’ style of play.
Guyer, as always, is huge up front on the offensive line, averaging well over 260 pounds per guy on the offensive line. John Tyler, as typical for an East Texas team, is speedy all over the field, particularly on offense. They’re a passing offense but QB Greg Ward basically just throws 5-10 yard passes and lets his receivers break tackles and go to the house.
Message board talk suggests Guyer is in trouble because of the way the Wildcats played against Cedar Hill in the season opener and because John Tyler beat Guyer, 42-7, in a 7-on-7 game this summer.
Guyer junior quarterback Jerrod Heard (2) runs into the endzone for a touchdown while escaping a tackle from Aledo linebacker Aaron Hinsley, Friday, November 23, 2012, at Northwest I.S.D. Stadium. (MIKE MEZEUL II/SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR )
I’m going to preface this post by saying this: Birdville is 13-0, and that can’t be taken away from the Hawks. The team can only play who’s on its schedule and when you’re in a mega Fort Worth district you only get a limited number of nondistrict games to choose from.
With that said, wow. Birdville has played what has to be the softest schedule of any team remaining the playoffs.
Sure, Guyer is 11-2, not 13-0. But the Wildcats’ two losses came to Class 5A powers in the first two weeks of the season when Guyer was breaking in nine new defensive starters and gave up 108 points to Cedar Hill (still alive in the 5A Division II playoffs) and Colleyville Heritage.
So let’s look at a breakdown of who the teams have played.
Oklahoma State receiver Josh Stewart, right, dives in for a touchdown against West Virginia on Nov. 10, in Stillwater, Okla. Stewart, a former Guyer standout, scored three touchdowns in the Cowboys' 55-34 win. (Brody Schmidt/Associated Press)
Things are going pretty for Guyer High School football right now, as the Wildcats are in the Class 4A Division I regional final on Saturday and two of the program’s more successful alumni were honored on Big 12 all-conference teams on Wednesday.
Oklahoma State sophomore Josh Stewart was named to the first team of the Associated Press Big 12 team after finishing in the top-10 nationally in receptions (96) and top-20 nationally in receiving yards with 1,154 while adding seven touchdown receptions during the regular season.
His former, and current teammate J.W. Walsh was named the Big 12′s Offensive Freshman of the Year (not a raunchy joke-telling freshman) on the Big 12 coaches’ team after leading the conference in pass efficiency, throwing for 11 touchdowns and three interceptions while finishing third on the team in rushing and scoring seven times on the ground in nine games this season.
Walsh took over for an injured Wes Lunt against Louisiana-Lafayette and lit up the Cajuns before making three straight starts. His starting run came to an end when he broke his leg against Iowa State but still managed to throw for 400 yards and finish the game.
Local fans will be able to see Stewart and Walsh in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, which will be played at the Cotton Bowl against Purdue on New Year’s Day at 11 a.m.
Blair O'Brien, a four-year starting setter for Argyle, ended her high school career a couple of weeks ago and now has found herself in the national high school volleyball record books for assists in a match (63) and career assists (4,916).and (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)
Just got an e-mail from Argyle head volleyball coach Clark Oberle, who just so happens to be the only head volleyball coach Argyle has ever known.
And in his 13 seasons atop the Argyle program, it’s a pretty safe bet he’s never coached anyone like Blair O’Brien.
The senior setter, who ended her career a couple of weeks ago at the Class 3A state tournament with a semifinal loss to eventual state champion Abilene Wylie, was at her best in her fourth and final season.
Anyway, Oberle’s e-mail alerted me to a pretty big deal. O’Brien etched her name into the national high school volleyball record books this season as her 63 assists in the semifinal loss to Abilene Wylie puts her in a tie for ninth all-time nationally for assists in a match. And that’s not even the most impressive part. No, that’s her career assist total of 4,916, which puts her fourth all-time in national history and at the top of the list in Texas history.
So how about a deafening round of applause for O’Brien? #canthearselfthink Well done.
Guyer wide receiver Quint Gardener (5) celebrates with teammates as he hugged by quarterback J.W. Walsh after catching the game-winning touchdown in the final 17 seconds of the Class 5A Division II state semifinal game between Guyer and Longview at SMU's Ford Stadium in Dallas on Dec. 11, 2010. Denton Guyer defeated Longview 28-27. (Brendan Sullivan/The Dallas Morning News)
As Guyer prepares to face Amarillo in a Class 4A Division I Region I semifinal (say that three times fast), the Wildcats can’t continue to ride high on the momentum they created for themselves last weekend by knocking off three-time defending 4A Division II state champion Aledo and ending the Bearcats’ 19-game playoff win streak.
But since I don’t have to prepare for Amarillo, I can.
