Nowhere to Run: Northwest stuffed by Allen, 59-0
Allen entered Friday night's game against Justin Northwest without its star running back, but it was the Texans that had trouble running the ball.
Northwest (1-1) didn't cross over into positive rushing yardage until the final drive of the game and finished with only 18 yards on 29 carries as Allen (2-0) cruised to a 59-0 victory.
"That's an awesome feeling right there," said Chris Hudson, Allen senior linebacker, as he pointed at the scoreboard. "A goose egg is very rare and we were trying to maintain focus and maintain that zero throughout the second half."
The Eagles were able to do that thanks to a second half in which the Texans were limited to 18 offensive plays as opposed to Allen's 35.
"[Northwest] came in with a lot of confidence," Hudson said, "but I think we tired them out a lot faster than they expected."
It's tough to say if Northwest actually was tired as its offense was inefficient all night.
The Texans had 12 drives Friday. Seven ended in punts, two in fumbles, one via an interception, one in a turnover on downs and then the completion of the game.
Texans quarterback Draze Lawliss completed 10-of-20 passes for 101 yards, but continually found himself under pressure from the likes of junior linebacker Camden Cooper, senior defensive linemen Brandyn Bolling and Deandre Hill, Hudson and sophomore defensive lineman Lance Williams. Lawliss ran the ball nine times for negative-34 yards.
Northwest had just 119 yards of total offense.
"Our defense did really well tonight," said Tom Westerberg, Allen head coach. "We rotated a bunch of guys in and out up front and they were real active and then (defensive coordinator Cory) Cain had his guys in the right spot all night and we were able to dial up the blitz at the right time."
That allowed Allen to pad its lead, but the Eagles were never in danger after amassing a 14-0 advantage through one quarter.
Allen's lead was up to 24-0 at the half, but the Eagles weren't particularly impressive on offense.
"We came out strong just like we did against Cedar Hill," said Alec Morris, Allen senior quarterback, "and then we hit a bit of a lull again, so we refocused at halftime."
"We were off a little bit in that first half," he said, "so we had to refocus and talk about what was working for us, what wasn't and adjust from there."
That talk worked.
Allen had five possessions in the second half and scored five touchdowns.
Leading that charge was Morris. After throwing 14 incompletions in the first half, the Alabama commit was 8-for-8 with 145 yards and three touchdowns in the second half. Morris finished the night with a rushing touchdown and completed 18-of-32 passes for 322 yards and five touchdowns.
"We know we have to prove why we are the No. 1 team in the state every time we go out there," Morris said. "And after halftime, we knew now was the time to prove it."
Two of Morris' touchdown passes were hauled in by senior Andrew Rodriguez. To go along with those scores, the wideout caught seven passes for 198 yards, many of which were picked up with nifty moves after the catch.
"A-Rod isn't the tallest or the strongest guy out there," Morris said, "but he's a playmaker. That's just what he does."
In addition to Rodriguez, touchdown passes were hauled in by senior Cortland Tolbert, who scored on both of his receptions, junior Oliver Pierce and junior Zeric Lamb. Lamb's touchdown pass came from junior quarterback Connor Greenberg, who completed all four of his passes.
That score made it 52-0 and Allen tallied its final touchdown when junior John Rocha pushed it in from two yards out on 4th-and-goal with 2:31 remaining. Rocha was part of an Eagles' rushing attack, led juniors Marcus Ward and Jeff Harris, that piled up 190 yards in the absence of senior Jonathan Williams. The Missouri commit missed the game due to back spasms.
Rocha's score, which briefly caused Texans' tempers to flare, made it 59-0 and left Allen with one more stop needed for the shutout.
"I know getting a shutout was a goal of the defense," Westerberg said, "and it trickled down to the second and third teamers."
Despite its late rushing outburst, Northwest wouldn't get any points on the board.
The celebration ensued after time ran out, a celebration that included Williams, who said he is still "day-to-day." Allen could use Williams in its next game as the Eagles travel to Longview to face the Lobos at 7:30 p.m. Friday.