Tyler Grace’s Strong Defense Faces Prolific Bishop Gorman Offense In Second-Place Battle
TAPPS DIVISION II, DISTRICT II
Tyler Bishop Gorman Crusaders (4-4, 3-1)
Tyler Grace Community Cougars (5-3, 3-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday
Clyde-Perkins Stadim, Tyler
- Gorman: Coby Gipson
- Grace: Mike Maddox
- Goram: def. Cedar Hill Trinity Christian, 51-28
- Grace: def. Carrollton Prince of Peace, 48-14
- Gorman: vs. Tyler All Saints, Nov. 4
- Grace: at Bullard Brook Hill, Nov. 4
- WR/DB Judah Bell, Sr., 6-3, 180 (75 catches, 1,592 yards, 12 TDs; committed to Navy)
- QB Jake Smith, Soph., 6-3, 195 (7 games played, 155 of 245, 3,106 yards, 29 TDs, 6 INTs)
- LB/WR Reed Navara, Sr., 6-0, 190 (108 tackles, 6 for loss, 2 FFs, 1 sack)
- WR/DB Tyler Hobbs, Soph., 6-0, 185 (39 catches, 802 yards, 9 TDs; 20 carries, 212 yards, 2 TDs; 38 tackles, 1 FF)
- RB/DB Ehtan Milton, Sr., 5-10, 168 (174 carries, 1,044 yards, 14 TDs; 33 tackles,3 for loss, 1 FF, 2 fumbles recoveries)
- ATH Jeremiah Milton, Fr. (127 tackles, 13 for loss, 4 sacks, 1 fumble recovery)
- QB Christopher Wilhelmi, Sr., 5-10, 155 (3 games played, 43 of 56, 732 yards, 8 TDs, 1 INT)
- WR/QB Braydon Stone, Soph., 5-10, 155 (Began season as QB, moved to WR after Wilhelmi returned from injury, 5 catches and 108 yards vs. Prince of Peace; 51 of 109, 845 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs; 61 carries, 483 yards, 7 TDs)
- LB/RB Josh Spitzer, Sr., 6-0, 200 (101 tackles)
- WR/DB Parker Ary, Sr., 6-0, 160 (26 catches, 389 yards, 2 TDs)
- RB Uchenna Uduma, Soph., 5-8, 177 (122 carries, 968 yards, 12 TDs)
- DB Greyson Kuykendall, Jr., 6-3, 160 (5 INTs)
- DL Ndukwe Uduma, Sr., 6-0, 220 (3 sacks)
- OL Ronnie Baker, Sr., 6-1, 250
Just the facts
- Friday's game is a battle between TAPPS Division II, District II's only one-loss teams. The winner will own second place with one game to play for all league teams.
- Tyler Grace and Tyler Bishop Gorman both trail Dallas Christian by a game in the standings.
- Dallas Christian will clinch at least a majority share of the district championship with a win against Cedar Hill Trinity Christian elsewhere Friday because it already beat both Gorman and Grace.
- Grace starting quarterback Christopher Wilhelmi returned to the lineup three games ago off a preseason injury. He has a 3-0 record under center this season.
- Gorman possesses East Texas' leading passer and leading receiver. Quarterback Jake Smith has thrown for 3,106 yards in just seven games played while receiver Judah Bell, a Navy commitment, has 1,592 yards in eight games played.
- If that's not enough, Gorman receiver Tyler Hobbs is near the top of the region's most productive receivers list with 802 yards. He has more than 1,000 all-purpose yards.
- Gorman also has a 1,000-yard rusher in Ethan Milton.
- Grace's defense has only given up 61 points in four district games. That's the best in the league and an average of 15.25 points given up per game.
- Gorman and Grace have played three common opponents -- Dallas Christian, Carrollton Prince of Peace and Cedar Hill Trinity Christian.
- Both teams beat Prince of Peace and Trinity Christian. Dallas Christian beat both, Grace by two points on the road and Gorman by 30 points at home.
- Gorman will travel less than two miles to Grace's Clyde-Perkins Stadium.
Key matchup: Tyler Bishop Gorman's offense versus Tyler Grace Community's defense.
Do the math. The Crusaders have four players with impressive offensive numbers, including the region's leading passer and receiver, and Grace has the district's best defense.
It's not like Grace is a slouch when it has the ball, either. The unit has been good enough for three district wins to one loss.
Gorman's best defense is a great offense. It scores so quickly at times that it keeps its defensive counterpart on the field to wear down. But that doesn't matter as much once the Crusaders build multi-possession leads.
Expect quarterback Jake Smith to target receivers Judah Bell and Tyler Hobbs early and often. Ethan Milton is a 1,000-yard rusher that should keep the Cougars off balance and respecting both facets of the opposing offense.
Gorman will lean on the pass. Almost exactly two-thirds of its 5,042 total yards this season have come through the air.
Grace defensive back Greyson Kuykendall presents some challenges. He has five interceptions.
The Cougars' defensive front, headlined by senior linebacker Josh Spitzer, can help Kuykendall and the backfield at large by getting to Gorman's Smith with some frequency.
Don't be surprised if: Friday's contest is a high-scoring affair.
That's the culture of TAPPS Division II, District II, and particularly so in a Gorman game.
Not only will Grace's defense have to make some stops, the offense will have to answer the Crusaders' challenge if the Cougars want to secure second place in the district standings.