The high school football regular season is half over, and Landon senior Myles Allen has yet to put in a full game of work in 2012. Considered to be one of the Interstate Athletic Conference’s top running backs, Allen suffered a concussion in the season opener against McNamara, a 14-11 win in which Allen chipped in 86 yards rushing and two touchdowns. After missing the next two games, Allen’s return has been marked by just 28 carries in Landon’s last two convincing wins – but he has produced 310 yards and three touchdowns with those touches.
The highlight came last week in a 42-14 dismantling of Episcopal (2-2), when Allen fought his way through the defense for a 52-yard touchdown in the third quarter, then provided the game’s final score on a 14-yard burst.
The road to recovery has been long for Allen, a player who Coach Paul Padalino raves about as a legitimate college prospect. Allen has focused more on preparing his mind and body for contact each week in the wake of his injury, and has likely never been more aware of the importance of staying hydrated than at this point in his senior season. He suffered a dislocated elbow in his sophomore year and missed time, but a concussion presented something new and much more sensitive.
“It makes me hungrier, you know? I figure I missed a few games,” Allen said. “I have to come back with a bigger bang than what I usually would.”
Allen said he hasn’t noticed any rust or hitches in his running style, but expects his toughest challenge of the season next week when Landon (4-1) meet upstart St. Stephens and St. Agnes (5-1), pointing out that the Saints’ success this season has revolved around the improved athleticism and new coaching philosophies of second-year coach Bernard Joseph.
“That should be a good game,” said Allen of the matchup with the Saints. “I think it should be a game that we win, but it’s definitely going to be competitive. It may come down to the last quarter or the last possession.”
Landon will host Woodberry Forest (3-2) on Friday afternoon.
Forrester, who normally handles punt and kickoff duties, had never attempted a field goal in a game. So when the senior trotted out with the field goal team in the first quarter, he fooled nearly everyone, from the opposing team to his own parents.
“Carroll had lined up in its punt-return formation and even the ref was preparing for a punt until they saw Ryan getting ready to kick,” Eagles Coach Aaron Brady said. “I knew he could make it.”
Brady’s confidence in his senior stemmed from practice, where Forrester had nailed 55- and 60-yarders with relative ease – this just a year after he began kicking following stints at quarterback and defensive back.
With the game tied at 7 and the Eagles on Carroll’s 35, Brady called for the field goal team. And while others may have been confused, Forrester didn’t hesitate, as he immediately jogged onto the field for his historic debut.
“I was a little nervous because it was my first kick in a game, but I was pretty confident that I had the distance to make it,” said Forrester, who converted the field goal with room to spare.
Brady said the senior’s strong leg as well as his ability on punts, kickoffs and field goals has drawn interest from the likes of Missouri, Hawaii, Fordham and Richmond. Don’t be surprised to see Gonzaga’s newest weapon line up for a long field goal this Saturday when the Eagles (5-2) travel to O’Connell (4-2).
Bell called off its home game Friday night against Dunbar due to excessive injuries, officials from both schools said Thursday. Bell Athletic Director Desmond Alexander said he is hopeful his team will be healthy enough to play at Theodore Roosevelt on Oct. 18.
With the forfeit, the Crimson Tide are now 6-1; Bell falls to 2-5.