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October 6, 2011
Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
Allen (Texas) High - unlike so many ranked teams this season - hung on for the victory, maintained its perfect record and extended its now 12-year winning streak over nearby rival Plano (Texas) East Thursday night.
But did it do enough to retain the top spot in the RivalsHigh 100 rankings?
That decision will be determined Monday.
This much, however, is clear now. For as good and resilient as Allen's offense is - a 28-point third quarter keyed its thrilling come-from-behind 42-38 victory - its defense and special teams have holes.
An all-around dominant performance on national television this was not.
To be fair, two turnovers led to two of the touchdowns for the opposition. But for most of the game Allen played from behind, it played like it didn't have the speed on defense to compete with the elite teams nationally and it played as if it couldn't figure out how to contain Plano East quarterback Corey Wesley.
Wesley threw for 365 yards and two TDs and ran for 26 yards and a TD. But more than that, he seemed to make the big plays in big spots, repeatedly converting third- and fourth-down plays, including a 35-yard TD pass to Tre Jones on a fourth-and-15 play near the beginning of the fourth quarter.
The score gave Plano East its last lead of the game, 38-35 with 11:45 remaining.
After that, Allen went to its biggest weapon, bruising running back Jonathan Williams.
Williams was held to 112 yards on 29 carries, but he bullied his way to three touchdowns, including the game-winning score with 5:13 remaining.
Then Allen did what it hadn't all game. It made a stop.
Allen forced Plano to punt, then nearly ran out the clock, only to have its special teams nearly give up the game.
Allen, which allowed Plano to return a kickoff return for a score (and was saved on a second by a penalty away from the play), shanked a punt in the closing seconds. Plano, however, couldn't go 40 yards in 21 seconds.
Plano finished with 469 total yards.
Allen quarterback Alec Morris, an Alabama commit, finished 20-for-29 for 278 yards and two TDs to his favorite target, Andrew Rodriguez (6 catches for 173 yards). And while the numbers appear solid, Morris play was uneven at times, hardly dominating.
Much like Allen as a whole.