Brandon Allen dropped back on the first play of the Purple-White game Monday night, faked a hand off to sophomore running back Brice Gahagins, promptly tucked the ball and headed off tackle for a 16 yard gain. Allen's increased mobility was far from the only new development on the field for the Purple Dogs Monday night.
Most notable was the increased team speed on defense; Coach Daryl Patton made it a point to move some of his better athletes to defense this spring, most notably LB Dylan Hale and DB Colby Jordan. The move appears to have paid off, as Hale was very impressive throughout the night, making numerous tackles in the backfield as well picking off a tipped Austin Allen pass late in the scrimmage. The rest of the Fayetteville's defense looked considerably improved from last season, where they engaged in numerous shootouts. DE Devin Bowers is the anchor on their defensive line and sacked Allen twice early in the scrimmage.
The offensive side of the ball is where Fayetteville will shine all season long. QB Brandon Allen was 13-15 on the night for 281 yards and 3 touchdowns. Allen spread the ball around early, his first five passes being completed to five different receivers. His three touchdown passes traveled 47, 52, and 73 yards, one each to, Troy Underwood, Chris Smith, and Nathan Varady.
Even more promising for the Purple Dogs was the play of sophomore RB Brice Gahagins, who toted the ball 8 times for a total of 112 yards, including 3 touchdown scores of 2, 32, and 26 yards. Gahagins, who rushed for almost 2,000 yards last season at Ramay Jr. High, is expected to be the feature back this season for the Bulldogs and his play has allowed Hale to concentrate on defense this season.
Arkansas commit TE Demetrius Dean was relatively quiet in the passing game Monday night, but provided two key blocks on two of Gahagin's touchdown runs, as well as playing some defense, where he provided one of the biggest hits of the night.
Smith, a recent move in from Las Vegas, had 3 receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown, as well as another screen pass that went for a touchdown called back due to a penalty. He will also return kicks for FHS this season.
Brandon's younger brother, sophomore QB Austin Allen, was impressive in both the JV and Varsity game, finishing 13-18 for 209 yards and 3 touchdowns in the JV game, while completing 9-17 passes for 68 yards against the Varsity defense.
Fayetteville travels to St. Louis on September 3rd, to open up the season against Parkway West.
Video courtesy of Michael Davis
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