Allen overcomes Houston Lamar for 5A Division I state championship

ARLINGTON -- Allen claimed its second UIL state title Saturday night and first since 2008 with a 35-21 win over Houston Lamar in the Class 5A Division I championship game at Cowboys Stadium.

The crowd of 48,379 was just short of the record 49,953 for a high school game set by Plano and Port Neches-Groves in 1977.

Allen sophomore quarterback Kyler Murray rushed for 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns on runs of 55 and 68 yards. He added another 49 yards passing and a score through the air and was named offensive MVP.

Eagles running back Marcus Ward chipped in with 117 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns after Houston Lamar tied the game at 21-21. Ward's 67-yard sprint extended Allen's lead to 35-21 with 6:06 left in the game.

Defensive back Cameron Hartsfield was named defensive MVP after weaving 56 yards deep inside Redskins territory on a fumble recovery to set up the Eagles' third touchdown of the game and extend Allen's lead to 21-8 in the second quarter. Hartsfield also tallied nine tackles and one for loss.

Houston Lamar's bid to become the first Houston Independent School District school to win a football state title since Houston Yates in 1985 fell short, but not before making the Eagles (15-1) sweat.

The Redskins (15-1) fought back from an early 14-2 deficit to tie the game at 21-21 on an 18-yard pass from quarterback Darrell Colbert to wideout Beau Wells with 2:04 remaining in the third quarter.

Allen's Oliver Pierce returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards inside the Redskins 20. Ward scored his first touchdown on a 1-yard plunge with 26 seconds left in the third to retake the lead for the Eagles.

Colbert finished with 207 yards and two touchdowns passing and added another 126 yards and a score on the ground. Wells hauled in four passes for 48 yards and a score.

Lamar fullback Cory Mitchell caught four passes for a game-high 77 yards and a touchdown.

Redskins defensive lineman Zelt Minor, an SMU commit, had six tackles, two sacks and four tackles for loss.

Allen defeated area powers Southlake Carroll, Cedar Hill, Mesquite, Dallas Skyline and DeSoto this season.

Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760