High School Football

Is Allen the best high school football team in the country?

There is a sign painted inside the fieldhouse at Eagle Stadium that reads “ONE GOAL … CHAMPIONS. DISTRICT. STATE.”

Allen took the first step toward defending its state title from a year ago as the state’s top-ranked team scored the first 26 points Friday night on its way to a convincing 54-21 victory over Prosper at Eagle Stadium to clinch the District 9-6A title – the 13th consecutive district title won by Allen.

“It’s something that our kids and our coaches take pride in, because there is only one (district champion),” Allen coach Terry Gambill said.

Senior Grant Tisdale completed 14 of 22 passes for 140 yards and also rushed for 135 yards with four total touchdowns for Allen (9-0 overall, 6-0 district) which amassed 619 yards of total offense while the Eagle defense held Prosper (7-2, 4-2) to just 227 total yards and seven first downs.

Allen rushed for 479 yards with 115 of that total coming from Raylen Sharpe, who had an 81-yard rushing touchdown in the second half, and 176 more combined from Manning (12 carry, 90 yards) and Grant Robinson (11 carry, 86 yards, TD).

Tisdale set the tone on Allen’s initial drive with 49 yards which led to a 2-yard touchdown run by Celdon Manning for a 7-0 Eagles lead with 9:44 remaining in the first quarter.

James Griffith booted a 45-yard field goal on Allen’s next drive for a 10-0 lead and Tisdale called his own number on his team’s following drive with a 6-yard TD run to bump the Allen advantage to 17-0.

“We knew what was at stake,” Tisdale said. “The district championship was on the line. We heard a lot of noise all week about how good their offensive line, how good their offensive efficiency was. We wanted to come out and make a statement and show that we’re the top dog.”

Things only got worse for Prosper.

Trailing 17-0 with two minutes left in the first quarter, a fumbled snap sailed 17 yards back from the line of scrimmage and into the end zone, where it was recovered by Prosper senior running back Wayne Anderson, resulting in a safety and a 19-0 Allen lead.

Prosper has leaned on the power of its offensive line and Anderson all season to 1,190 rushing yards for the Eagle standout running back but Allen’s defense stuffed him to the tune of 34 yards on nine carries.

“We wanted to send a message to any team that it’s Allen on top, and Allen is going to stay on top,” said Allen senior defensive lineman Michael Onwuzurike, who sacked Prosper quarterback Keegan Shoemaker for an eight-yard loss on a fourth-down play in the third quarter to stall a Prosper drive. “We always prepare hard, practice 24-7. We always do everything 110 percent. We just came after it.”

Prosper was led by Shoemaker who passed for 169 yards while TJ Lane rushed for a pair of touchdowns.

Leading 33-14 with less than a minute remaining in the second quarter, Allen increased its lead to 40-14 on a 22-yard pass play between Tisdale and Bryson Green, who caught the ball in tight one-on-one coverage in the back of the end zone.

Play of the game: Prosper was pinned at its own 13-yard line after a nice punt by Allen to commence its third drive of the first quarter and on the following play a fumble snap was fallen on by Anderson, who was tackled in the end zone, resulting in a safety for a 19-0 Allen lead.

Offensive player of the game: Tisdale led six scoring drives in the first half for Allen which built a 40-14 halftime lead.

Defensive player of the game: This award will be shared by Allen’s defense which held Prosper to 54 rushing yards.

Unsung hero of the game: Allen place kicker James Griffith made all six extra-point kicks and also booted a 45-yard field goal.

It was over when: Bryson Green caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Tisdale in tight one-on-one coverage in the back of the end zone with 34 seconds remaining in the second quarter to give Allen a commanding 40-14 lead.

Big picture outlook: Prosper has already clinched a playoff berth despite Friday’s loss and is in a three-way tie for second place in the district standings. Allen locked up the district title and will have a No. 1 seed in the Class 6A playoffs.

What’s next? Prosper closes out the regular season Friday, Nov. 9 at Plano with a 7 p.m. kickoff. Allen will look to cap off an undefeated regular season against Plano West on Thursday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m.

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