Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Allen rolls McKinney en route to 7th-straight district title
McKINNEY — With an emphasis on state playoff runs, not as much attention is given to district champions. But it’s worth noting Allen picked up a seventh consecutive title with a 67-14 over McKinney at Ron Poe Stadium.
“We want to win the district championship,” Allen coach Tom Westerberg said. “Whether it was against McKinney or playing Plano for it next week.”
The district title also gives Allen (8-1, 4-0 in District 10-5A) the No. 1 seed in the 5A Division I state playoffs and avoids a first-round matchup with highly rated Skyline from District 9-5A. Ranked No. 7 in the state, Allen is playing at a level others want to avoid as well.
Sophomore quarterback Kyler Murray continued showing progress in operating the offense since taking over as the starter after five games. Murray scored Allen’s first two touchdowns on runs of 18- and 1-yard.
“You get Allen in a third down, but then Murray can run for it or pass for it,” McKinney coach Jeff Smith said. “It makes it tough. We had a chance to trade some scores with them but sort of shot ourselves in the foot. We had a chance at some points but didn’t get them.”
Allen led 15-0 after the first quarter then exploded for four, second-quarter touchdowns. Senior running back Marcus Ward led the way with touchdown runs of 30- and 22-yards. Junior running back Jaelen Barlow added a 63-yard touchdown run with four seconds left in the half which jumped Allen’s lead to 43-14 at halftime.
McKinney’s spread offense picked up plenty of yards but lost key possessions with several first-half turnovers. Moving up to Class 5A from 4A, McKinney (5-4, 1-3) got two touchdown passes from senior quarterback Robert Somborn _ including a 58-yard scoring catch by speedy junior receiver TV Williams. McKinney still has a chance at the playoffs in the final week of the regular-season.
Injuries have sidelined Allen’s top rusher Jeff Harris and standout defensive lineman Stone Drulman, but has rolled through 10-5A with four victories by a combined total of 204-46 since its last loss in a non-district loss to Coppell .
Allen scored with methodical 83-yard and 82-yard drives and quick-hitting runs likes Barlow’s 63-yard run. Murray generally made outstanding reads but did throw an interception picked off at the goal by McKinney defensive back Jumaane Ross-Brown. Murray completed 12-of-16 passes for 224 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for 93 yards on eight carries. Ward rushed for 156 yards with two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Allen junior receiver Cole Carter, who had a clearing block on Ward’s 22-yard scoring run, also caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Murray by splitting a 2-deep secondary down the middle seam.
Allen substituted liberally on defense but pressure by Jordan Radcliffe, Marcus Davis and Byron Bonds helped contain a usually high-octane, big-play McKinney offense.
“Our whole front seven played well,” Westerberg said. “We traded three game videos with McKinney and I think they only punted two times in those. They have a really good offense we knew would be hard to stop.”