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Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Allen, FM Marcus battle for 8-5A supremacy

By Jeff Andrews


No. 1 ALLEN (7-0, 4-0 8-5A) at No. 6 FLOWER MOUND MARCUS (7-0, 4-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Marauder Stadium

When we saw them last: Allen scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to beat Plano West, 40-28, and avoid what would have been one of the biggest upsets of the year. It was the second week in a row that Allen had to come from behind to win. Flower Mound Marcus scored in the final minute to beat Plano, 28-24, for a close win that followed overtime wins over Flower Mound and Plano West.

2010 result: Allen took advantage of three Marcus fumbles to handily defeat the Marauders, 30-14. The Eagles scored 17 points in the second quarter to take a big lead at halftime and their defense did the rest.

What’s at stake: With Allen and Marcus the only remaining undefeated 8-5A teams, this game could decide the district title. But if the first four weeks of 8-5A play have taught us anything, it’s that there’s always the possibility of an upset.

Key matchup: Marcus has a more balanced offense this season than it’s had in the past, but the Marauders are still primarily a running team. Establishing the run will be critical for Marcus against a talented Allen defensive front. It would also keep Allen’s high-powered offense off the field.

Players to watch: Allen wide receiver Andrew Rodriguez isn’t showing up on many recruiting lists but he’s showing up big time in games. The senior has 956 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging 21 yards per catch. Marcus running back Jeff Smiley has come on strong in 8-5A play. He’s run for 663 yards and eight touchdowns in just four games.

Prediction: Allen 28, Flower Mound Marcus 24.