Defending State Champs Will Present Challenge

Highland Park's Brooks Oden tries to stop Wylie's Alex Wesley during the Scots' 27-14 win. (Photo: Chris McGathey)
Highland Park’s Brooks Oden tries to stop Wylie’s Alex Wesley during the Scots’ 27-14 win. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

The Highland Park defense has made a habit of shutting down quality opponents during its month-long playoff run.

Yet during their 13-game winning streak that includes four postseason victories, the Scots likely haven’t faced an offense the caliber of Denton Guyer.

HP and Guyer will meet in a Class 4A Division I state semifinal at 1 p.m. Saturday in Allen.

The Wildcats (12-2) are the defending state champions. They beat Georgetown in the state title game a year ago, 48-37, and have not lost to a 4A opponent since the 2009 state semifinals against Longview.

It’s fair to note that Guyer was a 5A team for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, but it’s an impressive streak nevertheless.

Meanwhile, the Scots (13-1) have established quite a run of their own, posting 13 consecutive victories since dropping the season opener to Aledo.

In fact, in terms of wins and losses, the seasons of HP and Guyer are pretty similar. Both lost their openers to teams that are still alive in the playoffs — the Scots to Aledo (14-0), which is in 4A Division II, and the Wildcats to Cedar Hill, which is in 5A Division II.

Both teams have won every game since then, mostly in convincing fashion, although the Wildcats were forced to forfeit a 35-14 nondistrict win over Colleyville Heritage for using an ineligible player.

Guyer’s 12 wins have come by an average margin of 40.3 points, and it has scored at least 34 points in each of those games. In the playoffs, the Wildcats are averaging 56.8 points per game with an average margin of victory of 39.5. They defeated Birdville 53-28 on Monday in the Region I final.

Guyer has scored 72 rushing touchdowns this season with an offense led by dynamic dual-threat quarterback Jerrod Heard, who has verbally committed to the University of Texas.

Heard has rushed for 1,859 yards and 23 touchdowns this season, and has completed more than 60 percent of his passes for 1,891 yards and 21 scores. The backfield duo of D.J. Breedlove and Anthony Taylor has combined for almost 2,200 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns.

Last week against Birdville, Heard ran for 212 yards and two touchdowns while throwing for another. Breedlove added three rushing touchdowns, and Guyer accumulated 372 yards on the ground as a team.

Meanwhile, HP held off a Wylie rally for a 27-14 win in the Region II final on Monday. The Scots have allowed only 13 points per game in their four postseason wins, with a balanced offense led by quarterback Brooks Burgin, who has thrown for more than 3,300 yards and 31 touchdowns on the season.

In the Wylie victory, Cole Feigl ran for 119 yards and a late 55-yard touchdown that sealed the win for the Scots. William Stowe was the top receiver for HP for the second straight week.

Saturday’s game will be the first time that the Scots and Wildcats have ever met on the gridiron (the Guyer program has only been around for less than a decade), although some fans might remember HP lost to Guyer in the 4A girls soccer state title game in April.

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