If I was playing from a $60 million dollar stadium, I would probably have the confidence to go undefeated in any given season. The Allen Eagles compete this year at home beneath a high-def video screen, magnifying each route and formation — members of the media observe their progression from a three-tier press box.
In front of a maximum 18,000, the Eagles have elevated to the upper echelons of the national composite high school football rankings, currently peaking at No. 6 and obtaining an 9.2 in the average national ranking; USA Today currently has Allen at No. 4 and we have them as No. 2 in Division 6A.
Allen’s schedule has been chalk full of running teams up to this point, and their defensive front has held strong, posting the second best rush defense of 6A and allowing 95.2 yards per game. They have conditioned themselves against ground-and- pound offense, and first year coach Terry Gambill hasn’t missed a beat since taking over for legendary coach Tom Westerburg, who recently lead the Eagles to an impressive 57-game winning streak.
However, Allen enters tonight’s game against Denton Guyer with Don Quixote-esque victories against middling teams; their last three district wins were against opponents with a combined 3-15 record. Solid victories against out-of-state opponents are difficult to translate, considering those teams don’t play Texas squads this season. The pass rush is lead by varsity newcomers juniors Nigel Hines and Jace Waters. Seniors Cody Dillard and Cole Maxwell anchor the defensive line.
Allen’s 57-game winning streak ended last season against Westlake, but will likely not lose to a Chaps team this season with so many crucial injuries. They haven’t lost a regular season game since 2012, and have claimed every district title since 2005, scoring more than 40 points in four-of-six games and have posted over 30 twice.
Denton Guyer is reliant on the run game of Myron Mason (742 yards, eight touchdowns) and Noah Cain (941 yards, 12 touchdowns). The Wildcats currently lead 6A area teams in rushing, averaging 367.2 yards per game behind a solid offensive line. The biggest drawback of the program is their penchant for penalties, averaging eight penalties in three games for 7.83 yards; in comparison, Allen has five penalties total through two games. Denton Guyer’s 4-2-5 spread has limited opponents to 21.7 points per game, and is anchored by solid safeties in Bryce Jackson (Northwestern) and Thabo Mwaniki (OSU), who keep the pigskin in front of them.
The Eagles haven’t played a team as talented as the Wildcats this season, but will be able to contain their offensive pressure. Denton Guyer is still a solid team, but isn’t at the level of Desoto and Allen — the No. 1 & No. 2 top teams in Division 6 respectively. Mitchell Jonke (1,031 yards, 13 total touchdowns) is a much better quarterback than Denton Guyer QB Luke Stillwell, who has the unfortunate task of being the replacement dual-threat option to Desoto snap-caller Shawn Robinson. Jonke is a pure pocket passer and is currently completing 61% of his throws. Additionally, the Allen defense is smothering teams, allowing only 14.7 points per game.