The Grace Community-Bishop Gorman football rivalry has been a bit one-sided in recent years. The Cougars won the last four by an average margin of 45.25 points, including 61-0 last year and 60-6 the year before. The Crusaders haven't beaten their rival since 2008, a 35-28 triumph.
Gorman is out to reverse that trend this year when the two meet again at Clyde-Perkins Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Friday, with the Cougars (5-1, 2-1 TAPPS D-II District 2) and Crusaders (3-3, 1-2) both in the midst of a playoff chase.
Gorman has already passed last year's win total and its defense is a big reason why. The Crusaders are allowing 17.3 points fewer per game compared to this point of the season last year.
"I think defensively they've improved a tremendous amount," Grace coach Mike Maddox said. "They do a really god job of being where they need to be and they're real sound defensively."
TKG coach Coby Gipson's offense is also scoring more points with 16.5 more per game led by quarterback Tristan Saint. The senior signal caller has already passed the school record for single-season passing yards that he set last year (2,005) with 2,062 yards. His 20 passing touchdowns are also a single-season record and Gorman has at least four more games to play.
"They're throwing the ball around well this year," Maddox said. "(They've) got a good balance of run and pass. We'll have to play our best defensive game."
Grace's defense has fared well in recent weeks, scoring a couple defensive touchdowns and recording its first shutout since beating Gorman last year. Layton Sisemore had a pick-six last week but is questionable with a knee injury.
Like Gorman, Grace's offense has been sparked by the man behind center. Forced to take more of the offensive load since running back Kade Clayton was lost to injury, junior quarterback Chandler Nutt has accounted for 22 touchdowns, including 14 on the ground. He's averaging 222.8 total yards per game, more than half of that rushing.
"We are looking forward to a great challenge of an established power in TAPPS Division II," said Gipson, who spent six years as an assistant at Grace. "Coach Maddox is the best coach in Texas and anything that happens at Gorman is an extension of his legacy of coaching young men in a way that the scoreboard is secondary and the growth of character is primary."
— Travis Yoesting & Shane Stark
BULLARD BROOK HILL AT DALLAS CHRISTIAN
Bullard Brook Hill is enjoying a 3-0 start to TAPPS D-II District 2 play, but coach Bobby Brasher leaves no doubt when saying it will take the Guard's best effort of the season to remain that way today against Dallas Christian.
Brook Hill (4-2, 3-0) and Dallas Christian (6-0, 3-0) are scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Dallas Christian School in Mesquite.
"I've been at Brook Hill for five years since I left Chapel Hill and this is the best private school football team I've seen," Brasher said. "They're big, fast and athletic — their special teams are great. It's the best team I've seen."
The Chargers have outscored their three district opponents — Grace Community, Prince of Peace and Parish Episcopal — by 120-6. Only Grace was able to avoid being blanked, falling 50-6.
Dallas Christian uses a bruising running game led by Preston Nix, who has rushed for 647 yards and scored 14 touchdowns. Kalir Joseph has 410 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. When they go to the air, DC likes to get a big play, with Dominique Weaver averaging 26 yards on 11 catches with three touchdowns and Jusdon Jones averaging 14 yards on 11 receptions with one touchdown.
Brook Hill has shown that it could battle with the likes of Garrison and Spring Hill, and Brasher said his team is ready for the challenge to play Dallas Christian.
"We are just going to try and slow them down a little bit," Brasher said. "They've been pretty much error free and maybe this is the ball game they put it on the ground a few times. You hope you are the trap game on their schedule and they give you a chance, but it is going to be very difficult for us."
— Chris Parry
HONEY GROVE AT ALL SAINTS
It will be Senior Night on Friday at All Saints' Mewbourne Field as Morgan Bain, Jordan Bayonne and William Alexander will be honored.
The Trojans will meet Honey Grove in their final home game of the season. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
The Warriors come to Tyler with a 1-5 record despite recording 10 wins last year. Among those 10 wins was a 48-0 triumph over All Saints.
Last week Honey Grove lost to Wolfe City 40-20 in the District 8-1A opener. All Saints (1-6) is coming off a 55-18 loss to Colmesneil.
The Trojans have two games remaining, both on the road. On Oct. 25 they travel to Dallas to meet Dallas First Baptist and on Nov. 1 a trip to Austin awaits to play Austin St. Stephen's. Both games have 7 p.m. starts.
All Saints will also host Trunk or Treat. Kids of all ages are welcome to wear their Halloween costume for car-to-car trick-or-treating.
The event starts at 6 p.m. in the upper school parking lot near Mewbourne Field and includes a pumpkin decorating contest and a lower school costume parade at 7:15 p.m.
— Phil Hicks