Friday night's Texas high school football opener between a pair of two-time defending state champions did not disappoint.
The talent-laden contest featured Allen and Texas A&M four-star quarterback commit Kyler Murray against Denton Guyer and 2017 four-star quarterback Shawn Robinson (pictured above), who already holds offers from Nebraska and Texas.
Murray Allen built a 27-point second-quarter lead en route to a 55-41 win, but Robinson brought Guyer back in an exciting second half. Here's a review of how Murray and Robinson looked in their first games of the 2014 season:
2015 4-star QB Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray, 2015 4-star QB, committed to Texas A&M
At this point, after leading Allen to consecutive state championships as a sophomore and junior, there's not much else left to say about Murray, who threw for 393 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception while rushing seven times for 106 yards and three scores. He's the ultimate "feel-for-the-game" quarterback at the high school level. Everything he does, he makes look easy.
Murray displayed exceptional feet -- in the pocket and on the run -- and great speed when he got in the open field, which didn't take long. He sprinted untouched 78 yards for a read-keeper score on the first play from scrimmage. Allen 2016 five-star tackle and Texas A&M commit Greg Little obliterated the left side of Guyer's defensive line with a devastating seal block to spring Murray.
From a passing perspective, Murray made all of the requisite throws: deep sideline back-shoulder completions, over-the-middle intermediate strikes, and bombs down the seams and between the hashes, including a 64-yard touchdown to Notre Dame-bound Jalen Guyton. Murray, who received Offensive MVP honors, was smooth and poised. There were a couple of times when he forced balls into windows that were just too tight -- on resulting in his lone interception, which came off a deflection -- but Murray's velocity and quick release were exceptional.
Shawn Robinson, 2017 4-star QB
Robinson spent his freshman season at Saginaw (Texas) Chisholm Trail, so Friday night's showdown with one of the best high school teams in the country was the first live game action at the big-school level for the 6-foot-2, 191-pounder.
Robinson looked like he'd been playing 6A ball for two years.
Robinson completed 15 of 30 passes for 238 yards, while rushing 20 times for 187 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored on a 24-yard reverse-pass, which appeared to be a broken play that he turned into a highlight-reel play with a couple of broken tackles and general evading of pretty much all of Allen's defense as he sprinted into the end zone.
As far as his passing, Robinson grew more comfortable as the game progressed. He showed excellent velocity and a quick release. Even as a sophomore, he appears to already have a good handle on when to throw a fastball and when he needs to put touch on the ball. He occasionally short-arms the ball, especially when heavily pressured and on the run, but that's almost nitpicking.
As good as Robinson threw, he was even better running the ball. Not only is Robinson very fast, he's physical and finishes runs. He's totally unafraid. At some point, that may be a detriment to his health and staying in the lineup, but it's great to see that level of competitiveness coming from a young quarterback. Perfect proof of that is that he lost two first-quarter fumbles in Allen territory to help Allen build a 27-0 second-quarter lead, but Robinson persevered and got better as the game progressed to pull Guyer back in the game in the second half.
Statistics courtesy the Dallas Morning News