Allen Eagles (14-0) vs. The Woodlands Highlanders (14-0)
Saturday, December 10 – 1:00 p.m.
Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium – Austin, Texas
It’s a matchup that all Texas high school football playoff fans desire. Undefeated regional winners Allen and The Woodlands square off for the right to play for a state title on the University of Texas campus.
Last week, the Eagles captured the Class 6A Division I Region I championship by defeating Duncanville 42-23. Tied 14-14 at halftime, Allen crossed up the Panthers and took the lead on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell Jonke to Josh Cornell.
Jonke threw only 15 times in the contest, completing nine for 87 yards. For the season, Allen’s quarterback has passed for 2,221 yards with 23 touchdowns and only five interceptions.
Once they went ahead, the Eagles turned to their power running game and forged a 35-17 lead behind Brock Sturges and Kirby Bennett. Against Duncanville, Bennett carried 13 times for 136 yards and scored on runs of 78 and 4 yards. Sturges also toted the pigskin 13 times, gaining 130 yards with scoring gallops of 41 and 42 yards.
In 2016, Sturges paces the Allen ground game with 1,106 yards on 151 carries and 16 touchdowns. Bennett supplements the Eagle rushing offense with 777 yards on 120 carries and six touchdowns.
The Woodlands reached the semifinals as Region II champions with even less effort, downing Round Rock 41-18. The win gave the Highlanders their first regional title since 2003.
The Highlanders played like gangbusters in the first half, erupting for 34-6 lead. Quarterback Eric Schmid directed the attack by throwing for 270 yards with 14 completions in 29 attempts including a 24-yard scoring pass to Carlos Ramos. Schmid also gained 124 yards on 13 carries with touchdown runs of 5, 17, and 12 yards.
The Woodlands defense thwarted the Dragons holding them to 121 rushing yards and getting six quarterback sacks.
Last week, the Highlanders dedicated the game to senior linebacker Grant Milton. Milton sustained a serious head injury in The Woodlands regional semifinal game against Austin Bowie and was rushed from Baylor’s McLane Stadium to a Waco hospital were he remains in a coma.