Take a bow, Kyler Murray.
The junior quarterback led Allen to an emphatic 49-27 victory over Southlake Carroll on Friday night at Dragon Stadium as the Eagles’ began their state-title defense.
Murray put on a dazzling performance by throwing for a career-high 466 yards, three touchdowns and rushing for another 78 yards and two scores.
“I think it has a lot to do with how we prepare. Our coaches have played them a lot, they know what they do,” Murray said. “It was just going out there and executing.”
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Murray’s favorite target was senior Cole Carter, who caught seven passes for 232 yards, including an 88-yard touchdown to give the Eagles their first lead with 5:39 remaining in the first half, followed by a 74-yard scoring grab on their next possession.
Murray completed seven passes of 25-plus yards to four receivers, including a 75-yard strike to Grant Finney on the second play of the second half.
“Murray’s a special, special kid. Everything is just real relaxed and it feels kind of slow for him,” Allen coach Tom Westerberg said. “We didn’t utilize him throwing the ball as much last year in the playoffs. This year he’s going to be the guy back there throwing the ball.”
Carroll’s defense started off strong with a 56-yard pick-6 by linebacker Joel McClellan to give the Dragons a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. But midway through the second Murray started bombing away, taking advantage of single coverage by hitting seam routes through the middle of the defense.
After building a 35-17 lead on Finney’s long touchdown catch to open the second half, Allen started pounding away with the run game en route to 197 yards. Running back Mev Ajdin rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown and Jaelen Barlow added 38 yards and a score.
Carroll quarterback Ryan Agnew passed for 259 yards, a touchdown and was picked off twice in his first varsity start. Dragons kicker Drew Brown converted field-goal attempts from 41 and 34 yards out.