By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Editor
There is a reason why Allen is a top-10 team in the state of Texas, and on a cold and windy Friday night at Ron Poe Stadium, the McKinney Boyd Broncos found out why.
The Allen Eagles, ranked seventh in the Associated Press Texas high school football poll, defeated the Broncos soundly 34-7 to improve to 3-0 in District 10-5A and 7-1 overall. The Eagles also clinched the first playoff spot out of the district with the win. The Broncos dropped to 2-1 in district and 5-3 overall.
After Boyd held Allen to just seven points in the first quarter, the Eagles scored 20 unanswered points in the second quarter, including a 65-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kyler Murray, to open up the floodgates and go into halftime with a 27-0 lead. The Broncos were held to just 40 total yards in the first 24 minutes of the game, while only picking up three first downs. On the other hand, Allen rattled off 331 total yards in the first half and picked up 15 of its 25 first downs.
The Broncos’ lone score in the ballgame came in the fourth quarter with 1:22 left, when Curtis Ladd found Slater Brown in the back of the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown. Ladd finished the game 7-of-15 passing for 80 yards and one touchdown, while Brown led all Bronco receivers with three catches for 44 yards and a score.
In uncharacteristic fashion for the Bronco offense, Ladd finished with more passing yards than the team had rushing. Boyd finished with 58 total rushing yards in the game on 33 carries, averaging just 1.76 yards per carry. It was the fewest rushing yards in a game that the Broncos have had all season long.
Running back Bryan Driskell had a frustrating night on the ground, rushing for just 29 yards on 17 carries. Driskell was held under 100 yards rushing for the first time since the week one loss at Coppell when he ran for 96 yards on nine carries.
After the game, Boyd head coach Don Drake was pretty candid about his team’s performance versus the Allen Eagles.
“They whipped us, basically,” said Drake. “We couldn’t move the ball with any kind of consistency whatsoever, and that puts your defense out there for a long time. They’re explosive offensively and their quarterback is such a weapon with his feet. He made some huge plays tonight that hurt us and they beat us.”
Boyd also committed nine penalties for 90 yards in the game, while fumbling the ball three times and losing two of them.
“I was really disappointed in that,” said Drake concerning his team’s play. “I don’t really have an answer for you on why that happened this week, but we will look at the film and figure out what our mistakes were and how we can fix them.
While there were not too many positives for the Broncos on Friday night, their defense held Allen to just 148 total yards in the second half and only allowed a Murray one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. However, Drake said that his team didn’t take the field to earn moral victories.
“I’ll be honest, I’m not a moral victory guy. We come here to win, and that’s our expectation every week that we are going to line up and win,” said Drake. “When we don’t, we have got to figure out why we didn’t and get that fixed, because obviously we have to go into next week and play better. They are a great football team and there’s a reason why they are ranked in the state where they are. I hoped we would have performed better than we did, but we will put this behind us and get ready for next week.”
For Allen, Murray had another electric day through the air and on the ground. He threw for 207 yards on 21-of-27 passing and running for 147 yards on 15 carries, including rushing touchdowns of 28, 65, and one yards. He also had one interception that was picked off by Boyd’s Taylor Fann. Eagles receiver Oliver Pierce, who started the year under center for Allen, led the team with six receptions for 60 yards and also had 28 rushing yards on eight carries.
Friday night’s game held a community service component for Boyd’s football team. Dubbed the Purple Game, the team donned purple sashes which represented their loved ones who are battling with cancer or who have died from the disease. Players and their loved, or their representatives lined the track prior to kick-off. Fans dressed in purple in support of the Purple Game.
Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Santos
With the loss, the Broncos drop into a tie for second place with Plano at 2-1. Allen clinched a spot with the win, meaning that there are three playoff spots remaining in District 10-5A. Boyd will look to get back on track when the Broncos visit 0-3 Plano East next Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Photos by D.J. Newman