TAPPS Preview: Grace's Maddox returns to Canton, where coaching career began

Grace Community School football coach Mike Maddox takes the field with his team during the Azalea Orthopedics and Texas Spine & Joint Hospital Tyler Football Classic at McCallum Stadium on the campus of Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School Friday night August 26, 2016. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Grace Community coach Mike Maddox began his coaching career at Canton.

On Friday he'll take his Cougars team back to where it all began for him as they face the Eagles at 7:30 p.m. from Norris Birdwell Stadium.

"I'm looking forward to returning home to where I started," Maddox said. "I've got a lot of good memories of my coaching career in Canton - a lot of good kids over there.

"To coach a team and take them back to the field where I cut my teeth in coaching makes it a little more special as well."

In other TAPPS games in Week 2, Bishop Gorman plays at White Oak, All Saints hosts West Rusk and Bullard Brook Hill travels to Mount Vernon.

All four opponents are undefeated, although Mount Vernon's game against Caddo Mills was canceled due to adverse weather.

For Grace, Canton presents the first of what should be three tough opponents, with Waskom and Malakoff to follow on the schedule.

The Eagles (1-0) beat Brownsboro 56-34 on Saturday morning behind a big performance by quarterback Hunter Moore. The senior finished just shy of 400 yards through the air, throwing for six touchdowns and running for a seventh.

Zac Brown led Canton's receivers with 13 receptions for 200 yards, hauling in three of Moore's TD passes.

Meanwhile, Grace's secondary allowed one reception on six attempts in a 46-0 pasting of Waxahachie Life. Junior Griffin Kuykendall had three interceptions.

"I think it's obviously going to be a matchup of their receivers and our secondary," Maddox said. "That's going to be an interesting matchup."

The Cougars' offense didn't need to do too much with the defense allowing a mere 68 total yards, with senior Josh Spitzer (99 yards, 2 TDs) and sophomore Uchenna Uduma (104 yards, 1 TD) both eclipsing the Mustangs' yardage total.

Sophomore Braydon Stone started at quarterback and will continue to do so until Christopher Wilhelmi returns to the lineup. Last year's Co-Offensive MVP of TAPPS D-II District 2 is week-to-week with a knee injury.

Grace and Canton played each other the last two seasons in the Tyler Football Classic at Mewbourne Field. The Cougars won 31-21 last year while the Eagles won 49-28 in 2014.

 

BISHOP GORMAN AT WHITE OAK

Crusaders coach Coby Gipson had a chance to work with White Oak players during the FCA Heart of a Champion Bowl and saw firsthand the type of players the program produces.

That made the Roughnecks an easy choice to add to the schedule, Gipson said.

"They always produce great athletes but also great kids," Gipson said. "White Oak kids always represent their community with class and honor."

The Roughnecks showed their playing ability in Week 1, dispatching New Diana 47-7 by scoring 47 straight points after a weather delay.

Dual threat quarterback Heath Hood had three touchdowns rushing and two more through the air to lead White Oak.

"They're going to be in shape, they're going to be fast, they're going to be strong and they're going to play with great technique," Gipson said.

The Crusaders also dealt with a weather delay with their game against Garrison delayed for 2.5 hours during the first quarter.

Gorman eventually lost 28-27 but Gipson said he thought the offense, despite going for more than 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing, left four touchdowns on the board.

Freshman Jeremiah Milton ran for 156 yards and a touchdown in his debut for the Crusaders.

"His athleticism speaks for itself," Gipson said. "He's a very talented 14-year-old kid who loves to play football. He stepped up in a big way when we needed him.

"I knew when he got the ball in his hands he had a chance to be electric."

 

WEST RUSK AT ALL SAINTS

All Saints coach Drew Starnes knows his team plays in a tough district.

To prepare for facing some of TAPPS Division II's top teams, the Trojans are playing tough pre-district competition.

All Saints started with a loss to Harmony and this week host West Rusk before traveling to Alba-Golden next week.

"We're in a tough district," Starnes said. "These opponents like West Rusk and Alba-Golden and Harmony are meant to get us prepared to play Dallas Christian and Grace and the other tough teams we face in district."

The Trojans' first three opponents this year went a combined 27-10 in 2015, led by the Raiders (1-0) who were 12-2.

Though West Rusk graduated a fair amount of talent from that squad, coach John Frazier's team opened the year with a 40-12 victory over Winnsboro. Running back DeVonta Medford led the way with 102 yards and two touchdowns rushing while Jaylon Garland added 91 yards and a score.

"They've done a real good job of rebuilding," Starnes said. "They're not missing a beat. ... They look great, like a well-oiled machine."

Last week All Saints fell behind 22-0 early against Harmony and couldn't recover, losing 37-19. Tanner Towns rushed for nearly 200 yards in the loss.

Starnes said he was proud of his team's effort in the season-opening defeat and he hopes to see the Trojans improve their tackling and minimize mental breakdowns and penalties on offense.

"We're looking to continue to see that desire to win and that effort from opening snap to closing snap," Starnes said. "I think we can have a big night."

 

BULLARD BROOK HILL AT MOUNT VERNON

Brook Hill was perhaps the last Texas high school to finish playing on Saturday night - or rather, Sunday morning.

The Guard defeated St. John Paul II out of Boca Raton, Florida, in the early hours of Sunday after a lengthy weather delay.

Now they'll play a team that's plenty fresh after having its opener canceled.

The Tigers went 2-8 last year and were unable to get their game in against Caddo Mills.

"Unfortunately we didn't get a game film because they canceled their game," Brook Hill coach Scott Ryle said. "We are just trying to prepare and try and guess what they are going to do."

Despite the delay, the Guard were happy with the final score of 48-27 against the out-of-state team.

Jermiah McGowen racked up 160 yards rushing on 22 carries while Brooks Parham scored three times in nine carries, totaling 60 yards. Quarterback Hood Taylor threw for 113 yards and ran for a touchdown.

"Brooks carried the ball probably more than I would have liked," Ryle said. "Jermiah is going to be a workhorse back there and with those three, it's going to be a lot of fun on offense."

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Staff Writer Chris Parry contributed to this report.

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