[By Nathan Wright, Special to ETSN.fm]

TYLER – Bullard Brook Hill lulled Tyler Grace Community in with short passes and runs for almost three full quarters Friday night in the ETSN.fm + Dairy Queen Game of the Week.

Then twice in the final 15 minutes of the game, the Guard completed a pair of deep touchdown passes to take a 27-14 victory for Brook Hill over Grace in a TAPPS Division II District 2 game at Clyde-Perkins Stadium.

Both teams had already clinched playoff berths, but Brook Hill (5-4 overall, 4-2 in District 2) handed Grace (7-2, 4-2) just its second loss of the season and avenged a 48-14 loss last year.

Grace Community wide receiver Jonny Spitzer runs upfield against Bullard Brook Hill on Friday night. (Noreen Nartia, ETSN.fm)

“We worked underneath in the first half,” Brook Hill coach Bobby Brasher said. “We had thrown the short passes. We just came back and wanted to push the ball down the field. We thought we had it set up.”

Grace had tied the game at 14-14 on its first drive of the second half. Jonny Spitzer ran it in from 12 yards out with 8:53 left in the third quarter.

Grace Community running back Zach Tatman runs for a 41-yard touchdown against Bullard Brook Hill on Friday night. (Noreen Nartia, ETSN.fm)

Brook Hill got the ball with just under four minutes to go in the third and after a 2-yard run by Gabe Lucio, quarterback Grant Hanks found Seth Brasher open for a 62-yard touchdown to give the Guard a 21-14 lead.

Then midway through the fourth quarter, Brook Hill faced a third-and-20 from its own 28-yard line. This time Hanks connected with Alex Hale for a 72-yard touchdown that made it 27-14 after a missed extra point.

“I saw they were backed up pretty far, their corners were,” Hanks said. “Then they bit on that first fake. So when they bit, I just laid it out. And Seth and Alex, all the credit goes to them. I just threw it up for them.”

Grace had two more chances after that, but one drive ended with a punt and the second ended with an incomplete pass on fourth down.

Hanks finished the game with 219 yards on 13-of-24 passing. 140 of those yards came on his two long touchdown passes.

The Guard opened the game with a 16-play, 76-yard drive that took up just over half of the first quarter. Lucio ran it in from 12 yards out to give Brook Hill a 7-0 lead with 5:53 remaining in the first period.

“I told our team before we came out that there was a lot of uncertainty for both teams,” Coach Brasher said. “If we could move the football and establish a running game then it would help our confidence and it would make it a little uncertain for them. So that is what we tried to do.”

Grace answered on its very next possession. Zach Tatman finished off an 8-play, 70-yard drive with a 41-yard run to tie the game at 7-7 with 2:35 left in the first quarter.

Neither team scored again until late in the first half. With 4:01 to go before halftime, Hanks connected with Brasher for a 12-yard touchdown to give the Guard a 14-7 lead that they took into the break.

The Cougars came out and tied the game on their opening drive of the second half, but were shut out of the end zone by the Guard after that.

“(The defense) made the right adjustments at halftime,” Hanks said. “They came out and executed. They read their keys good and they just made their plays.”

Grace relied heavily on its running game. Tatman ran 12 times for 124 yards while Spitzer carried eight times for 100.

The game was actually the last of the regular season for Brook Hill. The Guard was schedule to play Carrollton Prince of Peace next week, but that school has forfeited the remainder of its season.

Grace will finish its regular season at Dallas Parish Episcopal.