Fourth-ranked Allen wins fifth Texas title with gritty 35-33 win
Saturday, December 23, 2017
The Eagles squander 21-0 lead but behind three touchdowns from Brock Sturges defeat Lake Travis before 43,321 fans at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Video: Highlights of Allen RB Brock Sturges
Senior running back rushes for 176 yards and three touchdowns to lead state-championship win. ARLINGTON, Texas —
How Allen (Texas)
fits into the national rankings picture, Terry Gambill is not sure.
the Eagles' head coach knows exactly where Allen stands among Texas'
largest schools — unbeaten and not — after a 35-33 victory over Lake Travis (Austin)
in the Class 6A Division I state title game before
43,191 Saturday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.
ranked No. 4 in MaxPreps Xcellent 25 and Lake Travis, coming off a 28-14
state semifinal win over Katy, was No. 12.
Is Allen No. 1?
really don't pay much attention to national rankings, but to me, Texas
high school football is the best in the country,'' Gambill said. "There
are so many outstanding programs and the UIL does such a great job with
the state championship, playing in a stadium like this [AT&T
Stadium]. Anybody would like to have what we have.''
Asked for his argument to those doing the ranking: "We finished 16-0 and played a lot of great programs.''
When Allen gets to the big game, it finishes the job. The Eagles improved to 5-0 in state championship games.
Six-time state champion Lake Travis (13-3) lost in a title game for only the second time.
back Brock Sturges
, an Arizona State signee, led Allen with 176 rushing
yards and three touchdowns on the way to offensive MVP honors.
"This means the world to me,'' said Sturges.
raced to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, aided by a series of Lake
Travis mishaps, but the Cavaliers rallied with a run of 24 points to go
in front briefly in the third quarter.
Lake Travis played without
quarterback Matthew Baldwin
, an Ohio State signee, who reinjured his
knee on the first play from scrimmage. His fumble on what turned out to
be his only play was returned 14 yards for a touchdown by Allen
defensive lineman Jayden Jernigan
An interception return to the Lake Travis 3-yard-line by Demontre Thomas
set up Sturges for Allen's third score.
Travis' rally began with a Nathan Parodi
84-yard kickoff return for a
score. By halftime, the Cavs closed the gap to 21-17 on a sophomore
quarterback Hudson Card
short touchdown run and a 32-yard field goal
by Cameron Dicker
shocked Allen with a 28-yard interception return on the first play after intermission for a 24-21 Cavalier lead.
steadied with a pair of touchdown drives of 74 and 44 yards in the
third period. Lake Travis countered with a 42-yard field goal by Dicker
and entered the fourth quarter trailing by eight points, 35-27.
who threw for 224 yards and rushed for 73 in an emergency role,
finished a 72-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Wakefield
to narrow the Allen lead to 35-33 with 10 minutes remaining.
a two-point conversion to tie, Lake Travis tried trickery with a
reverse pass, but an onrushing Jace Waters
caused a hurried
Midway in the fourth quarter, Allen safety Taj Bickham
's perfectly timed interception intended for Garrett Wilson
spoiled what turned out to be Lake Travis' final offensive play.
With Sturges doing the heavy lifting, Allen was able to control the ball the remaining six minutes.
Allen quarterback Grant Tisdale
threw only eight times, but rushed for 82 yards and a score.
Wilson, one of several Lake Travis players going both ways, finished with eight catches for 99 yards.
was an awesome year,'' said Lake Travis coach Hank Carter. "I've got
the best kids in the world. We fell short and we're disappointed. Losing
a player like Matthew set us back and it took awhile to get everybody
on the same page.''