By the time Guyer (7-2) plays Coppell (6-3) in the Class 6A Division II Region I bi-district round at 1 p.m. on Saturday, it will have been over two weeks since the Wildcats last took the field.
Guyer routed Little Elm 65-21 in the regular season finale on Nov. 27 and was promptly rewarded with two weeks of rest.
And for a team that has been dinged up most of the season, the break couldn’t have come at a better time.
The Wildcats have dealt with lingering injuries to leading receiver Grayson O’Bara, starting offensive lineman and Charlotte commit Knox Boyd, and Florida State commit Jordan Eubanks. That trio has not played since Oct. 30 against Prosper.
Guyer coach Rodney Webb is optimistic he will get at least two of those important pieces back this week, as the Wildcats begin their playoff run that they hope ends in a return trip to the state title game.
Webb said both O’Bara and Boyd are probable and on track to play against Coppell, adding Eubanks is doubtful.
“The open week for us was good,” Webb said. “We had some kids able to heal up. We had some kids playing with nagging injuries, and we had some kids we hope to have back this week. Hopefully, having that open week is going to pay off for us.”
One player Guyer will not be getting back this season is Texas A&M commit and All-American Deuce Harmon.
Harmon announced last week that his season was over after missing the game against Little Elm and exiting early against McKinney Boyd. Webb told the Denton Record-Chronicle that Harmon had been dealing with a back injury.
And while Guyer will not have Harmon and likely won’t have Eubanks, the Wildcats are still riding high coming into their first-round playoff game.
One reason is because of how well Guyer played in its regular season finale against Little Elm. Not only did the Wildcats arguably play their most complete game of the season, but they also avoided getting off to a slow start — an issue that plagued them seemingly all year.
Guyer scored 20 points in the first quarter and held a 34-21 lead at halftime before shutting the Lobos out in the second half.
“I think it was more psychological,” Webb said. “There’s nothing that substantiates why that happens other than at some point in time, it kind of gets in your head a little bit. So, for us to kind of get the monkey off our back, I think it definitely helps our confidence going into this week.”
This is only the third meeting all-time between Guyer and Coppell. The two schools have not played in nearly 10 years.
The Wildcats won the last meeting on Sept. 30, 2011, beating the Cowboys 31-7.
“They’re a very fundamentally sound football team on both sides of the ball,” Webb said. “They’ve got a big, physical offensive line with a really good running back. They’ve got two-plus receivers and a quarterback that manages the offense really well. They’ve been one of the better offensive teams in the area most of the season, and they’re balanced.”
The winner of Saturday afternoon’s game will advance to the area round and play the winner of Arlington and Jesuit.
It may have been nearly a decade since Guyer last played Coppell, but the Wildcats are not overlooking the Cowboys as they begin their trek back to AT&T Stadium.
“It’s a good, quality opponent,” Webb said. “It’s a good first-round matchup. We have a good plan in place, we just need to have a great week of practice.”