Guyer running back Jackson Foster (16) runs through the Allen defense for a long touchdown during their game Oct. 15 at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex. Guyer travels to face McKinney Boyd on Friday.

The good thing about football, and sports in general, is the fact there is little time to dwell on a setback during the season. Unless it’s the last game of the year, coaches and players get to move forward and prepare for the next opponent.

Having fallen short of notching the program’s first win against Allen and having the inside track for a district title, Guyer still has an opportunity to all but lock up the district’s No. 1 6A Division II seed when it takes on McKinney Boyd on Friday.

“That’s what this game is for us,” head coach Rodney Webb said. “Our number one goal was to get the one seed with however the playoffs broke out. This is the most important game for us, because of that.”

All-time, Guyer (7-1, 3-1) is a perfect 3-0 against Boyd, which includes a 33-21 win last year. But Boyd (6-1, 2-1) is a far different team than a year ago that finished 4-7 and was 3-3 in district play.

For starters, the six wins already this season are the most for the program since 2014 when it won nine games and got two rounds into the playoffs.

Third-year coach Joe McBride has Boyd looking at back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since Boyd made the playoffs five consecutive years from 2010 to 2014.

Boyd is led by quarterback Ryan Shackleton, who has completed 63% of his passes this season for 1,354 yards and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 15:4. His two favorite targets this season are Caden Park (28 receptions for 469 yards and eight touchdowns) and Peyton Shaw (27 receptions for 393 yards and four touchdowns).

Another thing Guyer must be on the lookout for against Boyd is turnovers — a McBride staple in all his stops, including Frisco and Coppell. Under McBride’s tutelage, Boyd is averaging 1.7 takeaways this year and have posted back-to-back games with three.

“There’s an old saying that a team takes on the personality of its head coach,” Webb said. “You can see Joe’s fingerprints all over that program. The way those kids play — their toughness, their tenacity, their attention to detail.

“All of his teams over the years have had the same qualities.”

The combination of a balanced offense as well its opportunistic defense has allowed Boyd to go 4-0 in one-score games this year.

Ball security has been a strong point for the Wildcats this season. Guyer has not committed a turnover in three straight games and none in five of its last eight.

And just like Boyd, Guyer has been just as opportunistic in taking the ball away from its opponents – averaging two takeaways a game despite not registering one last week against Allen.

On offense, the Wildcats lean a lot on Jackson Arnold’s dual threat ability, and he will be the catalyst once again. On the season, Arnold has amassed more than 2,300 yards of total offense and 20 total touchdowns. He even leads the team in carries at 98 after rushing the ball 23 times last time out.

The one thing that plagued Guyer last week, on top of turnover on downs, was protecting Arnold on key passing situations as the Wildcats gave up eight sacks.

Webb said the eight sacks were a culmination of many factors, including protection schemes, Arnold moving in the pocket or the defense just winning the battle on the line.

But as it has been the mantra all week whether regarding the sacks or the team, at large, Webb said it’s all about focusing on what they can control.

“It’s about us being sound,” he said, emphasizing that this game for his No. 11-ranked team is just as big going up against another 6-1 team in Boyd.

Team Matchup
Overall Record 7-1 6-1
District Record 3-1 2-0
State Rank #11 -
Points Scored Per Game 36.0 33.1
Points Allowed Per Game 18.8 24.1
Yards Per Game 379.0 339.4
 — Pass Yards Per Game 254.3 201.1
 — Rush Yards Per Game 124.8 138.3
Yards Allowed Per Game 284.6 348.4
 — Pass Yards Allowed Per Game 113.1 192.0
 — Rush Yards Allowed Per Game 171.5 156.4

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