[By Nathan Wright, Special to ETSN.fm]

BULLARD – If the Brook Hill Guard was intimidated by the high-scoring offense of Tyler Bishop Gorman and the undefeated record of the Crusaders, it didn’t show Friday night at Herrington Stadium.

The Guard jumped out to a 28-point lead at halftime and held on for a 36-20 victory in a TAPPS Division II, District 2 contest.

Brook Hill rebounded from a loss to Grace Community last week to improve to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in district play. Gorman, which came in averaging 43 points per game, suffered its first loss of the season to fall to 6-1 and 3-1.

“We preached all week about being disciplined,” Brook Hill coach Bobby Brasher said. “We did a good job in the first half. In the second half, we made some mental mistakes. They are a good football team and well coached. If you make some mistakes, they will put some points on the board.”

The Guard set the tone on the game’s very first play when Jacob Dumesnil broke free for a 17-yard run. Four plays later, quarterback Grant Hanks found Seth Brasher for a 28-yard touchdown to give Brook Hill a 7-0 lead just over a minute into the contest.

It was the beginning of a big night for Brasher, who caught eight passes for 159 yards and three first-half touchdowns.

“We had a rough week last week so we wanted to come out here and bounce back,” the receiver said. “We wanted to be physical and do the things that we wanted to do but it was more of a mindset than anything else.”

Neither team scored in the remainder of the first quarter, but the Guard scored again on the second play of the second quarter. Gabe Lucio ran it in from 9 yards out to give Brook Hill a 14-0 lead.

The Guard then scored twice in the final 1:49 before halftime. Both touchdowns came on passes from Hanks to Brasher. The first game from 10 yards out with 1:49 to go in the second quarter. The second came on a 64-yard pass with 23 seconds remaining before the break and gave the Guard a 28-0.

“(At halftime) I reminded them of what happened last week when we came out flat,” Coach Brasher said. “It was very important for us to come out and play two halves of football. They came out and didn’t play as well, but played well enough.”

Gorman came out in the second half and quickly established the fact that it wasn’t going down easy. The Crusaders scored on the first drive of the third quarter when quarterback Michael Goodwin ran it in from a yard out to cut the Brook Hill lead to 28-7 with 8:39 to go in the third quarter.

The Crusaders then recovered an onside kick and scored three plays later. On a 25-yard run by Logan Botello. However, the extra point attempt was fumbled and the Guard picked it up and returned it for two points to make the score 30-13 with eight minutes left in the third quarter.

“They are a good football team and they are well-coached,” coach Brasher said. “They made some adjustments and we made some adjustments and I think they won the third quarter and we won the fourth quarter.”

Brook Hill added a field goal with 4:28 left in the third to go ahead 33-13, but Gorman scored on a 27-yard run by Daniel McKnight to cut the Guard’s lead to 33-20. However, that would be as close as Gorman would get.

The Guard added another field goal with 10:37 remaining. Gorman had another chance midway through the fourth quarter, but an apparent touchdown pass on fourth down was ruled out of bounds. Brook Hill was then able to run out the clock.

“This is a big win,” Seth Brasher said. “It is a huge win. They were 6-0. They are a good football team and we take it with a grain of salt and then go on to the next one.”

Hanks finished the game with 281 yards passing and three touchdown – all to Brasher. He completed 18 of 32 passes. Lucio led the Guard on the ground with 97 yards on 19 carries.

For Gorman, Goodwin completed 14 of 31 passes for 263 yards. He also led the team on the ground with 75 yards on 12 carries.

Both teams play at home next week. Brook Hill will host Frisco Legacy Christian while Gorman will host Dallas Christian.