Falling Back into Place

Coming off a perfect 10-0 regular season and their first trip to the state championship in the last two years, the Allen Eagles football team are being lead by third-year head coach Terry Gambill and are looking for a repeat. Their most recent downfalls, losing in the semifinals back-to-back in 2016 and 2017, have only pushed them to work harder this past Spring as prepared for the Fall with some changes.

“I feel like we’re more balanced on offense this year,” senior quarterback Grant Tisdale said. Defense is still doing what they’ve always been doing, just stopping people but on offense I feel like we’re more balanced.”

The Eagle’s are currently on a 20 game winning-streak and they have faced some setbacks early in the season which has prevented them from playing at their full potential. The second game of the season, The Eagle’s played East High School from Utah but a severe thunderstorm occurred which caused an hour and a half, almost two hour delay. The next two weeks, the team played against Coppell, in which ended at halftime due to severe thunderstorms as well and they also played Plano senior High with about an hour delay.

“Coach always talks about facing adversity,” senior center Nick Trice said. We all knew what needed to be done so we had focus and lock in and we did a great job of that.”

Not only have the thunder set the back, but the Eagle’s have also faced a fall in which starting senior running back Andrew Henry got injured in the first game when they played and won against the Jaguars of Horn High School with a score of 40-0. Henry went down with a gruesome knee injury in which he could be out all season for. He ran for 75 yards on four attempts.

“That’s my boy Andrew,” Tisdale said. “I wish him the best of luck but you know in Allen, it’s the next man up, we wish Andrew the best of luck and that’s our boy.”

Although the offense may be averaging 40.5 points per game and defense are only allowing 8.5 points per game through four games, a team is never perfect and there can always be something done to make the team better.

“We just need to work on getting better as a team and individually,” senior defensive back Mo Perkins said. Our real competition will be coming during playoffs.”

One thing that has been a recent tradition for Allen is that they have been playing an out-of-state team as one of the first few games of the season as a non-district game, and they have managed to win all of those games as well.

“When you play an out-of-state team, it’s kinda like that Texas pride,” Tisdale stated. “You don’t want an out-of-state team coming and beating you in your own house, especially in the state of Texas.”You may see these young men perform out on that the field and win and they’re teammates out there, but beyond the gridiron, there is a family that has stuck together through the downfalls and through the success as well.

“Spending time with all my teammates,” Tisdale said. “We go to team dinners and stuff like that so just getting to know those guys and hang out with those guys is pretty cool.”

With the Eagle’s having a similar look to when the team won three straight state championships back in 2012-2014, they may not be the same team, but they have one team and one goal.

“The expectation at Allen is always state so we have to make it happen.” Trice said. “We gotta go 1-0 every week, the district, then state.”