One of the reasons Allen again is a favorite to go deep into the playoffs is its offense line.
Four of its five starters from the 2008 state championship team returned this year, and all five starters are getting looks from Division I colleges. The line has a formidable combination of talent, experience, size and chemistry.
RT Cedric Ogbuehi (6-5, 270 pounds) has orally committed to Texas A&M. LG Luke Burleson (6-6, 275) is committed to Baylor. LT Taylor Pearson (6-5, 287) holds offers from North Texas, Princeton and Yale. And RG Brad McNulty (6-3, 309), a junior, is already getting looks from Division I schools.
The most recent example of the line's work came in Allen's 51-28 win over Plano East on Friday. Against a talented Panthers defense, the Eagles (8-1 overall, 5-0 in District 8-4A) gained more than 500 yards of total offense, including 269 on the ground.
QB Matt Brown was rarely pressured by East (5-3, 4-1) and had no trouble finding holes to run in. He ran for 157 yards and threw for 266 and four touchdowns en route to a win that clinched at least a share of the 8-5A title, Allen's fourth district title in a row.
"Their size and talent is something that we're appreciative of because we don't always get them that are 6-4 and 6-5," Allen coach Tom Westerberg said. "We've just had a lucky run of tall linemen. Their work ethic and the chemistry between all of them are awesome. You can't find one without the other ones."
While Allen has wrapped up a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, it's still unknown whether the Eagles will be Division I or Division II. That depends on the outcome of Plano's game at Jesuit at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The winner clinches a playoff berth.
Should Jesuit win, Allen will be in Division I. If Plano wins, Allen will be in Division II. Allen won the state title in Division I last year. Should they go Division II, the Eagles could face an early test against Southlake Carroll in second round.
Allen's game at Wylie at 7:30 p.m. on Friday has no implications on its playoff positioning, but an Allen win would clinch the outright district title.