FRISCO — All Guyer heard about in the week leading up to the Class 6A Division II Region I final was Amarillo Tascosa’s vaunted flexbone offense.
The Rebels were averaging 415.4 yards per game on the ground, steamrolling opponents night in and night out. Determined to not be another casualty, the Wildcats went to work early on Monday devising a plan to slow Tascosa down.
But Guyer (13-1) didn’t just trip up the Rebels — they smothered them from start to finish.
The Wildcats held Tascosa (10-4) to just 232 total yards on Saturday morning, stymieing the Rebels in a 48-7 victory that propelled Guyer into its first state semifinal since 2013.
“I was impressed with the plan and the attention to detail the defense had against this offense,” Guyer coach John Walsh said. “I knew when I went home on Monday we were going to be in good shape.”
Walsh immediately deflected all praise to the Wildcats’ defense and their defensive coordinator, Derek Ramsey.
Armed with incredible discipline, Guyer played gap-sound defense all game to fluster Tascosa. The Wildcats forced the Rebels into multiple long-distance situations, putting Tascosa behind the chains early and often.
The Rebels averaged just 2.9 yards per carry.
“It’s really about all the players,” Ramsey said. “They buy into the good technique that we play. They played really well and within the system. We made them earn it. Tascosa is a good team. They’re a precision team, and we had to match their precision, toughness and strength.”
Guyer did that and more.
The Rebels only scored once on a 28-yard play-action pass early in the second quarter.
FRISCO — Guyer coach John Walsh had backseat coaches chirping in his ear all week. When you’…
From that point on, the Wildcats took control, scoring 34 unanswered points to comfortably pull away. Guyer’s defense bent but didn’t break on several Tascosa trips to the red zone, keeping the Rebels out of the end zone.
“We gave a little bit, but the kids really stepped up when it was time to make a play,” Ramsey said. “Considering what they normally do to people, it was a great performance. And it’s all due to the kids.”
The Wildcats’ offense did the rest, racking up 475 total yards behind four touchdowns from quarterback Eli Stowers. He finished an efficient 8-of-11 for 233 yards, connecting with three different receivers for scores.
But even Stowers, much like his head coach, refused to take any credit for the win.
“My defense played a heck of a game today against an offense that hadn’t really been stopped all year,” Stowers said. “Coach Ramsey came up with a great scheme. I’m just so blessed to be on a team like that. My defense played their tails off today.”
Guyer will face Spring Westfield in the Class 6A Division II semifinal. It is the sixth time in school history that the Wildcats have made the state semifinal.
“It’s the fact that we’re consistent and have staying power,” Walsh said. “The school has been full for 12 years, and six years we’ve been in the semis. I’ve said it from the beginning, what’s special about this group is their camaraderie. We have physical talent, but they honestly do it together and for each other.”