Guyer’s physical brand of football begins at the line of scrimmage, led by a cerebral and sizable offensive front.
Joe Radovan — a senior center who recently signed with Air Force — embodies the Wildcats’ approach.
“We can move people and we can play smart, Radovan said. “We usually have good days of preparation before our games, we know what the defense is going to do. We’re always ready.”
The 6-foot-3, 285-pound center often identifies shifts and blitzes well before quarterback Jackson Arnold has the ball in his hands.
While his frame and ability impressed a run-heavy Air Force program that still wins with a throwback triple-option, it’s Radovan’s beyond-his-years demeanor and IQ that ultimately led to his acceptance into the elite military academy.
But before he moves on to the Mountain West Conference, Radovan and Guyer (14-1) face the toughest test of his high school career on Saturday when they face two-time defending state champion Austin Westlake (15-0) at AT&T Stadium.
He has the chore of trying to create holes against a mammoth Westlake defensive line that’s held foes to a meager eight points a game.
Westlake’s defensive front, led by standout defensive lineman and Michigan recruit Ethan Burke, has 40 sacks and 59 hurries this season.
Guyer’s starting offensive line of Willie Goodacre (6-5, 280), McClain Wylie (6-3, 280), Kaleb Loveless (6-2, 265), Nathan Penny (6-2, 285) and Radovan are up for the challenge.
“We don’t expect anything too crazy,” said Radovan, one of two seniors on the young but talented line. “We expect some length at the ends, some twists. We should be ready to go.”
Guyer hopes its size up front and balance — 254 yards passing per game and 153 yards rushing — can disrupt a Westlake defense that has manhandled its opposition all season.
Jace Wilson, a 6-5 receiver who signed with UTSA on Saturday, is excited for the 2019 title rematch.
“Westlake is a great team, back-to-back state champs for a reason,” Wilson said.
“Our practice this week was very locked in, so I feel like if we go through our concepts and schemes, what our coaches are saying, we’ll be fine.”