Rarely do players produce a career night against Allen’s defense. But Little Elm junior quarterback John Mateer was in a special groove Friday at Lobo Stadium.
The signal-caller threw for 497 yards and three touchdowns, eviscerating the state-ranked Eagles’ secondary and keeping Little Elm within striking distance for the majority of Friday’s ballgame.
Allen has its share of firepower on offense as well, however, and that unit ultimately won out in a 68-44 shootout that kept the Eagles unbeaten on the year at 4-0 and 2-0 in District 5-6A. Little Elm dropped to 2-5 and 0-3 in conference play.
It wasn’t for a lack of effort moving the ball, as Little Elm compiled 610 yards versus Allen’s 625. Mateer matched the Eagles stride for stride for much of the night, completing 39 of 51 passes to eight different receivers. Four of those pass-catchers caught at least seven balls, led by an eight-catch, 150-yard night for Josh Joseph. Mateer threw touchdown passes to Walter Roddy-White, Cameran Taylor-Butler and Jason Jackson.
The effort helped Little Elm keep pace and only trail 24-21 late in the first half before Allen closed out the half with nine unanswered points for a 33-21 halftime lead.
The Lobos were unable to get their deficit into single digits during the second half as Allen’s offense continued to pour on points. The Eagles were paced by 159 rushing yards and a touchdown from senior Jordan Johnson, while senior quarterbacks General Booty and Jake Wolff threw two touchdown passes apiece.
Through the air, seniors Blaine and Bryson Green, as well as Johnson and junior Jaylen Jenkins, caught touchdown passes for the unbeaten Eagles.
Prosper gets it done on ‘D’ vs. McKinney
McKINNEY — Sacks and turnovers scoured McKinney ISD Stadium Thursday night. Fortunately for Prosper, those conditions are right in their comfort zone.
The Eagles submitted another defensive gem on Thursday, holding McKinney to just 180 yards and only one offensive touchdown in a 27-17 road win. Less than a week removed from a last-second, 24-23 loss to state-ranked Denton Guyer, the Eagles rediscovered the win column to improve to 4-1 on the year and 2-1 in District 5-6A action.
“Our defensive coordinator, coach (Bill) Robertson, and our defensive line coach, (Devin) Lemons, they had a great game plan coming into tonight to get pressure on the passer,” said Brandon Schmidt, Prosper head coach. “Just different stunts up front and getting after their quarterback.”
The Eagles did that in droves, bringing down McKinney junior Sampson Nazarko behind the line of scrimmage seven times on Thursday. Juniors Atticus Burandt, Aeden Combest and seniors Mason Jolley, Alex Stowers and Martez Harris headlined an aggressive pass rush, while seniors Aidan Siano and Herman Lee provided some key stops against senior running back RJ Carver and the McKinney run game.
The Lions (3-3, 0-2) succumbed to that pressure as early as their opening series, advancing inside the Prosper 10-yard line before ultimately turning the ball over on downs after Lee blew up a Carver run on fourth-and-two.
“Credit to them. That’s a really good, physical defense and they do a great job up front. Aidan Siano is one of the best high school football players I’ve ever seen,” said Marcus Shavers, McKinney head coach. “They definitely present some challenges in that area “I thought our kids handled it well early, but they’ve got to play a full four quarters of football.”
That was the case for both teams, which had their issues with turnovers on Thursday — totaling five. Three of those were produced by McKinney’s defense on a trio of interceptions thrown by Prosper senior Jackson Berry. That included a 59-yard return for a touchdown by junior Joshua Dixon in the waning seconds of the first quarter to trim Prosper’s lead to 13-7.
Seniors Geor’Darrius Mays and Jack Moses added picks in the loss — the former setting up a 20-yard field goal by senior Josh Secrest that trimmed the gap to 13-10 heading into halftime.
“We had some adversity and responded to it in a positive way,” Shavers said. “A lot of times kids can hang their hands down two scores like that, but our guys kept fighting and I’m not surprised by that. We’ve seen examples of that all year.”
Prosper had a response ready to begin the third quarter, however. Berry swelled the Eagles’ lead up to 27-10 through three frames, finding senior Keaton Nickerson deep for a 73-yard touchdown and later scoring on a 1-yard run to give Prosper a three-score lead.
Nickerson was on the receiving end of a 13-yard touchdown pass in the first half and finished with five catches for 122 yards.
“He’s not very big, but he knows how to get the job done,” Schmidt said. “He does a great job blocking on the perimeter, he runs great routes and has great hands.”
Berry had a hand in all four Prosper touchdowns and totaled 328 yards through the air alongside three scores and three picks.
“We’ve got to eliminate those turnovers. That’s the third game where we’ve had three turnovers and we’re not going to win too many games that way,” Schmidt said.