<
>

Plano gets first crack at No. 1 Allen in 8-5A play

No. 1 ALLEN (3-0) at No. 10 PLANO (3-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Clark Stadium

When we saw them last: Plano swept its nondistrict schedule, registering convincing wins over Garland Lakeview Centennial, Irving MacArthur and Mansfield Legacy. Allen did the same but against slightly better competition -- Cedar Hill, Justin Northwest and Longview.

2010 result: Plano led at halftime, but Allen scored 23 unanswered points in the second half en route to a 30-13 win. Allen running back Jonathan Williams showed a glimpse of things to come by running for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

What’s at stake: An early lead in District 8-5A. Allen is heavily favored to win the game, the district and even a state title, but an upset over Allen would instantly make Plano the frontrunner to win the district and a darkhorse in the playoffs.

Key matchup: Plano’s offense vs. Allen’s defense. Plano leads the area in scoring with 51 points per game, but Allen has given its opponents little to work with, giving up just 12 points per game. Plano running backs Kevin Merrill and Rakeem Crawford both average more than 8 yards per carry.

Players to watch: Running back Jonathan Williams missed Allen’s last two games because of injury. If the Missouri commit can return against Plano, he’ll add even more explosiveness to an already loaded offense. At 6-foot-6, Plano quarterback Richard Lagow has the type of measurables that make recruiters drool. He has 482 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions on the year.

Prediction: Allen 24, Plano 14.