Written by Matt Wixon
Allen-DeSoto rematch pits area's top quarterbacks against one another
Each day leading up to Saturday's semiffinals we will publish a capsule previewing the local teams in UIL football's final four.
ALLEN VS. DESOTO
CLASS 5A DIVISION I STATE SEMIFINAL
Allen (14-0) vs. DeSoto (14-0)
2 p.m. Saturday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium
Best wins: Southlake Carroll, Coppell, Cedar Hill, Spring Westfield
Last loss: To Coppell, 27-24, in Sept. 27, 2012 nondistrict game
Playoff road: def. Lake Highlands, 63-6; Mesquite Horn, 42-14; The Woodlands, 56-21; Spring Westfield, 48-13.
Last semifinal appearance: 2012 (won 5A Division I state title)
Players to watch: Junior QB Kyler Murray, who a week ago was named the Gatorade Texas Player of the Year, has passed for 3,161 yards and 40 touchdowns and rushed for 927 yards and 17 scores. Senior WR Cole Carter has 47 catches for 821 yards and four of his 15 TD receptions were in the last two games. Senior Mayomi Olootu (orally committed to Northern Illinois) is a standout DB and also a dangerous kick returner.
Notable: Despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the state, Allen has won every game by at least 19 points. … Allen’s defensive front is strong and deep and includes a pair of star LBs: Tay Evans (orally committed to Oklahoma) and Christian Sam (Arizona State). Evans suffered an ankle injury early in last week’s game and didn’t return, but Allen didn’t need him. … Allen’s offensive line is another strength, led by center Tejan Koroma (BYU).
Best wins: Cedar Hill, Euless Trinity twice, Arlington Martin twice, Coppell
Last loss: To Allen, 51-36, in 2012 5A Division I semifinal
Playoff road: def. Copperas Cove, 67-21; Coppell, 34-30; Arlington Martin, 56-34; Euless Trinity, 48-41.
Last semifinal appearance: 2012
Players to watch: Senior QB Desmon White (orally committed to TCU as a receiver) has been a star all season, and especially in crunch time. He’s thrown for 3,736 yards and 38 touchdowns and run for 1,609 yards and15 scores. Senior WR Chris Lacy (Oklahoma State) has 62 receptions, averages nearly 19 yards per catch, and has 16 TD receptions. Senior DL Bryce English (Texas) is tough to move at 5-11 and 310 pounds and had seven fumble recoveries in the regular season.
Notable: DeSoto fell behind 21-0 to Allen in last year’s semifinal and never got closer than a touchdown after that. It was the only loss for DeSoto in the last two seasons. … Senior DL Shaquel Jackson (UNT) and senior LB Jalen Dawson give DeSoto more strength up front. … DeSoto’s speedy LBs and secondary will be tested by Kyler Murray’s scrambling ability. … DeSoto has three RBs that have run for at least 500 yards and 10 TDs apiece.