ALLEN — The Sachse football team straddled a tightrope all regular season leading into Friday’s Class 6A Division I bi-district playoff game, sporting two losses by a combined three points and four wins by three points or less.
Undefeated, state-ranked Allen assured there would be no close calls Friday at Eagle Stadium.
The Eagles scored points on six of their first seven possessions and cruised through the opening round of the postseason with a 55-20 rout over Sachse. Allen improved to 11-0 on the season, advancing out of the first round of the playoffs for the 12th straight year, while spelling an end to Sachse’s 2019 campaign at 7-3 overall.
“I thought we played the way we practiced. This time of the year, it can get old doing the same thing each week, but it’s about you wanting to get better and improve,” said Terry Gambill, Allen head coach. “I thought we improved in a lot of areas. I know we have to improve on special teams, but we forced turnovers on defense and then our offense created a lot of big plays. As a team overall, we were ready to play tonight.”
With a focus on slowing the Sachse ground game, which entered the week ranked No. 19 in the area at 204.9 yards per game, Allen forced the Mustangs into a myriad of third-and-long situations that left the Sachse offense fairly dormant through one half on Friday.
The Mustangs managed just 58 yards on the ground over the first two quarters, good for just 2.5 yards per carry. Compounded with an early interception by Allen junior Matthew Tousant and a fumble recovery by senior Caulin Price, things got out of hand in a hurry for the District 10-6A co-champions.
“We just made too many mistakes. We were dropping the football and had a couple fumbles in the first half,” said Mark “Red” Behrens, Sachse head coach. “But then again, they’re really good, especially with their offensive line. They did a great job up front.”
The Allen offense had a hand in that as well, striking with a familiar efficiency in amassing three first-half touchdown drives of three plays or less. Senior quarterback Raylen Sharpe had his fingerprints on the onslaught with 262 total yards (205 passing, 57 rushing) and five total touchdowns in the win.
Sharpe found junior Blaine Green on both his touchdown throws, coming on plays of 33 and 14 yards, and added scoring runs of 48, 4 and 8 yards. Junior Bryson Green added 100 receiving yards on four catches, while junior Touray Green chipped in 75 receiving yards.
Most of that production came over the first two quarters and change for the bulk of Allen’s starters, who helped amass a 45-3 lead with 10:40 remaining in the third quarter before giving way to the backups.
Following Prince’s fumble return, which came early in the second quarter, junior Sam Hunter added a 16-yard touchdown run to his ledger, as he and junior Jordan Johnson continue to see increased work in the backfield with senior Celdon Manning and sophomore Jaylen Jenkins sidelined by injury.
On Friday, the two rushers combined for 88 yards on just 14 carries.
“They’ve shown great ball security and taken advantage of their opportunities,” Gambill said. “They’ve been called upon and made the most of this chance. They’ll be the first to tell you that the offensive line has helped them break some big runs out there.”
Although the Mustangs managed just 63 yards of offense in the first half, it wasn’t for a lack of advantageous field position — on average, Sachse started with the ball at its own 47-yard line through the first two quarters. The Eagles endured some hardships in that phase, surrendering a pair of long kick returns, attempting two failed onside kicks and committing a pair of offsides penalties on kick coverage.
“Sometimes it’s just one or two guys missing and that creates a seam or a crease,” Gambill said. “It’ll expose you and we got exposed in that area tonight.”
The Mustangs, however, couldn’t capitalize — going without a first down for their first six possessions and not finding the end zone until midway through the third quarter on a 9-yard touchdown run by junior Parker Wells.
Sachse’s backup signal-caller totaled 116 yards of offense, including 70 yards on the ground and a late, 18-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Herrera, as the Mustangs now look toward the offseason.
“[Wells] has been our starter most of the year, even though we rotated quarterbacks,” Behrens said. “He had a lot of success, especially with his legs. He doesn’t realize it, but he can run.”
Allen, meanwhile, advances to the area round of the playoff where it’ll meet Rockwall in a high-profile rematch from last season, set for 8 p.m. Friday at AT&T Stadium.