Pregame Preview: Cedar Hill at Allen

Parker Primrose, Sports editor

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In a battle between two Texas high school football giants with a combined seven state titles from the past 11 years, the Allen Eagles will take on the Cedar Hill Longhorns at Eagle Stadium on Sept. 1.  The game represents the first time the two schools have played since 2013, when Allen beat Cedar Hill by a score of 39 to 20.

The Longhorns lost several key contributors during the offseason after an 11-3 season, but still come into the 2017 season primed for success. The team’s former head coach left for Baylor, leaving former defensive coordinator Carlos Lynn as the new head man. The team also graduated it’s starting quarterback, leading rusher and leading receiver from the previous season, but they return with a deep wide receiver core and a stout defense. The Longhorns offense will rely upon senior wide receiver and Baylor-commit Joshua Fleeks, who is 6’0 and runs a 4.48 40-yard dash.

The Longhorns defense is one of the fastest in the state and has several star players returning, including 2016 Defensive Newcomer of the Year in District 6-6A junior defensive back Donovan Collins. In addition to Collins, the Longhorns return all-district players senior linebacker Chase Albercrombie and senior defensive back Courtney Ogilvie. Anchoring the defensive line is 6’4” 260-pound senior Shabazz Dotson.

The Eagles enter the matchup with a new starter at quarterback but returning stars at both running back and wide receiver. The Eagle offense will be led by junior quarterback Grant Tisdale, who is already ranked as the second-best mobile quarterback in the class of 2019. Senior running back Brock Sturges is coming off of a 1,168-yard season on the ground in addition to 16 touchdowns, and last year’s leading receiver senior Carson Schlecker returns with junior Theo Wease to form one of the most dynamic wide receiver duos in the district. The offensive line has undergone changes at center, guard and right tackle, but it remains anchored by UCLA-commit senior left tackle Trey Stratford and senior guard Mason Grosser.

Defensively, the Eagles feature all-district players in the secondary and defensive line with the returns of senior defensive back Jevon Jones and junior defensive tackle Jayden Jernigan. The linebacker core also remains stout, led by senior linebacker and Colorado-commit Jace Waters. Last year’s defense struggled to defend the deep pass and will be tested early by Cedar Hill’s plethora of talented wide receivers.  

The game is part of the Tom Landry Classic and will kickoff at 7:45. Gates will open at 6 for the general public.

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