Playoff primer: Let’s try to map out Guyer’s road

Guyer head coach John Walsh argues with referees after the final play of the second quarter against Hebron, Friday, November 13, 2015, at Apogee Stadium in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Guyer head coach John Walsh argues with referees after the final play of the second quarter against Hebron, Friday, November 13, 2015, at Apogee Stadium in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

There are still three games left in the regular season, but barring a complete surprise, we already know Guyer will be the No. 1 seed in the Class 6A Division II bracket out of District 6-6A, meaning the Wildcats would face the 2-seed in the Division II bracket from District 5-6A.

There’s just one problem. While 6-6A is pretty clear-cut, 5-6A is still a complete jumbled mess.

Here are the current standings in District 5-6A, along with enrollment figures for each school. Of course, the top two enrollments from each district’s playoff qualifiers go Division I, while the smaller two go Division II. I’ll also include the remaining schedules for each team.

Southlake Carroll (2,691) — 4-0: TC Nelson, L.D. Bell, Hebron

Hebron (3,454) — 3-1: Trinity, Lewisville, Carroll

Euless Trinity (3,378) — 2-2: Hebron, Flower Mound, FM Marcus

Flower Mound Marcus (3,317) — 2-2: Flower Mound, TC Nelson, Trinity

Flower Mound (3,541) — 2-2: FM Marcus, Trinity, Lewisville

Trophy Club Nelson (2,632) — 2-2: Carroll, FM Marcus, L.D. Bell

Lewisville (4,379) — 1-3: L.D. Bell, Hebron, Flower Mound

Hurst L.D. Bell (2,951) — 0-4: Lewisville, Carroll, TC Nelson

Hebron and Trinity are bolded because if the season ended today, those would be the two Division I representatives, and Guyer would host Flower Mound Marcus in the first round of the playoffs. But as you can tell, there’s still a lot that has to play out in this district.

Now, just for grins, let’s try to play out the rest of the season for all of these teams and project final district records. Since I am in a tight race for top spot in The Dallas Morning News high school pick ‘em this year (Humble brag!), I think you can trust these prognostications.

Southlake Carroll, 7-0

Trinity, 5-2

Hebron, 4-3

FM Marcus, 4-3

Flower Mound, 3-4

TC Nelson, 3-4

Lewisville, 2-5

L.D. Bell, 0-7

So, after all that, it looks like if I’m correct, it will, indeed be Hebron and Trinity that go Division I and leave Guyer to host Marcus in the first round of the playoffs. The one wild card here is if Flower Mound beats Marcus in the Mound Showdown this week, which isn’t only a rivalry game but now is a huge game for playoff implications.

If Flower Mound does beat Marcus and ends up bumping the Marauders out of the playoffs, Flower Mound goes Division I and bumps Trinity down to Division II. If that happens, Trinity would come to C.H. Collins for a first-round playoff game between two of the most physical programs in DFW.

Is it the most likely scenario? No. But is it definitely possible? Yeah, it is.

Basically, I can say with great confidence, Guyer will either be hosting Marcus or Trinity in the first round, and either way it’s going to be a 2-hour game because all three of those teams like to run the ball, and run it often. For a sports writer who deals with deadlines, that is awesome news.

If Guyer moves on past that first-round game, the Wildcats would likely draw Cedar Hill, which is a team that has been on really high highs this year and also hit some really low lows. One thing we do know about Cedar Hill? They have a lot of trouble stopping the run, and we all know that would play heavily into Guyer’s hands. The Longhorns would score points, but they’d have a tough time stopping Noah Cain and Myron Mason.

Third round? You’re most likely looking at a rematch with San Angelo Central, which is a vastly improved team this year from the one that pushed Guyer to the brink last year and could finally put a West Texas team deep into the 6A playoffs for the first time in a good while.

However, there is still a pretty decent chance Central goes Division I out of 2-6A. The last two spots in that district are still very much up for grabs between three teams: Wolfforth Frenship, Amarillo Tascosa and Midland Lee. If Lee gets in, Central goes Division II. If Lee is left on the outside looking in, Central goes Division I.

