Just when Grace Community had clawed its way back into the game, Dallas Parish Episcopal coach Scott Nady had just the answer.
Two scores in two minutes by the Cougars to tie the game early in the fourth quarter were quickly canceled out by a 69-yard score by Zach Shelley and an onside kick recovered by the Panthers.
Shelley finished with 379 yards and five touchdowns to lead Pa-rish Episcopal to a 63-42 shootout victory on Senior Night at Clyde-Perkins Stadium, giving the Panthers the No. 2 seed out of TAPPS D-II District 2.
The Cougars (8-2, 5-2) were left with third place and a road trip to Fort Worth Christian in the first round of next week’s area playoffs.
Trailing 42-28, Grace junior Kade Clayton scored from 24 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter. After Hayden Walker’s sack of Panthers QB Jeff Davis set Parish Episcopal back eight yards, the Cougars took over at the Panthers’ 16 following a shanked punt.
Grace senior signal-caller Blake White then used a huge spin move to jaunt into the end zone and Clayton’s run on the point-after tied the game at 42 and sent the spectators into a roar with 9:25 to play.
However, Shelley took the next play from scrimmage 69 yards to hush the Cougars crowd. Nady then surprised Grace with a successful onside kick.
Parish Episcopal (9-1, 6-1) milked the clock on the ensuing series and Shelley converted a fourth-and-goal from the 1 to put the Panthers ahead 56-42.
On the following drive, White was picked off by Donovan Owens, who took the pass 40 yards to paydirt.
White finished 19-of-27 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Statler Lewis hauled in 10 passes for 110 yards and a score.
Clayton racked up 183 yards of total offense, 152 coming on the ground. He scored twice on runs, once on the PAT and returned a kickoff 85 yards for a TD midway through the third quarter to keep the Cougars within 35-28.
The 42 points yielded by the Panthers were tied for the most they allowed all year. The Cougars finished with 424 yards of offense, nearly 100 below their average.
Parish Episcopal amassed 487 yards on the ground at a rate of 8.5 per carry. Davis threw just six times, completing three for 78 yards.
The 565 total yards by the Panthers was 194 more than the Cougars had allowed in any other game.
Neither team could stop the other at the start, with the offenses trading blows for a 14-14 tie after one quarter.
The turning point came when an 8-yard pass to Gillham on third-and-8 from the 9 was inches short of a first down. The Cougars went for it, but White was stuffed short on a QB run.
Though Grace was able to stop Parish Episcopal on the ensuing drive when Grant McCarty fell on a Zach Shelley fumble, the Cougars were forced to punt with 1:32 to play.
On fourth-and-5 with 25 seconds left, Panthers tight end Luke Hoyl fooled the defense and was wide open for a 25-yard touchdown to send Parish Episcopal into halftime ahead 28-14.
TAPPS D-II District 2
Dallas Parish Episcopal 63,Grace Community 42
At Clyde-Perkins Stadium
Parish Ep. 14 14 14 21 — 63
Grace 14 0 14 14 — 42
PE—Chris Mavor 7 run (Travis Stymiest kick), 8:30.
GRA—Lin Gillham 11 pass from Blake White (David Fraga kick), 5:03.
PE—Zach Shelley 1 run (Stymiest kick), 2:08.
GRA—Kade Clayton 10 run (Fraga kick), 1:13.
PE—Shelley 9 run (Stymiest kick), 10:14.
PE—Luke Hoyl 25 pass from Jeff Davis (Stymiest kick), 0:25.
GRA—Statler Lewis 10 pass from White (Fraga kick), 9:20.
PE—Shelley 32 run (Stymiest kick), 7:46.
GRA—Clayton 85 kick return (Fraga kick), 7:30.
PE—Tre Vance 49 pass from Davis (Stymiest kick), 5:46.
GRA—Clayton 24 run (kick fail), 11:53.
GRA—White 10 run (Clayton run), 9:25.
PE—Shelley 69 run (Stymiest kick), 9:14.
PE—Shelley 1 run (Stymiest kick), 4:19.
PE—Donovan Owens 40 interception return (Stymiest kick), 3:23.
First Downs 23 21
Rushes-Yards 57-487 28-209
Passing Yards 78 215
Comp.-Att.-Int. 3-6-0 19-27-1
Punts-Avg. 2-19.5 1-36
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 2-1
Penalties-Yards 6-55 8-60
RUSHING—Parish Episcopal, Zach Shelley 32-379, Tre Vance 10-75, Andrew Boyd 7-40, Chris Mavor 4-7, Jeff Davis 4-(-14). Grace , Kade Clayton 14-152, Blake White 12-49, Jonny Spitzer 1-8, Garrett Newman 1-0.
PASSING—Parish Episcopal, Davis 3-6-0—78. Grace , White 19-27-1—215.
RECEIVING—Parish Episcopal, Luke Hoyl 2-29, Vanec 1-49. Grace , Statler Lewis 10-110, Lin Gillham 5-74, Clayton 3-31, Newman 1-0.