Allen Sign Shuva

Allen’s Sign Shuva (5) and Jeremiah Dillard (28) celebrate a play made by the Eagle defense during Saturday’s 59-21 win over Euless Trinity.

Allen junior linebacker Diego Avila had a gut feeling that things would be different this time.

One year after Euless Trinity senior running back Ollie Gordon rushed for 460 yards and six touchdowns in a Class 6A Division I regional playoff -- a game that the Trojans won 49-45 -- Avila and company held the Oklahoma State commit in check in Saturday's playoff rematch.

Gordon was held to 138 rushing yards, no touchdowns and an average of 5.5 yards per tote in a 59-21 blow-out win for Allen at Eagle Stadium. 

“I challenged our guys all week long,” said Chad Morris, Allen head coach. “We knew that we were playing a heck of a football team, a team that has been known for being very physical. And we challenged our guys all week long. We’re going to have to be an extremely physical football team. They’re downhill, smash mouth and we were going to have to match their physicality. And we did that.”

Allen (11-2) will face Southlake Carroll in a 6A-I state quarterfinal Saturday, Dec. 4, 2 p.m. at Apogee Stadium in Denton. The Dragons topped Lewisville, 52-0, also on Saturday. Trinity ends its season at 11-2.

Gordon picked up where he left off in last year's playoff game, rushing 25 yards on his first carry. But Allen's defense buckled down and held Gordon to 113 yards for the remainder of the game. It was the first time all season that Gordon had failed to score a touchdown. 

On that same drive, Trinity had first and 10 at the Allen 32-yard line after the big gain by Gordon. However, the Trojans were held to nine yards on the next four plays, including stopping Gordon a yard short of the marker on a fourth-down run. 

It was the first of three times in the first half that Trinity failed to convert on fourth down inside Allen territory. 

The Eagles' defense was their best early in the second quarter. With the Trojans trailing 21-7 and facing 4th and 1 at the Allen 30, Gordon was stuffed for a 1-yard loss by Avila and junior defensive back Michael Momoh, creating a turnover on downs.

“It was one of the biggest plays of the season,” Avila said. “One of the biggest things that contributed to it was our scout team. Those guys take so much pride in the physicality and with everything that they do in practice. We ran that exact play over and over in practice.”

Allen’s defense allowed Trinity to gain 358 yards, but just one touchdown through almost the first three quarters. For the game, the Eagles generated four turnovers with three interceptions – one each by Sign Shuva, Momoh and Nicholas Bargains.

“It’s been 346 days since that game,” Avila said. “We remembered that, whether it was in the weight room or wherever. We took it personally. As a group, we’re united this year and I was really proud of everyone.”

And while Allen's defense didn't allow Gordon to receive as many running lanes as in last year's playoff game, the Eagle offense, led by sophomore quarterback Mike Hawkins, was firing on all cylinders.

Allen scored points on six of seven drives in the first half as the Eagles built a commanding 38-7 halftime lead.

Hawkins threw a dart on the left side of the end zone to senior wide receiver Jordyn Tyson, a Colorado commit, on the fifth play of Allen's opening drive as Allen took a 7-0 lead of Tyson's 36-yard touchdown reception.

Allen's lead grew to 14-0 after senior running back Jaylen Jenkins, a Hawaii commit, burst 56 yards for a touchdown with 4:21 left in the first quarter. 

Trinity answered with a 19-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Cade Barthelemess to senior Junior Tuipulotu on the sixth play of that possession to cut the deficit to 14-7. 

But Allen always had an answer -- and then some.

Hawkins found an open crease on the third play of the ensuing drive for the Eagles and used his speed to out-run the Trojan defense for a 35-yard run and a 21-7 lead for Allen with 2:03 left in the first quarter. 

Morris raved about Hawkins' poise in his third career playoff game. Hawkins went 7-of-9 for 169 yards and carried 10 times for 71 yards. 

“We all saw Mike earlier in the season, and where he is now is just night and day,” Morris said. “I think it’s a credit to him understanding and doing what we’re asking of him and playing within the system. He’s got a great confidence about him right now.”

Tyson was Hawkins' favorite target in the passing game, catching five balls for 126 yards. 

Jenkins had another big outing for the Eagles, rushing 12 times for 112 yards – averaging 9.33 yards per carry – with two touchdowns. Devyn Turner also scored twice, carrying 10 times for 52 yards.

Allen finished with 428 total yards.

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