Going into Saturday’s area-round playoff game, Guyer coach Rodney Webb was adamant about what the key would be for the Wildcats defensively.
Contain Arlington quarterback Kris Sims at all costs.
The Colts’ dual-threat signal caller has burned teams this season, racking up a combined 2,112 yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground and through the air.
And Webb doesn’t want to see Sims go off against his squad, especially this time of year.
“We can’t be like the villains attacking Batman and they’re all just flying by him,” Webb said. “Our linebackers, and everybody, have to be great in space against a quarterback like this. That guy is going to make plays, and they’re going to score points. We’ve got to try and keep him in check.”
Guyer (8-2) and Arlington (5-5) are certainly no strangers with one another. The two schools squared off in the region quarterfinals last year, with the Wildcats coming away with a 42-21 victory.
But Guyer’s win last year did not come without its challenges.
The Colts made life difficult on the ground for the Wildcats, limiting former star running back Kaedric Cobbs to one of his lowest yardage totals of the season.
Webb expects much of the same from Arlington on Saturday afternoon, with the Colts stacking the box and daring Guyer to throw.
“I watched that 2019 game, and it was a grind for Guyer,” said Webb, who is in his first year as Guyer’s coach. “They’re a very talented team. They are loaded with skill kids on both sides of the ball. They’ve got the ability to man cover. They’re going to want to outnumber us in the box. They do not want us to line up and run for 400 yards.”
The Wildcats were able to run wild against Coppell in the bi-district round last week, racking up an eye-popping 400 yards on the ground.
But with starting wide receiver Grayson O’Bara expected to miss his fifth-straight game, Webb anticipates Arlington forcing quarterback Eli Stowers to beat them with his arm.
While Stowers will likely be without his top option in O’Bara, Webb credited other receivers who have stepped up like Brody Noble and D’marcus Howard, who caught a touchdown pass last week.
“I think it’s a matter of you sit down, and when you’re trying to salt the gameplan away, we’re just at a point right now where we’re asking our kids to do things they can be successful doing,” Webb said. “For some of those guys, it’s just not getting open vertically.
“We’re just at a point in time where we’re going to give some kids opportunities, and when the opportunity presents itself, you have to step up and make a play, like D’marcus Howard did the other day. Brody Noble had a couple of big catches, as well.”
The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to the region quarterfinal next week and play the winner of North Crowley and Abilene.
But first, Guyer must get past an Arlington team that by all indication, is better than its 5-5 record.
“Almost that whole team is back [from last year],” Webb said. “They’re really good. I think they’ve been a little bit under the radar. If you look at the prognostications or whatever going into the season, they were a very highly-regarded team. That little swell they went through where they lost three games was not indicative of their season.”