Get past the Bobcats, and you’re looking at a rematch with DeSoto, which of course, beat Guyer 51-17 in Week 2 behind Guyer’s former quarterback, Shawn Robinson.

We’re getting way ahead of ourselves now, but I hope this helps a little bit. Guyer is a program built for deep playoff runs, which is proven by its playoff history of eight straight years of making the playoffs with two second-round exits and the other six going at least four rounds deep. Pay close attention to that Mound Showdown at Flower Mound on Friday night, it will be huge for Guyer’s playoff scenario.

 

Guyer’s Mwaniki to play in O-D All-American Bowl

Guyer defensive back Thabo Mwaniki (1) comes up with an interception on the final play of the game to secure the ten paint victory for Guyer 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)

Guyer defensive back Thabo Mwaniki (1) comes up with an interception on the final play of the game to secure the ten paint victory for Guyer 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)

For the second time in a few days, an area standout has committed to play in the O-D All-American Bowl, as Guyer standout Thabo Mwaniki confirmed Thursday afternoon he was invited and accepted the invite to play in the game in Atlanta at the end of the year. Lake Dallas cornerback Kobe Boyce committed to play in the game earlier this week.

The Oklahoma State commit is having a big year for Guyer at both wide receiver and his main position as one of Guyer’s two FBS pledges at safety. NFL superstars such as Carolina quarterback Cam Newton and Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant are two of the more notable alumni of the game.

The game events will be in Atlanta from Dec. 26-31 at the same time the Peach Bowl is in town.

Mwaniki committed to Oklahoma State this summer, choosing the Cowboys over 11 other offers. He missed Guyer’s season opener but in five games has posted 35 tackles with five pass breakups and an interception.  He’s also Guyer’s second-leading receiver with nine catches for 123 yards.

What you need to know: Wichita Falls

Braswell defensive back Caleb Richardson (7) is surrounded by Frisco Independence tacklers during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC Braswell defensive back Caleb Richardson (7) is surrounded by Frisco Independence tacklers during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC

Braswell defensive back Caleb Richardson (7) is surrounded by Frisco Independence tacklers during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC

It’s been three days short of a year since Wichita Falls tasted victory. Their last win was October 16, 2015, a 17-10 victory over Saginaw. The Coyotes are looking to break their 10-game losing streak, while Braswell hopes it can make it 11 consecutive Coyote losses.

We’ll have an advance in tomorrow’s paper, but for now, here are a few thoughts.

The Game: Braswell (0-6, 0-3) at Wichita Falls (0-7, 0-3), Friday, 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

What happened last week: Without a healthy quarterback, Braswell was one dimensional running the ball and only passed twice in a 42-7 loss to Sherman. The Bengals’ lone score came off an impressive 95-yard kickoff returned for a touchdown by defensive back Quinton Draine. Wichita Falls lost to Denton 36-14, but displayed solid defense when it forced the Broncos to two field goals.

What to expect: The Bengals will receive one of their best chances to win a game in their inaugural year, but it won’t be handed to them. Although Braswell is eager to get its first ever win, the Coyotes are desperate to record a win in a dismal 2016 season. The Coyotes do not have a healthy quarterback who can move the sticks very well, so expect running back Stephen Gaines to be in the wildcat formation getting 30-plus touches. With that, you’d expect the Bengals’ defense to stop a one-dimensional Coyote team, but they have yet to stop an opponent’s ground attack all year.

Final Say: Did you pay attention to that last sentence? The Bengals — no matter how one-dimensional an opponent is — have yet to stop a team’s rushing attack. The Braswell defense will be able to stop a ground game when it has an offseason in the weight room under its belt.

