Maybe the most hyped recruit in Syracuse's 2013 class, Zach Allen played in the first game of his senior year at Temple High School. Allen led them to a 41-24 win over Round Rock. He breaks down his performance with CuseNation.com.
"We came out with the win," Allen said. "We're all happy. We won 41-24. The first half, I mean it was the first game, we had a really big crowd. Offensively and defensively, we both kind of struggled. The first couple of drives we just tried to get everything clicking. We settled down near the end of the second quarter and the whole second half. We really went off and had a great second half. Our defense pitched a shut-out for most of the second half until like the last minute so it was a BS score.
"It was a great game. It was a great game for Temple, and a great game to win. To start off 1-0 is huge."
Like the rest of the team, Allen struggled in the first half. However, he got things going in the second half. He was much more satisfied with his performance after halftime.
"I think for the overall stats, they weren't very good," Allen explained. "I was 13 for 25 with 237 yards and two passing touchdowns. I had ninety-something yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns.
"Obviously you want to do better," he continued. "You always feel like you can do something better after the game is over. I started off a little shaky. I didn't complete many balls in the first half. There's a lot of throwing the ball away. The stats are what they are. I had a lot of throw aways just to avoid sacks.
"Then the offensive line really picked it up in the second half. Then everything started clicking offensively. In the second half I was really pleased with how everything went."
To fix the issues they were having in the first half, Allen rallied the troops. The result was an extremely effective second half where they were able to pull away.
"I got the offense together at halftime and we talked about the protection on the line," Allen detailed. "Running the right routes and just trying to make plays. The first half, I think, I might've just tried to do much. The second half, like I said, everyone just settled down and ran what we do every day. It worked out well. The second half was a really good half.
"Next week, we can't start off that shaky. I don't think we will. It's a really young team and to start off with the first Friday Night Lights in your high school career, it really is something crazy. Obviously it takes time to get settled in, but they settled in quickly. And we'll be ready to go this week."
Allen and his team is now focusing on their next opponent. Preparation has already begun, as there is no rest in Texas high school football.
"This week we play a great team in West Lake," Allen said. "They've won many state championships. They're ranked in the top 10. It's going to be a great atmosphere. Fox Sports and Dave Campbell's football magazine are going to set up in the endzone and do a sight location where they talk about the game. So the atmosphere is going to be great. We're really excited about that.
"They run the same defense that we run so we've seen it all this year and last year. We're really excited about what's going to happen this week."
In order to get ready to play a challenging opponent, Allen knows he will have to play better.
"I'm still going to try to improve on everything," he stated. "Showing from last week, you know, just staying in the pocket more and moving around in the pocket trying to make some plays happen. Obviously accuracy, strength, and doing all the right reads is going to be key.
"I think I missed a couple in the zone-read. You really want to be perfect in all your reads so I'm going to focus on that going into this week."