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WACO – The last time Jackson Arnold stepped onto the field inside AT&T Stadium, the Denton Guyer signal-caller was just a freshman.
He was thrown into the fire of the Class 6A Division II State Championship game against Austin Westlake with little in-game experience having played behind Eli Stowers all season.
The Wildcats lost that game 24-0, giving Austin Westlake its first state title since 1996.
“Being in that situation and playing in front of that many fans it’ll definitely help for next week,” Arnold said after a 59-14 6A DII State Semi-Final win over Tomball on Saturday night. “Just staying level-headed and keeping my nerves down a bit.”
Now, Arnold will once again step onto the turf in Arlington but this time as an experienced-junior and the full-time starter for Denton Guyer.
“He’s a completely different kid,” Denton Guyer second-year coach Rodney Webb said. “He’s two years older. He’s more physically mature. He’s become a lot more savvy as they year has gone on. We’re hitching our wagons to that guy right now.”
TOUCHDOWN WILDCATSAfter another turnover by the Cougars, quarterback @_JacksonArnold_ throws his second touchdown of the night Tomball: 0Guyer: 385:25 left in the second quarter #TXHSFB | @DentonGuyer_FB | @ashtonjlux pic.twitter.com/TPF2Uwjuo2— VYPE DFW (@VYPEDFW) December 12, 2021
Oh, did we forget to mention that Denton Guyer will get its shot at Austin Westlake … again.
For Denton Guyer, a program that won back-to-back Class 5A DI State Championships in 2012 and 2013, that 2019 meeting with Westlake in the state title game was their second shot at a crown in the UIL’s largest classification.
Earlier in the day, Webb and his Guyer team sat in field-level seating behind the end zone and watched on as Austin Westlake beat Katy 45-14 to notch its 39th-straight victory and punch its ticket to the program’s third-straight title game.
“They’re an unbelievably good high school football team,” Webb said. “A team showing up and dismantling Katy the way they did, they are about as good of a high school football team you’ll come across.
“But all we wanted was an opportunity and that’s what we’ve got.”
The Wildcats utilized all phases of their game in the win on Saturday.
First, it was the run game as Byron Phillips and Jackson Foster both rumbled in from five and 18 yards out, respectively, pushing the lead to 21-0 after the first quarter.
Then, the defense got their turn. After the ball was stripped, Jaden Powell scooped it and scored making it 31-0 with 9:19 left in the first half.
Jackson Arnold, who just received an offer from Oklahoma two days ago, hit Sutton Lee from 24 yards out to push the lead to 38-0 before a punt return for a touchdown by Peyton Bowen made it 45-0 at the half.
After giving up a touchdown on a run by Tomball QB Cale Hellums, Arnold hit Dylan Rivero for a score, making it 52-7 with 5:45 left in the third quarter. Then, it was Isaiah Roque's turn as he rumbled in for a score pushing it to 59-7 with 8:52 to go.
Tomball scored a final touchdown on a long run by Christian Womack, which brought it to its final of 59-14.
Just like that week six of Texas High School Football is upon us. We have already seen some of the greatest highs and lowest lows so far this season. VYPE DFW has some of the area's top games that you are not going to want to miss this week!