Denton Guyer boasts a reputation for being one of the best football teams in Texas, pound-for-pound.
Guyer experienced success in the top two classifications over the past five seasons. Guyer advanced to the semifinals in Class 4A in 2008 and 2009, and the Wildcats find themselves back at the same juncture this year.
While joining the 5A ranks for two years, Guyer tasted success as well when it reached the Division II title game in 2010.
The one constant for Guyer: playing a physical brand of football, thanks to a beefy offensive line averaging 266 pounds. The guys in the trenches helped Guyer to average 330 yards rushing per game through the state quarterfinals.
A handful of Division I recruits litter Guyer’s roster, led by Texas quarterback commit Jerrod Heard (6-2, 180, Jr.), TCU offensive line pledge Patrick Morris (6-3, 288, Sr.) and Arizona State receiver commit Ellis Jefferson (6-4, 190, Sr.).
The Wildcats won their 12th straight with last week’s 52-42 triumph over previously-unbeaten North Richland Hills Birdville. Guyer churned out 426 yards rushing on 41 carries. Heard led the way with 16 rushes for 167 yards and two TDs, Breedlove toted the ball 15 times for 159 yards and one score, and Richard Whitaker stepped off 89 yards on seven carries while finding the end zone once.
Guyer showcased its balance, with Heard hitting on 11 of 15 passes for 172 yards and three scores. Jefferson caught six passes for 123 yards and two TDs.
Make no mistake, however, Guyer's chances center around the player under center, with Heard just shy of 3,500 yards of total offense.
"He's the engine to their corvette," JT head coach Ricklan Holmes aid of Heard. "Quarterback play, and their offense has kept them in every game they've won. When their offense has been shut down, they lost."
Even with an offense averaging more than 41 points, JT knows how well they stop the ball, not move it, will determine the outcome.
"With our offense and the capabilities we have, we're going to be able to exploit (their defense)," Holmes said. "What we don't want to do is get in a shootout with them. That's where the defense is going to have to step up and play big."
Denton Guyer Wildcats
Next up: John Tyler, 7:30 p.m. Friday (Class 4A state semifinals)
Where: Midlothian All-Purpose Stadium, Midlothian
Head coach: John Walsh
Season results: Cedar Hill, L 28-54; Colleyville Heritage, L 38-54; Flower Mound Marcus, W 27-14; Azle, W 55-14; Denton, W 62-0; Trophy Club Byron Nelson, W 53-28; Lake Dallas, W 63-13; Wichita Falls Rider, W 21-10; Wichita Fallns, W 49-10; Fort Worth Brewer, W 62-8; Saginaw, W 42-8 (bi-district); Aledo, W 42-30 (area); Amarillo, W 38-30 (regional); North Richland Hills Birdville, W 52-42 (quarterfinal).
Records since 2006: 0-10 (06), 1-9 (07), 12-3 (08), 13-2(09), 13-3 (10), 8-4 (11).
All-time playoff appearances: 5 (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).
Players to watch: QB Jerrod Heard (Passing: 141 of 227, 62.1 percent, 1,829 yards, 15 TDs, 6 INTs; Rushing: 192 carries, 1,677 yards, 26 TDs); RB Richard Whitaker (141 carries, 1,076 yards, 17 TDs), WR Ellis Jefferson (43 catches, 666 yards, 8 TDs), OL Patrick Morris (6-3, 288, Sr., TCU commit).
Offensive outlook: The Wildcats rolled up 598 yards of offense and 25 first downs last week. More importantly, Guyer protected the ball all day, finishing without a turnover. Guyer's power attack bases out a multitude of formations, from power sets to spread looks. Guyer operates in the gun, with their favorite passes the screen, swing and curl. Guyer's run game feature a heavy dose of counters and leads to the strong side. Guyer averages 45.1 points and 476 yards (322 rushing, 154 passing) per game.
Defensive outlook: Guyer gave up more than 30 piotns for the fifth time and third straight weeks in the quarterfinals. Still, Guyer notched two shutouts earlier in the season, and allows a respectable 22.2 points per game. Birdville burst several big plays on Guyer, totaling 479 yards while going 20 for 27 for 263 yards passing with four TDs and zero interceptions.
Team strengths: The offensive line, which averages over 265 pounds, paves the way for a high-powered offense. Guyer gives teams fits with its ability to control the line of scrimmage and clock,
Noteworthy: Guyer totaled just one win in the programs' first two seasons before turning into a Metroplex power. Guyer has won 12 games in four of the past five seasons, with three semifinals appearnces and one championship game mixed in the run.
Quoteworthy: "They come out of every formation you can think of," JT head coach Ricklan Holmes said of Guyer ."They're a disciplined team and their coaching staff puts them in positions to be successful."