What you need to know: Allen

Plano West Wolves Da' Vonte Carline (1) get tackled by Allen Eagles Miss Tupou (31) during the high school football game between Plano West High School and Allen High School at Eagle Stadium on Sept. 30, 2016 in Allen, Texas. (Ting Shen/The Dallas Morning News)

Plano West Wolves Da’ Vonte Carline (1) get tackled by Allen Eagles Misi Tupou (31) during the high school football game between Plano West High School and Allen High School at Eagle Stadium on Sept. 30, 2016 in Allen, Texas. (Ting Shen/The Dallas Morning News)

Well, folks, here it is. We, the media, have had this game circled on the calendar for quite some time. Coaches and players talk about taking the year game by game and not looking ahead, but you have to think 17-year-old kids might break that rule. Now, they can finally think about it, because it’s here.

It’s No. 1 Allen, which hasn’t lost a regular-season game since 2012 and has never lost a game in the confines of its $60 million #txhsfb palace, vs. one-loss Guyer, which features the DFW area’s top rushing attack and, until I’m proven otherwise, has to be the top running back tandem in Texas.

It’s going to be a fun game, so let’s get to the goods…

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Allen’s coach dishes on Guyer

Allen High School head coach Terry Gambill takes off his head set during the first half as Plano Senior High School hosted Allen High School at John Clark Field in Plano  on Friday evening, October 7, 2016.  (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Allen High School head coach Terry Gambill takes off his head set during the first half as Plano Senior High School hosted Allen High School at John Clark Field in Plano on Friday evening, October 7, 2016. (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Terry Gambill is in his first year at Allen after replacing the legendary Tom Westerburg, but Gambill isn’t new to Allen. The former Waco Midway coach was an assistant at Allen before heading to Midway and came home again to replace Westerburg atop the machine that is Allen football.

The Eagles, the state’s top-ranked team, hosts Guyer on Friday, and Gambill gave his thoughts on the Wildcats. So, enjoy!

On what you notice on film with Guyer:

“They’ll show you a lot of formations from their offense. They have two great running backs who are extremely talented and they’ll present us a challenge. They’re just a really good, fundamentally-sound offense unit.”

How much of a weapon has Guyer’s play-action passing game become:

“We’ve got to play extremely disciplined on defense. We’ll have our work cut out for us.”

On whether anything specific jumps out on Guyer’s improved play on defense:

“Defensively, they run the 4-2-5 and they’re really sound there as well. From a fundamental standpoint, you can tell they’re well-coached and that coach Walsh and his staff do a great job.”

On whether seeing a heavy dose of running teams aids preparation for Guyer:

“I think we have to play well on Friday. Every game is different. No matter how well we’ve played in the past, we’ll have to be even better on Friday to be successful.”

What it will take for Allen to be successful:

“For us to be successful, we need to take care of the football, get lined up right defensively and tackle well. We need to create turnovers and play extremely well in the kicking game.”

 

Q&A time! Allen Eagles edition

Plano Senior High School middle linebacker Cody Crist (27) leads a tackle on Allen High School quarterback Mitchell Jonke (2) during the first half as Plano Senior High School hosted Allen High School at John Clark Field in Plano  on Friday evening, October 7, 2016.  (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Plano Senior High School middle linebacker Cody Crist (27) leads a tackle on Allen High School quarterback Mitchell Jonke (2) during the first half as Plano Senior High School hosted Allen High School at John Clark Field in Plano on Friday evening, October 7, 2016. (Stewart F. House/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.

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 game everyone is waiting for in Guyer and Allen, which will meet for the third straight season but for the first time as district rivals.

Without further delay, here’s the “conversation” sports editor Matt Welch, who covers Allen and Plano 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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Lake Dallas star to play in O-D All-American Bowl

Lake Dallas senior defensive back Kobe Boyce (3) evades a tackle from Centennial senior linebacker Steven Sacarello (33), Friday, September 2, 2016, in Corinth, Texas.  Jeff Woo/DRC

Lake Dallas senior defensive back Kobe Boyce (3) evades a tackle from Centennial senior linebacker Steven Sacarello (33), Friday, September 2, 2016, in Corinth, Texas. Jeff Woo/DRC

Lake Dallas star cornerback Kobe Boyce added a nice honor to his resume on Tuesday evening when he committed to play in the O-D All-American Bowl.

