No. 2 Allen looks to avenge last year's loss to No. 26 Coppell

No. 2 Allen looks to avenge last year's loss to No. 26 Coppell


No. 2 Allen looks to avenge last year's loss to No. 26 Coppell


When you talk to Tom Westerberg, the coach of No. 2 Allen, Texas, or to Joe McBride, the coach of No. 26 Coppell, Texas, and mention Coppell's 27-24 regular-season overtime defeat of the Eagles last season, they respond as if they're talking about a bad breakup.

"No, we've kind of moved on from that deal," says Westerberg said. "It helped us last year in that we didn't play very well and (Allen's players) understood that when you don't get ready to play, you get beat."

McBride concurs his team isn't likely to bring up last year's win, which was Allen's only loss en route to a state 5A title.

"We've moved on," McBride said. "They're a great football team. Last year's win only helps in that our kids know if they believe in what we do, if we play with discipline, we have a chance to do it again."

Coppell (3-0) travels to Allen (4-0) Friday night for a game that could draw more than 12,000.

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The Cowboys are averaging 49.7 points a game while Allen is averaging 44 points a game. The key for Coppell will be containing Allen junior quarterback Kyler Murray, who has passed for 1,016 yards and 10 touchdowns and run for 281 yards and six touchdowns.

"He's extremely quick and fast," McBride said. "He creates so much with his feet. He's a little like Johnny Manziel. You have to be lined up right and take away the hot routes, not leave any holes in the secondary, but at the same time you have to contain Murray."

For Allen, the tough task will be preventing Coppell's big offensive line from springing junior running back Charles West, who is averaging 13.67 yards a carry while rushing for 512 yards and six touchdowns. West has also thrown a touchdown pass and caught one.

"Last year, they shortened the game and drained the clock a bit on us," Westerberg said. "They went on a real long drive. Our defense knows they have to get them off the field. We have to get them to fourth down."

Regardless of Friday's outcome, last year's lesson is that the result is only a prelude to the playoffs.

"It's not their Super Bowl, it's not our Super Bowl," McBride said. "A lot of things happen later in the year."
No. 3 Paramus (N.J.) Catholic vs. St. Ignatius, Saturday in Parma, Ohio: Paramus Catholic gets its toughest test so far this season against the 11-time Ohio state champion Wildcats. The only loss for 3-1 St. Ignatius was 29-20 to two-time defending Michigan state champion Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), now ranked No. 37. St. Ignatius' biggest win this season was a 26-6 defeat of Mentor. The Wildcats' biggest question is who will start at quarterback. Starter John Thomas didn't play in his team's 49-10 defeat of McDowell (Erie) last week because of a shoulder injury and backup Christian Klink threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns in his first start. Paramus, the defending New Jersey non-public Group IV champion, is led by running back/defensive back Jabrill Peppers, who has 88 tackles, one rushing touchdown and four receiving touchdowns and by Keyon Washington, who has rushed for 276 yards and a touchdown.

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No. 5 Hoover, Ala., vs. Vestavia Hills, Friday: Besides being a big local rivalry (the schools are less than 10 miles apart), both are unbeaten. Vestavia Hills coach Buddy Anderson needs one win to pass Glenn Daniel for second most career wins in Alabama. The Rebels (4-0) are led by running back Jordan Johnson, who ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns in his team's 35-7 defeat of Gardendale last week. Hoover (4-0), however, has won 19 consecutive games, including a 35-15 defeat of Vestavia Hills in the regular season and a 21-7 defeat of the Rebels in the state quarterfinal. Last week, in a 56-14 defeat of Northridge (Tuscaloosa), Hoover wide receiver Justin Johnson caught six passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

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No. 14 St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.) at Bergen Catholic (Oradell), Saturday: St. Joseph is 2-0, outscoring its opponents 91-27. Bergen is 1-2, but the Crusaders are playing a tough national schedule with the losses to No. 31 John Curtis Christian (River Ridge, La.) and to No. 35 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas). Despite the record, Bergen is allowing less than 19 points a game. St. Joseph squeaked out a 38-37 victory last season against Bergen. The Green Knights have only allowed 13.5 points a game, so a low-scoring contest may be likely this time around.

No. 15 Mountain Pointe (Phoenix) vs. No. 27 Hamilton (Chandler), Friday: Mountain Pointe is 5-0 but the Pride's quest for the state title goes through the Huskies, who are 4-0 and defeated Mountain Pointe 31-16 in last year's Division I state title. Pride quarterback Antonio Hinojosa has connected on 37 of 55 passes for 835 yards and nine touchdowns and may have to do more than usual as Mountain Pointe will be without running back and linebacker Wesley Payne, who dislocated his elbow last week. Running back Brandyn Leonard did give the Pride some ground-and-pound last week with 175 yards and three touchdowns in a defeat of Chandler. The Huskies' defense is formidable, allowing only 14 points a game. Hamilton senior running back Tyrell Smith is averaging just shy of 100 rushing yards a game.

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No. 18 Edna Karr (New Orleans) at No. 31 John Curtis Christian (River Ridge) in Algiers, Thursday:  Led by quarterback Devonte "Speedy" Noil and defensive lineman Gerald Willis, the defending state 4A champion Cougars (2-0) have plenty of Division I talent and had a bye week to prepare for the Patriots (2-1). But John Curtis, which won the Super 25 title and the state 2A title last season, also has plenty of talent, led by linebacker Kenny Young. The Patriots may want to give Dontae Jones the ball more. He has three carries, all for touchdowns. Karr, the defending 4A champion, last played Curtis in 2002, walking away with a 14-12 win.


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