Brook Hill Guard (3-1, 2-0)

Vs.

Tyler Grace Community Cougars (3-2, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

Clyde-Perkins Stadium, Tyler

 

Coaches
  • Brook Hill: Bobby Brasher
  • Grace: Mike Maddox

 

Last week

 

Next week
  • Brook Hill: vs. Bishop Gorman, Oct. 17
  • Grace: at Tyler All Saints, Oct. 17

 

Playmakers

Brook Hill

  •  WR Seth Brasher, Jr., 6-2, 180 (25 catches, 474 yards, 8 TDs)
  • QB Grant Hanks, Sr., 6-2, 170 (52 of 84, 990 yards, 11 passing TDs)
  • RB Gabe Lucio, Sr. (92 carries, 458 yards, 4 TDs)
  • WR Chase McDermott, Sr., 6-0, 180 (15 catches, 306 yards)
  • LB Alex Hale, Jr., 6-3, 165 (2 INTs)
  • LB Blake Maddox, Sr., 6-1, 210 (40 tackles)
  • DL Parker Clark, Jr., 6-2, 175 (32 tackles)

 

Grace

  • QB/ATH Chandler Nutt, Sr., 6-2, 195 (61 of 104, 811 passing yards, 10 passing TDs, 303 rushing yards, 5 rushing TDs)
  • RB/WR Zach Tatman, Sr., 6-0, 210 (85 carries, 738 yards, 9 TDs)
  • WR/S Jonny Spitzer, Sr., 5-11, 165 (20 catches, 268 yards, 4 TDs)
  • WR//DT Call Florence, Sr., 6-0, 200

 

Just the facts
  • Since 2005, shortly after the Brook Hill program launched, the Guard and Grace have met four times. Grace leads the series 3-1, but Brook Hill won last year's meeting, 27-14.
  • Neither team has won a home game in the series.
  • Brook Hill is No. 2 in the ETSN.fm Class 2A/Private Schools Poll and is first among private schools. Grace is No. 6, third among private schools behind No. 5 Tyler Bishop Gorman.
  • This is a big week for all East Texas teams in TAPPS Division II, District 2. Tyler All Saints will simultaneously visit Bishop Gorman in a battle of district unbeatens.
  • Grace has two losses entering the game. It dropped its season opener after getting stuffed on a fourth-and-short midway through the fourth quarter against a Canton team led by Louisiana-Monroe quarterback commit Chandler Eiland. The Cougars fell last week to a historically strong Dallas Christian program.
  • Brook Hill edged Dallas Christian, 23-20, the week prior. On the road.
  • Grace and Brook Hill share no other common opponents.
  • Both schools have a quarterback, a running back and at least one receiver listed on the ETSN.fm statistics leader board.

 

Brook Hill has impressed with its passing performances this season, but senior running back Gabe Lucio gives the Guard a two-pronged attack. He's averaging more than 100 yards per game. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Grace's offensive approach versus Brook Hill's defense. The Guard have put on an aerial assault against their opponents with quarterback Grant Hanks generally leading the charge. He already has 990 yards passing. Junior receiver Seth Brasher has 474 yards and eight touchdowns on 25 catches. Fellow receiver Chase McDermott has 306 receiving yards. Running back Gabe Lucio averages more than 100 yards on the ground per game and helps keep opposing defenses honest.

Oh, by the way, the Guard have only played four games due to a rainout.

With that in mind, Grace would be best served playing keep away and forcing Brook Hill to work on limited possessions. The Cougars have the raw talent to potentially make it happen.

Chandler Nutt is a quarterback virtually any high school would be happy with as its field general. He consistently makes smart decisions with the ball in his hands. He's not a speed burner, but he can move up field for yardage when his receivers aren't open and is successful with zone-read plays.

Grace running back Zach Tatman fell one yard shy of being an top 10 East Texas leading rusher. He has 738 yards and nine touchdowns through five games. He's a tough runner Brook Hill will have to fight all night.

Grace quarterback Chandler Nutt has thrown for 10 touchdowns and 811 yards through five games. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Cougars receiver Jonny Spitzer has been coming along the past few games. He has 20 catches for 268 yards and four touchdowns to lead a well-rounded receiving corps.

It's not all roses for Grace though. Brook Hill has a very strong defensive front with a fantastic group of athletes playing the linebacker positions, and the unit as a whole has not shown any glaring weaknesses.

Senior Alex Hale has a Guard-best two interceptions and fellow linebacker Blake Maddox leads the team in tackles with 40. Several versatile players will make appearances on the Brook Hill defense as well.

Don't be surprised if: the two teams combine for an exciting game. The Guard offense appears suited to deal with any tempo Grace wants to set. If the Cougars successfully slow the game down with time-consuming drives, they should at least within striking distance late. If Grace fails to set the tempo, the game could break out into a shootout with plenty of big plays for fans to enjoy.

Brook Hill linebacker Blake Maddox leads the Guard with 40 tackles in four games. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)