Lone Star Gridiron

Allen Comes From Behind to Beat Cavaliers 35-33

Pat Carrigan

Photos: Pat Carrigan

Eagles Win a Back-and-Forth Battle

AT&T Stadium - The 2017 Class 6A DI State Championship featured two of the most historical Texas high school football programs: Allen Eagles (15-0) and Austin Lake Travis Cavaliers (13-2.) In what was the third consecutive amazing game, Allen jumped out early, fell behind and then stormed back for the 35-33 win.

Lake Travis got the ball first. On the very first snap quarterback Matthew Baldwin (3,842 yards passing 71.8% completion percentage 44 touchdowns on the season) who hurt his knee last week against Katy in the Semifinals dropped back to pass, his knee buckled and he fumbled the ball away. It was scooped up by Allen linebacker Jayden Jernigan who ran it for a touchdown from 14 yards out. Just 14 seconds into the game, Allen led 7-0 and LT's star quarterback was headed to the locker room out for the game. Lake Travis Sophomore Hudson Card took over as the quarterback (1,903 total yards on the season). The Cavaliers went three and out though giving Allen great field position at the LT 43.  Allen running back Brock Sturges (1,990 yards 27 touchdowns on the season) ran it in from 13 yards out to put Allen up 14-0 with just 2:35 played in the game. Lake Travis started moving the ball and faced a 4th and 6 at the Allen 40 but Card was sacked. After an Allen punt, Allen defensive back Marcus Thomas picked off a pass and returned it to the Lake Travis 5 yard line. Sturges ran it in on the next play to make it 21-0 with 4:40 left in the 1st quarter. Down but not out, Cavalier receiver Nathan Parodi got them back in the game when he returned the kickoff 84 yards for a TD to make the score 21-7. After Allen was forced to punt, Lake Travis was deep into Allen territory as the quarter ended. For the quarter Allen ran 13 plays for 75 yards and LT ran 25 plays for 115 yards.

Card was able to capitalize on their drive as he ran it in from 3 yards out to make the score 21-14 with 11:27 left until half. Allen was forced to punt again.  LT used several great catches by their receivers including a highlight catch by star wide receiver Garrett Wilson (1,675 yards 26 touchdowns on the season). They drove down to the Allen 5 yard line before being stopped. LT kicker Cameron Dicker (University of Texas commit) came in and kicked a 32 yard field goal to tighten the score to 21-17. The Eagles were finally able to get a 1st down and then faced a 4th and 2 at their own 46 with 1:50 left in the half. The Cavalier defense stuffed the run to give them back the ball. On LT's 1st play, their pass to the 5 yard line was picked off by CJ Johnson. The Eagles were able to get a couple of first downs to run out the clock to end the half.

Allen got the ball first to start the 2nd half. Their 1st play was a pass that was picked off by sophomore defensive back Kyle Eaves who returned it 28 yards for a touchdown to give LT the lead 24-21. For the second time this championship week a team had given up a 21 point lead. The Eagles used a strong running game to get to the Cavalier 2 yard line where they faced a 4th and 1. They went for it and quarterback Grant Tisdale (3,053 total yards 42 total touchdowns on the season) scored from 2 yards out to put Allen back in front 28-24. LT responded with a drive and Dicker kicked a 42 yard field goal to make the score 28-27.  The Cavaliers tried an onside kick and recovered it. There was a penalty by LT for blocking before the ball went 10 yards. That the penalty happened was a clear, but the confusing part was that the ball was given to Allen where the Lake Travis player recovered the ball. The Eagles drove down and Sturges ran it in for the score from 4 yards out to make the score 35-27. Lake Travis was driving as the quarter ended.

The Cavaliers got a score when Card hit Kyle Wakefield for a 6 yard touchdown pass. The 2 point conversion was no good and the score was 35-33. Allen got the ball back and faced a 4th and 1 at their own 34 and were going for it but a false start forced them to punt. Allen defensive back Taj Bickham (Texas State commit) intercepted a pass at the Allen 6 yard line. Allen took over the ball with 6:03 remaining in the game. Sturges made several key runs as the Eagles ran out the clock for the win.

by Michael Wright

Offensive MVP:  Brock Sturges (32 carries 176 yards 3 touchdowns)

Defensive MVP: Taj Bickham (5 tackles 1 interception)

Attendance:

 1Q2Q3Q4QFinal
Allen21014035
Lake Travis71010633
Allen Lake Travis
35First Downs33
289Rushing Yds92
34Passing Yds224
8-5-1C-A-I32-21-3
323Total Yds316
4-39.5Punts-Avg1-37.0
1-0Fumble-Lost2-1
6-40Penalties1-5

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