The 2015 TAPPS D-II District 2 title was decided, in essence, by a safety.

The two defensive points were all that separated Dallas Christian from Grace Community in a 16-14 ballgame in Mesquite.

Now with the start of league play Friday, those two teams battle at Clyde-Perkins Stadium and the league title could once again be on the line.

The eighth-ranked Cougars (2-2) host the top-ranked Chargers (4-0) at 7:30 p.m. in one of three D-II District 2 openers Friday.

Across town No. 10 All Saints (2-2) welcomes No. 9 Bullard Brook Hill (4-0) while Bishop Gorman (1-3) hits the road for a fourth straight week to play Carrollton Prince of Peace (3-0). Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill (2-2), the final team in the district, is off this week.

While Grace coach Mike Maddox admitted both coaches will pour over film from last year's matchup, the 2015 clash won't have much bearing on Friday's game.

"I think every team's different," Maddox said. "This team's unique in its own way. It's not the same Dallas Christian team and it's not the same Grace team."

Against the Chargers, the Cougars will be tasked with slowing down one of the district's most efficient offenses. Dallas Christian is averaging 45.5 points per game, trailing on Gorman among league foes.

Quarterback Garrett Cody has led the way for the Chargers, throwing for 510 yards and four touchdowns while running for a team-high 329 yards and four more scores. Cody is averaging 10.0 yards per rush and is aided by running back Reggie Peck (253 yards, six TDs).

"When you play a team like that you want to execute," Maddox said. "You're never going to play a perfect game but you can have perfect effort."

On defense Dallas Christian has been equally impressive, limiting opponents to 8.75 points per game, best in the district.

The Cougars have averaged 430.5 yards and 38.3 points per game on offense with sophomore Braydon Stone (500 pass, 271 rush) running the show at quarterback.

Sophomore running back Uchenna Uduma has played a large role with 532 yards and eight touchdowns for Grace, which is averaging more yards per rush (8.2) than DC (6.8).

The Cougars are still awaiting the return of senior quarterback Christopher Wilhelmi, whose knee injury still has him at week-to-week, Maddox said.

"One of these days he'll be ready to go and I'm not sure if he'll be ready to go this Friday but we'll wait and make that decision with the doctors," Maddox said.

 

BROOK HILL AT ALL SAINTS

Based on location and district, Brook Hill and All Saints have long been rivals and have played many competitive games in sports like baseball and basketball.

Football, however, has been a one-sided affair.

The Guard are 8-0 against the Trojans, winning by an average margin of 48 points.

All Saints seeks to reverse the trend when Brook Hill visits Mewbourne Field on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

"It's going to be a tough test for us Friday night," All Saints coach Drew Starnes said. "We're really excited about it. It's a big rivalry game for us."

Brook Hill has yet to taste defeat this season, beating teams from all over the state and country. All Saints is about 1,180 miles closer to Brook Hill than the Guard's first opponent from Boca Raton, Florida.

Parker Galbraith has been a standout on both sides of the ball with 16 catches for 288 yards and three interceptions.

"It's a new season," Brook Hill coach Scott Ryle said. "That was a good preseason but those wins really don't matter anymore. The real season starts on Friday."

The Trojans are on a two-game winning streak and have confidence heading into district play, having shut out Cross Roads 51-0 last week.

"We're much more experienced in our new offensive and defensive schemes," Starnes said. "We're playing much cleaner football over our last three games."

All Saints has been powered by the combination of quarterback Tanner Towns and running back Garrett Brown, who together have combined for 939 of the Trojan's 1,352 total yards, most coming on the ground.

"The style of offense they run is scary," Scott Ryle said. "They run a mid-line option and if you do not take care of your assignment on every play, you can get burned.

"You watch them on film and they are well coached. They do a phenomenal job with the little things."

 

GORMAN AT PRINCE OF PEACE

These days, the triple-option offense is a rarity, something a team gets one week to prepare for then forgets about the rest of the year.

Except for Gorman.

The Crusaders faced Waskom's triple option last week and now goes against Prince of Peace's triple option.

Gorman coach Coby Gipson said the schedule worked out beneficially as the Crusaders defense will be well-prepared to face the Eagles.

"We really liked what our defense did with the triple option last week so we're going to try to build on the success we did have a week later," Gipson said.

Prince of Peace rarely throws the ball - 0 for 4 passing on the year - but is tough to stop on the ground, with quarterback Jackson Garrett leading the way with 463 yards and five touchdowns.

What has made the Eagles successful this year is their defense, which is allowing 11.3 points per game.

They'll have to slow down a Crusaders offense averaging 46.3 points per game. Sophomore quarterback Jake Smith has thrown for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns in his first three games while senior Judah Bell has caught 39 passes for 886 yards and seven TDs.

"I believe in our last three games we've had 32 possessions and scored 23 times." Gipson said. "From the outside that looks like a good number, but we've also had six turnovers. We look to improve in that department this week."

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Staff writer Chris Parry contributed to this report

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