TAPPS Preview: All Saints making only trip west to face Dallas Christian

Grace Community School's Adam McKinney takes down Dallas Christian's Reggie Peck at Clyde-Perkins Stadium in Tyler Friday night Sept. 23, 2016. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

John Tyler High School and All Saints Episcopal School are separated by about 3 miles of Loop 323 and their district schedules are remarkably similar in one way.

Despite being in a district with a number of Metroplex schools, both only make the trek west once.

For the Trojans, that trip is Friday - against Dallas Christian, the top-ranked team in the state.

Kickoff at Wheeler Field in Mesquite is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Other TAPPS D-II District 2 matchups include Grace Community visiting Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill and Bullard Brook Hill hosting Carrollton Prince of Peace. Bishop Gorman has a bye this week.

In league play, All Saints (2-3, 0-1) plays the other two Tyler schools on the road while hosting Brook Hill, Prince of Peace and Trinity Christian.

First-year Trojans coach Drew Starnes sees the one road trip as a good opportunity to play at a new stadium, one named after current Chargers coach Mike Wheeler.

"I think it's going to be a good experience," Starnes said. "Going to the No. 1 team in the state and hopefully shocking everybody.

"We're going to embrace this opportunity."

The Chargers (5-0, 1-0) remained ranked No. 1 in the state yet again after beating Grace on a late field goal last week.

Both All Saints and Dallas Christian are led offensively by their quarterbacks. Trojans signal caller Tanner Towns has amassed 512 yards on the ground and more than 200 passing.

Dallas Christian's dual threat quarterback Garrett Cody has 801 yards passing, 395 rushing and 12 total TDs.

"I see a very physical, very athletic, very well-coached football team," Starnes said. "Coach Wheeler does a great job and they have athletes all over the field. They deserve their No. 1 ranking."



After suffering a narrow two-point loss to Dallas Christian for the second year in a row, Grace Community has to dust itself off and prepare for another team that's known plenty of success in recent years.

Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill has played 28 games the last two years, winning the TAPPS Division III state championship in 2014 and reaching the title game in 2015.

Now in Division II, the Tigers host the Cougars at 7:30 p.m. Friday with both sides eager for their first victory.

In the seven-team TAPPS D-II District 2, Trinity Christian (2-2) was the odd team out on the opening week of league play while Grace (2-3, 0-1) fell to top-ranked Dallas Christian in the district opener.

Cougars coach Mike Maddox said Tuesday's practice was one of the best they've had all year as the team looks to reach its potential.

"(We) realize that we're getting real close," Maddox said. "I think our boys, they no longer want to be close, they want to be the best they can be."

After coming close to knocking off the top-ranked team, Grace faces a TC-CH squad that is averaging 7.2 yards per play and 330.8 per game.

Justin Deboskie leads the Tigers with 474 yards rushing while quarterback Caleb Powers has thrown for 628. Many of those yards came on big plays.

"Very fast team, very explosive and we're going to have to be prepared in all phases of the game." Maddox said. "We're going to have to play extremely well.

"Every tackle we make we've got to wrap up. With their speed, they've got a lot of plays that go for long yardage."

For their part, the Cougars are averaging 7.4 yards per play and 435.6 per game.

Sophomore quarterback Braydon Stone threw for 207 yards and a touchdown while adding 74 yards and two scores on the ground.

Garrett Tauscher is Grace's leading receiver this year with 14 catches for 252 yards while Parker Ary has 181 yards on 13 grabs.



The Guard (5-0, 1-0) are undefeated with the most recent of those victories coming in their TAPPS D-II District 2 opener at All Saints. Brook Hill returns home to face Carrollton Prince of Peace, and coach Scott Ryle said that is the team's sole focus.

"We haven't even looked at our record," Ryle said. "We just look at the opponent for that week. It's not our goal to just be 1-0 in district. We want to compete for a district championship. We need to compete at a high level to do that, and the way we are playing right now is not good enough yet.

Last week's effort was good enough to produce a shutout against the triple option All Saints offense. The Guard are led by junior Jermiah McGowen, who enters with 519 yards and six touchdowns with Brook Hill rushing for 935 as a team. Junior quarterback Hood Taylor has completed 42 of 64 for 613 yards and three touchdowns.

"I want to run the football, but we are going to be a balanced attack," Ryle said. "Our scheme is about reading defenders, so it allows a lot of people to touch the football."

Brook Hill faces the triple option again with Prince of Peace (3-1, 0-1), which suffered its first loss and a district setback last week against Bishop Gorman. Prince of Peace was limited to 197 yards rushing on 56 attempts last week by the Crusaders.

On the season, Eagles quarterback Jackson Garrett has 126 yards passing to go with 531 yards rushing.

"With the style of offense they run, we have to be perfect." Ryle said. "The defense has as tough task. If they can follow up (what they did against All Saints) and we limit mistakes, we have a chance."

- Chris Parry



Recent Stories You Might Have Missed