No one expected Guyer to manhandle Aledo like it did. Though the final score only showed a 12-point difference, the feel of the game was that of a four- or five-touchdown game. It was supposed to be a game that could’ve been for the state championship but one of those games that would be unfortunate to have a loser, especially that early in the playoffs. But after Friday’s game, there was no feeling sorry for Aledo and second-guessing the way the bracket set up. Guyer was hands down the better team.
What will that win do for Guyer’s confidence moving forward, with four more wins needed to claim a 4A Division I state championship? Just ask Guyer head coach John Walsh, who’s seen these types of games before.
“I think these kind of games propel you to bigger things,” Walsh said after the win on Friday. “I think in those three years we made deep runs [2008-2010] we always had to beat a Cedar Hill or a Flower Mound Marcus. There’s always someone we had to beat, and those games just give you great momentum. I’m really proud of how our coaches and our whole program handled it today.”
So I thought I’d look back on those three seasons when Guyer went to two 4A state semifinals and one 5A state title game and see where the marquee, “season-defining” wins came.
Oklahoma State wide receiver Josh Stewart (5), a former Guyer standout, scores a touchdown against the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. (Richard Rowe/US PRESSWIRE)
As we’ve discussed many times on our blog and in the pages of the Denton Record-Chronicle over the years, Josh Stewart is quite the story.
The former Guyer standout started as a sophomore cornerback who wasn’t an inch above 5-5 and probably 130 pounds, soaking wet, and ended up being a 5-10, 180-pound big-time FBS recruit who committed to Texas A&M then switched his commitment to go play offense at Oklahoma State.
Along the way, there was much more to his story. Whether it be the loss of both of his parents at a young age, or being driven from his home by Hurricane Katrina, or to a lesser extent, just overcoming his small stature early in his high school career, Stewart has made quite the name for himself.
Now, as a sophomore at Oklahoma State, he’s one of the best receivers in the Big 12, and it’s no surprise.
Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh, a former Guyer standout, struggles across the goal line while being tackled by Iowa State linebacker Jake Knot, right, during a football game on Saturday in Stillwater, Okla. Walsh led Oklahoma State to a 31-10 victory over Iowa State, despite playing most of the game with a fractured knee. (Brody Schmidt/Associated Press)
By now, we have all heard different reports on the knee injury suffered by former Guyer and current Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh on Saturday.
In that game, the redshirt freshman threw for 415 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for another, against one of the Big 12′s top defensive units in Iowa State in a 31-10 win in Stillwater. He had that game with an extremely bare cupboard of receivers at his disposal, as the Cowboys have been devastated by injuries offensively recently, including one of their best wideouts, Tracy Moore.
Walsh improved to 2-1 as a starter, if you don’t count his offensive workshop he put on against Louisiana-Lafayette after starter Wes Lunt was injured six plays into the game.
During his weekly teleconference with local media, OSU head coach Mike Gundy waited about five minutes before dropping the bombshell that Walsh would miss the season, causing some on the call to chuckle and think Gundy was joking with them. He wasn’t.
On Sunday night, after hearing the news, I called J.W.’s father, and Guyer head coach John Walsh, who said the injury was more of the 3-5 week category, with five weeks being the absolute worst-case scenario. He had just gotten off the phone with the orthopedic doctor when he told me that.
Former Guyer QB J.W. Walsh runs for a first down as Lake Dallas defensive lineman Josh Tauaefa (56) gives chase in the last game between Guyer and Lake Dallas, which was played on Oct. 16, 2009 in Lake Dallas. Guyer won that game, 28-21.(John F. Rhodes/The Dallas Morning News)
It’s been three years since we’ve seen an edition what yours truly once dubbed the “Swisher Showdown”. Speaking of, did anyone ever make T-shirts off that? If so, I expect a check in the mail.
Of course, I’m talking about the Guyer-Lake Dallas showdown scheduled for Friday at Falcon Stadium, which was the site of the last showdown in 2009, when J.W. Walsh and Guyer outlasted James Franklin and Lake Dallas, 28-21 as both teams were ranked in the AP Top 10 entering the week.
In that game, Walsh threw for a TD and rushed for three more, while Franklin was a statistical monster with 188 rushing yards and threw two TD passes.
Of course, none of the players remain on either team from that game, but the intensity of the rivalry is still there — as evidenced by Twitter trash talk and the fact that these kids grew up mere miles from each other as the schools sit just more than 3 miles apart.
Check this out …
Yahoo.com was kind enough to link my game story on their post about the most insane play I’ve seen in my seven years of covering high school football. In case you missed it last week in the Guyer-Byron Nelson game, there’s video in the blog post of the backward punt that resulted in a safety for Guyer, thanks to the wind.
Anyway, check it out here.