It’s been two weeks since Guyer has been on the field for a game as Friday’s matchup with Flower Mound begins the third portion of the 2021 season — gold ball season.
Throughout the course of the regular season, coach Rodney Webb has mentioned that he sees a championship-caliber squad with this year’s team.
“It’s been a grind to get through those 10 weeks and get to the open week,” Webb said. “It was an opportunity to work on us. We could not spend the open week focusing on any one opponent, so we used that time to address a few things that needed to be worked on.”
In a handful of instances this year, the Wildcats (9-1) have played like one — going toe-to-toe with a highly ranked Humble Atascocita team, dominating both sides of the ball against Prosper and McKinney Boyd, and even battling through a hard-fought loss to Allen to within one possession.
But none of that matters now as the next week is not guaranteed. The Class 6A Division II playoffs and the march to state begins Friday at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex with a matchup against Flower Mound, the runner-up out of District 6-6A.
Flower Mound (5-5) enters the playoffs having won its last two games, including a win-and-in matchup last week against Coppell.
Its offense is led by Florida commit Nick Evers, the four-star, dual-threat quarterback. Evers has thrown for 2,199 yards and 18 touchdowns — to just three interceptions — and rushed for a team-leading 586 yards and another 14 touchdowns.
“Evers is the prototypical dual-threat quarterback,” Webb said. “His ability to extend the play is great He’s going to be one of the fastest players on the field.”
Evers’ main target this year is Walker Mulkey, who has 1,129 yards receiving on a stout 20.2 yards per catch this year and 12 touchdowns.
While the Guyer and Flower Mound offenses might be comparable in terms of yards-per-game and points-per-game output, Guyer seemingly has a sizable advantage on defense.
For starters, the opportunistic Guyer defense has registered 20 takeaways this year. Only once did Guyer not register a takeaway — the Allen loss — which averages out to two takeaways a game and includes two games with four.
And Flower Mound is turnover-prone. The Jaguars have turned the ball over 10 times in their last six games compared to three in their first four.
Also, since the start of district play, Flower Mound’s defense has given up nearly 100 more yards to its opponents than it did in pre-district play (from 356.7 to 445.9 yards allowed per game). The only time the Jaguars held their opponent to less than 400 yards was last week against Coppell.
The Wildcats are favored by 26 points, according to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, but nothing is a given. Last year, Guyer was in a similar position to open the playoffs and found itself in a closer-than-expected matchup with Coppell, only leading 24-17 at halftime before pulling away in the second half.
“Ideally we start fast,” Webb said. “It’s been a big point of emphasis. At the same time, there’s a reason why we play four quarters. We have not started great in any of our games, so hopefully we do on Friday.”
To get back to the state championship for the second time in three years, Guyer will need to continue to build on its last two games and play at the championship level like it did against Atascocita, Prosper and Boyd.
“The open week allowed us to put some gas in the tank,” Webb said. “This week we’ve had three of the best days we’ve had all season.”