Tyler Bishop Gorman Crusaders (8-1, 5-1)


Tyler Grace Community Cougars (8-1, 5-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Clyde-Perkins Stadium, Tyler

  • Gorman: Coby Gipson
  • Grace: Mike Maddox
Last week
  • Gorman: def. Frisco Legacy Christian, 30-14
  • Grace: def. Dallas Shelton, 68-14
Next week
  • Gorman: TBA, TAPPS Division II bi-district playoffs
  • Grace: TBA, TAPPS Division II bi-district playoffs


Bishop Gorman


  • QB Michael Goodwin, Sr., 5-10, 185 (116-177, 1,873 yards, 15 TDs, 1 INT, 104 carries, 969 yards, 8 TDs)
  • WR Judah Bell, Jr., 6-4, 185 (49 catches, 1,104 receiving yards, 13 TDs)
  • RB Josh Johnson, Sr., 5-9, 180 (114 carries, 810 yards, 6 TDs)
  • WR Martin Guzman, Sr., 5-8, 175 (19 catches, 260 yards, 1 TD, 23 carries, 218 yards, 3 TDs)
  • LB Tyler Bate, Sr., 6-2, 210
  • DL/OL Jordan Morales, Sr., 6-3, 275


Grace Community


  • LB Josh Spitzer, Jr., 5-10, 200 (112 tackles)
  • RB/DB Mason Dacus, Sr., 6-0, 170 (84 carries, 612 yards, 13 TDs, 2 INTs)
  • WR Parker Ary, Jr., 6-1, 160 (35 catches, 473 yards, 4 TDs)
  • OL Ronnie Baker, Jr., 6-1, 270
  • LB/TE Andrew Cotten, 6-0, 204 (91 tackles)
  • QB Christopher Wilhelmi, Jr., 5-10, 155 (134-196, 1,901 yards, 15 TDs, 1 INT, 96 carries, 894 yards, 9 TDs)


Just the facts
  • Friday's meeting will break Bishop Gorman and Grace's tie for second place in the District II standings. The losing team will finish the regular season in third place.
  • The winning team could also win a minority share of the District II championship if Carrollton Prince of Peace can pull off a major upset against league leading Dallas Christian.
  • Regardless, the Cougars and Crusaders will make the playoffs as the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds from the district.
  • Dallas Christian handed both the Crusaders and Cougars their only losses of the season. Dallas Christian is undefeated in district play entering the final week of the regular season.
  • Grace played much more competitively than Bishop Gorman in its game against Dallas Christian, a 16-14 loss on the road. However, the Crusaders' offense got bogged down in bad weather in their 35-6 loss to Dallas Christian -- also on the road.
  • Grace quarterback Christopher Wilhelmi is the region's sixth-leading passer. Bishop Gorman's Michael Goodwin is seventh. Both trail fellow TAPPS signal caller McCray Fletcher from Bullard Brook Hill.
  • If Grace and Bishop Gorman survive their first-round playoff games, they will re-meet two weeks from now in the quarterfinal round.
  • The Crusaders defeated the Cougars, 28-14, last season.
Tyler Bishop Gorman receiver Judah Bell has 1,104 receiving yards. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Key matchup: Grace Community's offense versus Bishop Gorman's offense.

Forget the Big 12 and Pac-12. TAPPS Division II, District II is where it's at if you're into constant momentum swings and explosive plays all culminating toward a late defensive stand or late defensive failure. Particularly when the East Texas private schools meet against each other.

The Cougars and Crusaders emerged as the two power players while fellow league members Bullard Brook Hill and Tyler All Saints also put up giant offensive numbers this season. Grace and Bishop Gorman have just been better at finishing, which is why both are safely in the playoff picture with a game to spare.

Christopher Wilhelmi had big shoes to fill at Grace as the successor to Chandler Nutt. The junior has flourished in head coach Mike Maddox's system, completing 70 percent of his passes for 1,901 yards and 15 touchdowns to just one interception while also rushing for 894 yards to lead the team.

Wilhelmi compares best to -- Bishop Gorman's Michael Goodwin, a senior who has completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,873 yards and 15 touchdowns with just one interception. Goodwin has another 969 yards on the ground, which means only 47 total yards separate the two players.

While their running capabilities speak for themselves, the two quarterbacks have been gifted with different approaches in the passing game.

Tyler Grace running back Mason Dacus is one of five players on the Cougars' roster with more than 200 receiving yards. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Bishop Gorman's junior Judah Bell, a 6-foot-4 and 180-pound potential college prospect, is East Texas' second-leading receiver with 1,104 yards. Grace does not have any receiver above Parker Ary's 473 yards.

Grace's defensive objective is pretty cut-and-dry. But minimizing Bell is much easier said than done.

Bishop Gorman will have to spread its defensive resources out more against opposing receivers and will probably have to be more reliant than the Cougars on the pass rush.

Would you rather have one seemingly undefendable receiver or five receivers with no more than 473 yards but no less than 200 yards? There's no wrong answer.

Don't be surprised if: In typical fashion among the top flight of District II teams, the game comes down to the final minutes. Both teams move quickly offensively, but it's unlikely either will have a hit rate of 100 percent. Grace Community and Bishop Gorman will probably trade a handful of unsuccessful possessions without using much clock, so there should be more opportunities to climb back into the game than average. Defensively, in a game like this, the most important plays will be in the final minutes.

Bishop Gorman quarterback Michael Goodwin. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)