Matt Wixon,

UNIVERSITY PARK ( – For its first three drives Saturday, Allen (Texas) looked like it had an offense worthy of national rankings. But for the rest of the game, it was the Eagles’ defense that made it look like the No. 5 team in MaxPreps Xcellent 25.

In a sluggish matchup that was perhaps affected by temperatures near 100 degrees at kickoff, Allen jumped to an early lead and relied on its defense in a 28-13 victory over Cedar Hill (Texas) in the Tom Landry Classic at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

Allen’s Alec Morris, who is orally committed to Alabama, completed 18 of 29 passes for 350 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those scoring passes were to Oliver Pierce, who caught seven passes for 126 yards. For Morris and Pierce, most of the yardage was piled up in the first half, and especially the first three drives.

Allen’s first three drives were the best of the night. On those possessions, Allen ran the ball hard with Morris and running back Jonathan Williams, it spread the ball to receivers such as Andrew Rodriguez and Pierce, and it even converted a fourth down.

“It was an amazing feeling that first quarter,” Morris said.

But after the quick start, it came became a grind for Allen. And it became painful for one of its stars.

Williams, a Missouri commit, finished the third scoring drive of the first half with a 3-yard run that gave Allen a 21-7 lead midway through the second quarter. But Williams left the game after that and spent the second half walking the sidelines with his shoulder pads off.

The senior, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards last season, said he was suffering from back spasms.

The second half was dominated by the defenses. Allen took a 28-7 lead in the fourth quarter on Pierce’s second touchdown reception and Cedar Hill added a touchdown with less than a minute to play on a 24-yard pass from Andre Anderson to Quincy Adeboyejo.

Allen made it difficult on Anderson, who is trying to fill the shoes of Driphus Jackson, Cedar Hill’s starting quarterback last three years. Allen pressured Anderson throughout the night and didn’t allow Cedar Hill’s speedy backs and receivers to break free for big gains. Allen had 346 yards to 255 for Cedar Hill.

“They played lights out,” Allen coach Tom Westerberg said of his defense. “Those kids have played hard all spring and into the fall camp and just carried it out here on the field.”

Highland Park (Dallas) 48, Everman 28

In the first game of the Tom Landry Classic, Highland Park’s Brady Burgin threw for 278 yards and four touchdowns as the Scots’ rolled.

William Morris and Hunter Halpin each caught a pair of touchdown passes for Highland Park. Preston Miller’s 92-yard kickoff return helped extend the halftime lead to 41-14.

Highland Park coach Randy Allen was also happy with his team’s defense — other than giving up some big plays. Everman took a 7-0 lead on an 85-yard run by Pat Small, and it also scored touchdowns on a 53-yard pass and a 36-yard pass.

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