Written by Jon Machota
'State for Nate!' Denton Guyer dedicates UIL title to fullback who was fatally shot
ARLINGTON – Denton Guyer accomplished its goal Friday night, it won a state championship for Nathan Maki.
Maki, a fullback at Guyer, was fatally shot in September and the team was dedicating this season to him.
Chants of “State for Nate!” rang out from the crowd and the Guyer players as the clock ran out on a 31-14 victory in the 4A Division I state championship game at AT&T Stadium.
“That was our main goal to get to state for Nate and win it all for him,” said Guyer running back D.J. Breedlove, who was wearing eye black stickers with Maki’s number 33 on them. “He was a great guy. We dearly miss him.
“I know he’s smiling down on us right now. We got him a win.”
Overcoming injury: Breedlove, who entered Friday’s game with a team-high 26 touchdowns, needed to be helped off the field less than three minutes into the game after injuring his right leg on a swing pass.
"What I was thinking at that time was that this is not going to be my last run,” Breedlove said. “I’m going to finish this game through all four quarters.”
But the senior returned later in the half and made a significant impact.
Breedlove finished with 10 carries for 60 yards, including the game’s final score, a 33-yard touchdown run with 2:42 remaining.
“That touchdown was made for Nathan Maki,” said Breedlove, who also had four catches for a team-high 33 yards.
Fourth down success: Guyer (14-2) answered Brennan’s lone score of the first half with a 10-play touchdown drive that included two conversions on fourth down.
Junior running back Anthony Taylor gained two yards on a fourth and 1 run from the Guyer 39. Five plays later, Heard rushed 31 yards up the left sideline on fourth and 5 from the Brennan 35. On the next play, Heard scored on a four-yard run.
Guyer ended the night 3-for-3 on fourth down.
Playing from behind: Brennan (15-1) was playing in unfamiliar territory Friday night – it trailed for the first time this season. Brennan finished with nine shutouts and never allowed more than 21 points during its run to the state title game.
“They haven’t been behind so it was really important to get up on them,” Guyer coach John Walsh said, “and stay up on them and make them press.”
Brennan outscored its opponents 816-51 before facing Guyer.