On Saturday at Jerry World, 2014 Texas quarterback commit Jerrod Heard did something that his heralded predecessor JW Walsh was never able to accomplish -- win a state championship. Heard and the Wildcats took down Georgetown 47-38 to win the Class 4A Division I title.
Head coach John Walsh's team was able to break through after losing in the finals in 2010 and four other state semifinals in the last five years mostly due to Heard's heroics, as the junior signal-caller accounted for all seven Guyer touchdowns.
And it wasn't always easy going for Guyer either after falling behind by 16 points in the third quarter. Two touchdown runs by Heard helped cut the margin before a turnover gave him the opportunity to punch it in from five yards out, which he did by breaking four tackles, including steamrolling the third defender who had a chance to keep him out of the endzone.
Jerrod Heard of Denton Guyer Dodges 4 Tackles For Touchdown (via 808MediaHouse)
At least one observer thought it was the best play of championship weekend:
Play of the weekend at #uilstate was Jerrod Heard trucking the Georgetown DB...that had the pressbox buzzing #txhsfb #Hookem— Matt Stepp (@Matt_SteppTOC) December 24, 2012
But Heard did more than run for 110 yards and four touchdowns in the second half -- he was also dangerous with his arm, completing 8-for-13 passes on the day for 189 yards. Two big scoring strikes helped the Guyer cause, including strikes of 71 yards to Arizona State commit Ellis Jefferson and another of 31 yards.
On the year, Heard accounted for more than 4,000 yards of total offense and 52 touchdowns with a 62% completion percentage in a massively productive junior season that built on the promise he showed as a sophomore as a first-year starter replacing Walsh.
Even more good news? Heard is still locked in with his commitment ($) to the Longhorns, despite the tough season and the loss of playcaller Bryan Harsin:
It's a good thing. Coach Applewhite, he played at the University of Texas. You can't ask for anything better than that -- for someone who played there to become offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. That's pretty cool.
It's not time to anoint him as a savior for the Texas offense because he still needs to improve his ability to consistently spin the football and continue growing as a quarterback overall, but for those Texas fans disappointed by Tyrone Swoopes and the 1-9 season he suffered through with Whitewright, the success of Heard has to be heartening -- he's now proven the ability to win at the highest level of Texas high school football.
More than that, he showed the poise and leadership to keep his team in the game when it was on the line and lead them to victory, the ability to overcome adversity.
Even if Swoopes doesn't manage to fulfill his vast potential, the Longhorns have an excellent prospect who will be waiting behind the Whitewright product for his own opportunity to shine. And Texas fans don't have to worry about his competition level.
Denton Guyer State Championship Highlights (via LegacySportsNetwork)