CEDAR HILL — With a playoff spot on the line, Brook Hill returned to its winning ways.
Led by junior quarterback Hood Taylor, the Guard outscored Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill 27-13 in the second half to pull away from their hosts en route to a 52-35 victory on Friday.
The win snapped a three-game losing skid for Brook Hill, and more importantly, clinched a spot in the TAPPS Division II playoffs.
Taylor, who was returning from an injury, completed 13 of 25 passes for 252 yards and four touchdowns.
Two of those scoring strikes went to senior Alec Kitt, who filled in for Taylor at quarterback in his absence, but returned to his usual position of wideout and delivered five catches for 104 yards. Kitt also showed he still could be called on to pas when needed, completing his one pass attempt for 40 yards.
Junior Jermiah McGowen rushed 34 times for 98 yards and two scores with senior Jordon McGowen catching three passes for 71 yards and a score.
Brooks Parham led the Guard defense with a team-high 14 tackles, two of those for loss. Brook Hill produced 8 tackles for loss and broke up six passes with an interception by Parker Galbraith.
The teams traded big-play touchdowns in the first half. Taylor and Kitt connected for a 28-yard score and 32-yard score with Jordan Wyatt converting an extra point and Taylor passing to Galbraith for a two-point conversion. If not for a 65-yard touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff, Brook Hill would have led after one quarter, but instead, settled for a 15-15 tie entering the second quarter.
The hosts took a brief lead in the second quarter before Taylor and the Guard responded with two scoring drives that yielded a 6-yard TD pass from Taylor to Garrett Davis and a 28-yard field goal by Wyatt for a 25-22 halftime lead.
The Guard raced out of the locker room with the McGowen brothers finding pay-dirt. The first came on a 12-yard run from Jermiah followed by a 4-yard pass from Taylor to Jordon for a 38-22 advantage.
TCCH responded with consecutive scoring drives of its own, but a kick return put the Guard in control to stay. After a 1-yard TD run cut Brook Hill’s lead to 38-35, TCCH prepared to kick off back to the Guard. John Dixon made sure the Guard offense could stay on the sideline a little longer for extra rest thanks to his 70-yard return for a touchdown. Wyatt’s PAT made it now 45-35 entering the fourth quarter.
Brook Hill kept its foot on the gas with Jermiah McGowen scoring his second touchdown midway through the quarter to put the game out of reach.
The Guard raised their record to 6-3 while moving to 2-3 in TAPPS Division II District 2 with one game remaining against Grace Community.
Passing (14-26-0 292): Hood Taylor 13-25-0 252 (4 TDs), Alec Kitt 1-1-0 40
Rushing (43-103): Jermiah McGowen 34-98 (2 TDs), Alec Kitt 4-9, Campbell Fletcher 1-(minus 3), Hood Taylor 4-(minus 1)
Receiving: Alec Kitt 5-104 (2 TDs), Jordon McGowen 3-71 (1 TD), Parker Galbraith 2-62, Brooks Parham 2-12, Garrett Davis 1-5 (TD)
Punting: Campbell Fletcher 2-41.5
Tackles: Alec Kitt 7, Chidiebere Nechi 7, Campbell Fletcher 7, Jordan Wyatt 1, Brooks Parham 14, Jordon McGowen 3, Carson Ezell 2, John Dixon 7, Colby White 5, Joseph Ardi 8, Jake Ballenger 1, Andrew Brooks 3
Tackles for Loss: Joseph Ardi 2, Andrew Brooks 1, Colby White 1, Jordon McGowen 2, Brooks Parham 2, Campbell Fletcher 1
Interception: Parker Galbraith 1