In clash of top ten, Coppell edges out Allen 27-24


By Alex Nicoll

Sports Writer

In front of a sold out crowd Friday night, the Coppell Cowboys remain undefeated, winning a nail biter in overtime against the top ranked Allen Eagles 27-24.

This match-up delivered on all the hype that surrounded it, in a big way.

The offense was running on all cylinders tonight. They capitalized on their first three drives by scoring on all of them.

“We knew if we came out soft, that is how Allen has won all of their games. Teams get intimidated and get knocked back,” Coppell senior running back Luke Jenner said. “ We came out, hit them in the face and pushed them down.”

The opening drive, Coppell drove the field behind the legs of junior running back Gavin McDaniel. The drive ended in a 35 yard field goal by junior kicker Adam Centers. Coppell took a 3-0 lead.

Their next drive for Coppell led to another field goal for Centers, this one being a 39 yard attempt.

Following a 28 yard pass from Coppell senior quarterback Colby Mahon to senior wide receiver Cameron Smith, Mahon punched in a one yard touchdown run on their next possession. After the extra point, Coppell took a 13-0 lead over the Eagles.

After the fast start for the Cowboys, the offense cooled down and did not score until late into the fourth quarter.

This is when Allen took their turn to prove their top ranking.

Late into the second quarter, Coppell fumbled and Allen finally got onto the board after a three yard burst from senior quarterback/wide receiver/ running back Oliver Pierce.

The play that set up the score, a 26 yard pass from Pierce to junior wide receiver Kendall Clinton, was highly controversial and criticized.

Coppell defensive back Jacob Logan made the stop on Clinton, but there was no signal from the referee that the play was dead. Clinton got back up, catching the defense off guard and kept running until he tripped on Coppell’s 12 yard line.

“Whether you believe it or not, they are a great team. That call may or may not have been good but you just got to keep your head up and keep going no matter what and it paid off in the end,” Coppells junior defensive back Chris Adkins said.

This proved to be the momentum shift for Allen that fueled their offense.

Pierce, believed to be the marquee match-up for the Coppell defense, struggled Friday night.

He only ran for 22 yards and threw two interceptions, one each to Adkins and senior defensive back Colin Peterson.

The defensive was stout for the Cowboys, surrendering only 295 yards to the Allen offense. They also made big stops that were key to Coppell’s win.

“They battled all night long,” Coppell head coach Joe McBride said.

The third quarter was quiet for Coppell and Allen, as it seemed that they just traded the ball back and forth.

At the end of the quarter, Allen sophomore quarterback Kyler Murray led a drive for the Eagles that ended a four yard touchdown run by Murray himself.  Allen took the lead 14-13 over Coppell going into the fourth quarter.

Then the next Allen possession ended with a 49 yard score by Murray. The score was then Allen 21 Coppell 13.

Coppell responded with big plays of their own.

Mahon threw a 35 yard bullet to Smith for a Cowboy touchdown, after being set up by a McDaniel 20 yard run. Allen still held a 21-19 lead over Coppell.

McDaniel ended the game running 20 times for a whopping 116 yards.

If this game did not have enough excitement already, Coppell went for a two-point conversion that would either make or break the Cowboys.

In maybe the most important play of the game, Jenner trotted into the end-zone to convert the two points. The score stood at 21 apiece with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

“I do not even know, it was crazy, I was like ‘Oh my gosh we are here, we can do this, this is our time’,” Jenner said about the run. “Everybody has been giving me the credit by I did not have to do anything. My (offensive) line did everything, it was great.

Each team traded punts and Coppell forced overtime by kneeling to end the quarter.

Coppell won the coin toss in overtime and chose to play defense first.

Allen started at the 25 yard line and in two plays set up by Murray were at the one yard line.

Coppell’s defensive took over from then.

Coppell junior defensive end Solomon Thomas and the defensive unit stuffed the Eagles on the first two plays. After an Allen penalty that moved them back five yards, Murray’s pass was caught in the end-zone, but after one of the most suspenseful moments in the game, was ruled incomplete. The receiver caught in out-of-bounds.

“Before we went out, we talked about every day we are here, in the mornings, during summer working out and how hard we go every practice and that it would all pay off for right now, and we worked too hard to give it up at the end.” Adkins said.

Cheers erupted on the Coppell side as there was only silence for the Eagles.

Allen kicked a field goal to take a 24-21 lead over the Cowboys.

Coppell took over at the 25 yard line and it took just the second play for Mahon to connect with Smith for the second time that night, for a 23 yard score. Coppell won 27-24 over the Allen Eagles.

Coppell fans flooded the field as the realization that the Cowboy just beat the number one ranked team in the state of Texas sat in. This night belonged to Coppell.

“I am proud of those kids, we had to go 90 yards and make a two point conversion and I just give so much credit to the kids. They had the momentum and we responded. Just the way they battled at the end gave us the win,” coach McBride said.