Allen’s comeback attempt falls short in loss to The Woodlands

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Allen’s comeback attempt falls short in loss to The Woodlands

Parker Primrose, Assistant sports editor

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In the 6A Division 1 semi-finals, the Allen Eagles fell short to The Woodlands Highlanders 28 to 36 at DKR Texas Memorial Stadium. The loss was the Eagles’ third in the last five years and represents a disappointing finish to what was otherwise a great season.

The Highlanders got off to a quick start, taking an early seven to nothing lead in the first quarter. The Highlanders would expand their lead to 23 points before the Eagles were able to get their offense on track, and the deficit would prove too large for the Eagles to surmount. A furious fourth quarter comeback attempt came on the arm of quarterback Mitchell Jonke, but it fell just short as Allen could not recover their onside kick attempt after making it a one score game.

The Eagle offense struggled to get into a rhythm early in the game, as they finished the first half with just 128 yards of total offense and three points. In the second half, Jonke took charge of the offense on his way to 332 total yards and three total touchdowns. The lack of a running game and the lopsided score resulted in the quarterback throwing the ball 56 times, by far his most on the season. Jonke’s leading receiver on the day was sophomore Theo Wease, who accumulated 107 yards and two touchdowns on 10 receptions.

The dynamic duo of running backs Brock Sturges and Kirby Bennett were kept quiet by the Highlander defense, as the pair combined for just 63 rushing yards and no touchdowns after combining for 266 yards last week. The Eagle offensive line struggled to get a push up front in the running game and the passing game, as Air Force commit Michael Purcell wreaked havoc all day for the Highlanders.

On defense, Allen was leaky against the run and struggled to defend big pass plays, evidenced by the 68- and 72-yard touchdown passes they allowed. Highlanders wide receiver Kesean Carter racked up 184 yards against the Eagle secondary, as his speed proved too much to handle. Overall, the Allen defense gave up 369 passing yards and 113 rushing yards while struggling to stop the Highlanders on third down. The Eagle ‘D’ was able to sack The Woodlands’ quarterback several times, but they were not able to force any turnovers.

The Woodlands will advance to play either Lake Travis or Atascocita in the 6A state championship next week. The Allen Eagle football team will finish the year with a record of 14-1, marking a very successful season for first-year head coach Terry Gambill. Stay up with all the offseason news right here on The Eagle Angle.

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