COPPELL -- Even with a prized quarterback recruit on the opposing sideline, Coppell quarterback Joe Minden felt no extra motivation for his team’s big District 7-5A clash against Denton Guyer.
“My focus was on what I needed to do,’’ said Minden, a 6-1, 180-pound senior. “We talked about playing at a high level, and tonight we did that.’’
Minden stood tough under Guyer’s pass rush completed 31-of-43 passes for 340 yards and two second-half touchdowns in Coppell’s 31-14 victory Friday night at Buddy Echols Field.
No. 3 Coppell (5-0), improved to 2-0 in District 7-5A.
No. 4 Guyer (3-2, 1-1), led by Oklahoma State quarterback commit J.W. Walsh, rallied from a 10-0 halftime deficit to take a brief 14-10 lead with 3:46 remaining in the third quarter, but Minden had the hottest hand in the game’s final 15 minutes.
“J.W. is a great player,’’ Minden said. “Hats off to him. But this is a great win for our team.’’
Coppell coach Joe McBride said Minden is the kind of player who has worked hard to be in the position to lead his team as a senior.
“He’s been in the program four years and really started developing as a junior,’’ McBride said.
“Trust’’ is the word that both coach and quarterback use when talking about the other.
With Coppell nursing a 17-14 lead on fourth-and-goal at the Guyer 5, McBride called for a play-action pass. Minden delivered a perfect throw to Brandon Mullins in the left corner of the end zone for the clinching score.
“I have to make a call I can sleep with when I go home,’’ McBride said. “I called our kids over and told them I was going to put my trust in them.’’
Minden said that trust is a two-way street: “We just trust him.’’
Walsh led two second-half scoring drives, the first points allowed by the Coppell defense in the second half this season. It ended the Cowboys' streak of eight consecutive scoreless quarters.
Guyer rattled off two touchdowns in three minutes to turn a 10-0 halftime deficit into a 14-10 lead.
Fullback Dominic Ramacher capped an 83-yard, 12-play drive with a 10-yard touchdown run midway though the third period to cut the lead to 10-7. Only two passes were called on the drive.
Guyer took a 14-10 lead on Walsh’s 27-yard run at 3:46 of the third period.
Coppell had a championship type of response, going 70 yards in 12 plays to retake the lead, 17-14, on Minden’s 9-yard scoring pass on third down to Kyle Echerd.
The pass appeared to be tipped once before it got to Echerd and then the receiver tipped it into his own arms before falling to the turf.
Mullins followed his late touchdown catch with a 60-yard interception return with seven seconds on the clock, giving him two touchdowns within a span of 38 seconds.
It helped McBride forget about two false start penalties earlier in the game.
“He went from the outhouse to the penthouse,’’ McBride said.