The Texas commit will take part in the showcase, which features alumni such as Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.

The festivities will be held in Atlanta from Dec. 26-31, and will culminate with the game.

Boyce burst onto the scene last year when he was shined in several camps and ended up committing to Texas, choosing the Longhorns over 17 other offers.

In six games, Boyce has 18 tackles, with two tackles behind the line of scrimmage to go with two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal. He also returned a punt for a touchdown and has three catches for 106 yards and a score in limited offensive duty.

 

Guyer’s Cain gets coveted LSU offer

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)

Guyer sophomore Noah Cain already has more than his fair share of big-time college offers, but on Monday evening he got the one he’s really been waiting for.

Cain, who had 11 offers from some of the most high profile programs in the country, picked up a 12th from the LSU Tigers, his head coach John Walsh confirmed Monday night.

Cain, a 5-11, 202-pound tailback, is the fourth-leading rusher among Class 6A backs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but his yardage total of 941 has come on far fewer carries than any of the other area backs with just 98 carries through six games. He has 12 rushing touchdowns.

Cain grew up in Baton Rouge and has long expressed an affinity for the Tigers, and you have to wonder if an LSU offer might just be the gold standard for him. I don’t think he’ll be committing any time soon with his sophomore season just about halfway over, but everyone else might be playing catching up Cain now.

AP Poll: Ryan, Guyer fall and Argyle holds steady

Ryan head coach Dave Henigan on the sideline against Justin Northwest, Thursday, October 29, 2015, at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Ryan head coach Dave Henigan on the sideline against Justin Northwest, Thursday, October 29, 2015, at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Another AP poll is out, and after a few weeks of little to no movement, we have some this week. And there’s some head-scratching to be done when looking at it.

Most notably, unbeaten Ryan fell a spot to No. 4 in the Class 5A poll after being passed up by Manvel. Not to take anything away from Manvel, which just might have the most impressive resume in the state in 5A, but you have to think Ryan dropped because of an off-week.

In 6A, Guyer remained in the “other receiving votes” but lost one vote, probably to TROPHY CLUB NELSON, which has one win on the season. Granted, that one win came Friday night over Euless Trinity, but c’mon.

Anyway, here’s the latest poll. Drumroll please….

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Weekend recap: Little bit of everything

Guyer senior linebacker Gio Williams (8) tackles McKinney junior running back Matthew Gadek (9) for no gain on fourth-and-1, Friday, October 7, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Guyer senior linebacker Gio Williams (8) tackles McKinney junior running back Matthew Gadek (9) for no gain on fourth-and-1, Friday, October 7, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

This week’s game in the area featured blowouts, games interrupted by Mother Nature and overtime thrillers between top-notch teams. It gave us a true sample of everything that is great about high school football, and my compadre Steve and I are here to recap the weekend that was Denton-area high school football.

McKinney at Guyer

AB: For the second straight week, Guyer allowed points in the first minutes of a game. For the second straight week, that was all she wrote for the opposing offense. Are Plano East and McKinney world beaters? No, but they both had offenses averaging better than 30 points per game entering their game against Guyer, and the Wildcats dominated. At this point, it’s basically a lock the Wildcats will dominate with their rushing attack, and if their defense keeps doing this, look out. This week will be a stiff test and good barometer as Guyer travels to No. 1 Allen. Check my Twitter (@aboedeker) if you want to see John Walsh’s thoughts on playing the state’s No. 1 team. This is going to be a good one.

SG: Guyer has put up some impressive offensive numbers courtesy of some amazing players on that side of the ball over the years, but the program has always had a suffocating defense. For the second straight week, the Wildcats dominated a District 6-6A opponent thanks to that unit. I’m not shocked, but color me impressed. Head coach John Walsh feels incredibly confident in this group, which could be the catalyst to lead Guyer deep into the playoffs. Not to be outdone, that running game continues to churn out yards. Teams know what’s coming. They can’t stop it.

