After a couple less-than-stellar seasons, the Plano East Panthers appear to be back.
With their 5-2 record and perfect 4-0 mark in District 8-5A, Plano East is back on the map with its dual threat QB and its stingy defense led by a secondary with some Division I prospects in it.
That was once again evident in last week's big win over Plano West and the Wolves high-octane passing game, which was held to a season-low yardage total, but the Panthers get a completely different test tonight in Allen.
Allen, the state's fifth-ranked 5A team, boasts two fine quarterbacks, including one of the best dual threat guys in the state in Matt Brown, who's accounted for 28 touchdowns on the season (14 passing and 14 rushing).
I have a special place in my heart for Plano East. The Panthers were the first team I covered as a professional sports writer the season before their downfall in 2006. Plano East head coach Johnny Ringo is one of the best in the business. Heck, he has a picture of Johnny Ringo from the movie "Tombstone" hanging in his office. You can't get much cooler than that.
Anyway, Allen started the season on a bad note, losing to Longview, a top-notch 4A program, but has since rolled to their 7-1 record and are playing just about as well as anyone in the state right now, and I'm going to have to go with the Eagles in this one.
Prediction: Allen 38, Plano East 20.