Top 25 Games Of 2016: No. 17, Dallas Christian At Tyler Grace
Dallas Christian runs TAPPS Division II, District II. The past two years, Dallas Christian has come within a game of running the state.
Dallas Christian will travel a dangerous place Sept. 23 for its district opener against Tyler Grace Community.
The private school battle, perhaps for the district championship, checks in as the 17th-best game as ETSN.fm counts down the top 25 regular season contests of 2016.
Grace is coming off a strong and surprising season. Led by quarterback Christopher Wilhemi, the Cougars blasted through modest expectations to finish second in the league with a 6-1 record. Three points away from a district championship.
That's right. Dallas Christian ultimately earned its fifth consecutive district crown, or at least a share of the district crown, because it survived Grace by a 16-14 score.
No other TAPPS Division II team got within 27 points of Dallas Christian before Fort Worth Christian edged it by a field goal in the state championship game.
Well, Wilhemi is back under center after putting up 3,619 total yards and 30 touchdowns as a junior. So are eight other offensive starters as well as plenty of athletes that can soften the blow of losing eight defensive starters.
Of course, Dallas Christian has the services of running back and safety Kris McCune for a second year. McCune, a Bullard Brook Hill player as a sophomore, is committed to Oklahoma State in favor of other offers from Kansas and Texas Tech.
TAPPS Division II games are often shootouts. Don't be surprised to see the 2016 meeting between Grace and Christian far exceed last season's score.
Grace will have to play at its top level to get the job done, particularly offensively, but no league team is more well-built to rebuff Dallas Christian's run for a sixth district title. At least here in the preseason.
Want star power? Wilhemi and McCune can deliver that.
Want a high scoring game where no lead is safe? This game has potential.
Want to see an East Texas team win the district for once? If Grace pulls this off, all bets are off in the race.