Denton at Wichita Falls

AB: If we’re being real, it’s going to be really hard to get a good gauge on Denton until the postseason starts, which can be both a blessing and a hindrance, depending on how a team approaches things. This isn’t your father’s District 5-5A, which was a really competitive district the past two years and prepared the Broncos for the playoffs. Wichita Falls is nothing like what Denton will see in November, and frankly, no team they see from here on out will be. Denton has to just focus on making itself better every week, and I fully believe Kevin Atkinson will drill that into his team.

SG: I saw this one coming. I mean, the District 5-5A schedule is not strong beyond Ryan and Denton. Since losing big to Ryan, the Broncos have reestablished themselves as the next-best team in this district. Did I mention the Denton defense forced five turnovers against Old High? Colt Atkinson again turned in solid numbers, and he’s being made to look even better with guys like Chris Houston and running back Caleb Osuofa.

Braswell at Sherman

AB: Things aren’t getting any easier or better for Braswell. The Bengals struggled to move the ball once again — this time against an average Sherman team. The Bengals have suffered tons of bad breaks on the injury front, with every quarterback they roll out there going down to injury, it seems. You have to feel for the Bengals’ players, but the good thing is they’re all underclassmen and can work their tails off for a year after this inaugural season is over.

SG:  A loooooong inaugural season for Braswell continues. Head coach Cody Moore said last week that he wanted to establish the running game against Braswell, mainly for two reasons: 1. Sherman has not done a great job stopping the run so far this season, and 2. The Bengals don’t have a quarterback thanks to a slew of injuries. The plan didn’t work. Braswell not only couldn’t run the ball, but it was held to 75 total yards – all on the ground – in a 42-7 loss.

Argyle at Decatur

AB: Checking on this game from time to time on Twitter, it looked like Argyle was getting its money’s worth from Decatur in both teams’ district opener. With Dane Ledford back in the fold, you have to figure Argyle will hit its stride and begin its journey to another deep playoff run. He had a big game in his return from a fractured wrist, throwing for four touchdowns. Now, we just count down the days until Argyle hoists its most recent district championship trophy…

SG:  I had the privilege of covering this game. I say privilege because it’s always fun watching this Eagles team work. Offensively, Dane Ledford returned from a wrist injury and rolled up nearly 300 yards through the air and four touchdowns. Don Williams rushed for nearly 200 yards and added three total touchdowns (2 rush, 1 pass). Defensively, the Eagles shut down a Decatur offense that definitely has some stars. Overall, solid win for Argyle to start off district play.

Krum at Iowa Park

AB: Since losing to Sanger in Week 2, Krum has made everyone in its way pay dearly for what was a hard-fought, close loss. The Bobcats did it again on Friday night in an epic clash with previously unbeaten Iowa Park, and they did it on the road in a tough environment. Once again, Krum did most of its damage with its pounding rushing attack led by quarterback Brandon Reeves and running back Haeden Knight, as well as its suffocating defense. Krum has established itself as a favorite to make it out of Region I in Class 4A Division II — not bad for a fledgling program.

SG:  Can Brandon Reeves be any more amazing than he already has this season? I mean, seriously … seven touchdowns? With that type of performance against a previously-unbeaten team, it’s shocking this game went three overtimes. Had Reeves not been in Krum’s corner, things would not have turned out the same for the Bobcats. Krum is rolling y’all. It doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon.

Sanger at Wichita Falls Hirschi

AB: This game was played over two days thanks to Mother Nature, and after the delay, Sanger got the better of a game Hirschi squad. Surprise, surprise: The Indians relied heavily upon their ground game behind running backs Dameon Moser and Gavin Brown — so much so they didn’t even need quarterback CJ Jackson to do too much.

SG: This game was interesting in the sense that it was delayed due to weather, and before the delay, Sanger was trailing 28-14. The Indians regrouped in a big way to win 49-41 and did so by leaning on the running back combo of Dameon Moser and Gavin Brown. The duo combined for 342 yards and six scores.