Written by Corbett Smith
No. 1 Allen avoids disaster, fends off Plano East in national TV showcase
State’s top-ranked team rallies from 10-point halftime deficit
MURPHY --The dour faces getting on the bus told the story, especially in that the gloom wasn't from the team that lost.
Despite being outgained by Plano East, surrendering nearly 500 yards of total offense, state and national No. 1 Allen held on for a 42-38 win, played in front of a packed house at Kimbrough Stadium, and a national-television audience. Jonathan Williams scored the game-winning touchdown with 5:13 in the game, and a last-second drive by East ended on a sack.
"I didn't think we played very well, especially in the first half," Allen coach Tom Westerberg said. "We made some mistakes that we don't normally do."
For the second straight week, Allen (6-0; 3-0) started off slowly, trailing by 10 at half.
It looked as if the coup was complete when Corey Bassett started the second half with what looked like an 88-yard kickoff return, negated by a penalty.
To compound that disappointment, Plano East (2-4; 0-3) committed the first of two costly turnovers three plays later. Camden Cooper intercepted a Wesley pass, returning the ball to East's six-yard line. Allen quarterback Alec Morris scored two plays later on a three-yard sneak.
"That's a huge deal ..." Ringo said. "We need all the points we can get against a good football team."
Morris' score was the first of a frenetic third quarter, with four consecutive scoring drives -- including a 97-yard kickoff return by Bassett -- ending on Wesley's second interception, returned by defensive lineman Brandon Franklin to the PESH six-yard line.
Allen took its first lead of the game on the following play, as Williams and the Allen line bullied its way into the end zone.
"I thought we could do that in the beginning," Westerberg said on his running game. "But we didn't get into a really good rhythm doing it."
Plano East struck back on the following drive, taking a 38-35 with 11:45 remaining in the game on a 35-yard pass from Wesley to Tre Jones, converting a 4th and 15.
But Allen, largely behind Williams and its offensive line, grinded out a 17-play, 6 1/2 minute drive, capped by Williams' 1-yard game-deciding score.
Williams converted a key 3rd-and-1 in the closing minutes, allowing the clock to run. But a short punt gave Plano East a shot in the final seconds, getting the ball back with 21 seconds remaining at the Allen 40. A short throw from Wesley to a receiver in bounds left time only for a desperation play.