Written by Matt Wixon
Allen's 5A Div. I title formula works to perfection: Get ball, score TD, repeat
ARLINGTON — In the stands, a state record for attendance was broken. On the field, the game was like a broken record.
Allen gets the ball. Allen scores.
A few details changed on each drive, but the dominance was always the same as Allen crushed Pearland, 63-28, on Saturday in front of 54,347 fans at AT&T Stadium. The 36-year-old record for largest crowd to watch a Texas high school football game was blown away in a blowout.
Allen won its second straight Class 5A Division I title and finished 16-0 for the first time.
“It was a perfect game,” said quarterback Kyler Murray, who threw four touchdown passes, ran for one and was named the Offensive MVP. “Last year, we weren’t very satisfied with what we did in the state game, so we wanted to come out here and do what we’re supposed to do and handle our business.”
Allen struggled to pull away from Houston Lamar last year, but on Saturday, the Eagles’ business was booming. Allen finished with 670 yards of offense and held Pearland (14-2) to 279. Allen averaged more than 12 yards per play, set the 5A championship game scoring record and never punted.
“We jump out on teams pretty good,” Murray said. “When we start hot, the defense gets hyped, it gets them going, the crowd gets going and just everybody gets going.”
And Allen was soon going, going, gone. The game was tied at 14-14 entering the second quarter, but after Pearland opened the game with an impressive touchdown drive, Allen’s defense tightened its grip. It forced punts on three consecutive drives and then a turnover on downs.
Allen’s offense, meanwhile, scored touchdowns on three straight possessions to push the lead to 35-14. Allen scored touchdowns on nine if its first 13 possessions, and it seemed the only thing that could stop the Eagles was turnovers.
In the first quarter, Murray was stripped of the ball while trying to fight his way into the end zone, and in the second quarter, he threw a deep pass into coverage and was intercepted. Both turnovers led to touchdowns for Pearland.
But Murray’s few mistakes were masked by a sizable highlight reel. He threw darts across the middle and deftly lofted deeper passes to receivers such as Cole Carter and Jalen Guyton, who each caught two touchdown passes and combined for 236 yards in receptions.
And as always, Murray was incredibly elusive when he escaped the pocket. His most memorable run was a 57-yard scramble in which he sidestepped a sack attempt, reversed field and then looked like a downhill skier slicing through gates of Pearland defenders.
“The bigger the stage, the better he plays,” Allen coach Tom Westerberg said, “and tonight was the biggest stage you can get in high school football in Texas.”
Allen left the stage as the fourth school from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to win at least three 5A championships, joining Southlake Carroll (five titles), Euless Trinity (three) and Plano (three). It was Plano that played Port Neches-Groves in the 1977 4A title game that attracted 49,953 fans to Texas Stadium.
After 36 years, that attendance record fell as the Eagles rose to new heights. They now have their first perfect season, which the players had been talking about since finishing last year 15-1.
“In the 100-degree weather, we were out there working,” said senior defensive back Chad Adams, who returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the first quarter. “We knew we had to get better than last year.”
For Allen, it can’t get much better than Saturday.
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter @mattwixon.
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