For a half, Arlington Martin traded punches with the state’s top heavyweight, but the Warriors ultimately didn’t have a big enough sling shot to take down Texas’ football goliath.
Arizona State pledge Brock Sturges ran for 206 yards, including 179 during a second-half downpour, and three touchdowns in Class 6A No. 1 Allen’s 48-25 victory over Martin in a Division I regional round game at Dragon Stadium.
Theo Wease, another top recruit, had two touchdown grabs and 95 yards receiving for Allen, which scored the first 14 points of the second half to widen a five-point halftime lead.
Sturges ran for two 4-yard TDs, and a backbreaking 59-yarder to start the fourth quarter. Wease’s touchdown catches were of 36 and 23 yards, both from quarterback Grant Tisdale.
The Eagles (13-0), a four-time state champion that entered play ranked as high as No. 3 in some national polls, moves on to the state quarterfinals against Midland Lee or Euless Trinity. That game is set for Saturday afternoon in Abilene.
The Warriors, who advanced to the playoffs as the second-place finisher out of District 4-6A, close their season 11-2.
Brayden Willis had two touchdowns, a 1-yard run and a 24-yard reception from quarterback Juma Otoviano.
Otoviano had 37 yards on 21 carries and a 2-yard TD run. His passing totals read 6 for 14 for 95 yards and the TD.
Martin played with the Eagles for the first 24 minutes, but the Warriors were outgained 318 to 62 in the third and fourth quarters.
The Warriors collected 11 first downs in the first half but only two in the second half.
Martin couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. The opening possession ended with an interception by Taj Bickham that was returned 50 yards for an Allen TD. He had an interception near the goal line last week against South Grand Prairie.
Down 14-3 after Wease’s first TD catch late in the first quarter, Martin recovered a muffed punt that set up Willis’ 1-yard TD.
Allen increased its lead with Sturges’ 4-yard TD. Martin started its ensuing drive at its own 6 after misplaying the kickoff, but the Warriors played-on unfazed.
And received more good fortune.
Taking a handoff from Allen’s 30, Trejon Henderson burst up the middle for 5 yards, but lost control of the ball. His teammate Antwone Parker was in the right place at the right time – in front of Henderson.
Parker took the ball and ran another 21 yards to Allen’s 4.
There, Otoviano ran twice, the last a 2-yard TD that cut the Warriors’ deficit to 21-16 at halftime.
After the bands, Allen came out and looked the part of the Class 6A Division I frontrunner.