With setback comes consolation in some cases. The Plano (Texas) East football team may have lost, 42-38, to nationally-ranked Allen (Texas) on Thursday, but the program and its players gained a lot of respect with how it went toe-to-toe with Allen, ranked No. 3 in the latest Fab 50.
Allen features several BCS-bound players, including four-star RB Jonathan Williams (Missouri), three-star QB Alec Morris (Alabama) and LB/S Thaddeus LaGrone (Baylor). What many discovered Thursday were the senior playmakers for Plano East, as the team nearly pulled off one of its biggest upsets in program history.
“It’s always great to have the opportunity to play on a national stage,” Plano East coach Johnny Ringo said. “A lot of people already know about Allen, but I thought a lot of our guys had some increased exposure last night. A win would have been huge, but at the same time, I thought it was great for both programs.”
Plano East is 2-4 on the season, but one loss was against Allen, one was a four-overtime loss last week and another was a season-opening loss in overtime. The fourth loss was aided by two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Here are six Plano East players who made an impact on Thursday:
ATH Corey Wesley, Sr.:
Wesley completed 19-of-25 passes for 365 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss. He also rushed for the game’s first score. Wesley was all over the place, and he exposed an Allen defense that gave up nearly 400 yards of total offense. Wesley’s older brother, Brandon, is the quarterback for Bucknell.
RB Dante’ Taylor, Sr.:
A speedy back, Taylor only rushed eight times for 28 yards and a touchdown, but he also had three catches for 92 yards. One of those receptions was an 83-yard, catch-and-run good for a third-quarter touchdown. Taylor is a good receiving option out of the backfield, and he showed his worth in a key matchup.
OLB Toby Obumseli, Sr.:
Obumseli got a lot of work with Allen’s multi-talented skill-position players. Quite often, Obumseli seemed to be either making a tackle or forcing a defensive play.
CB Corey Bassett, Sr.:
Next to Wesley, Bassett was the most intriguing player for Plano East on Thursday. Defensively, Bassett was a ball hawk against a very accurate Morris. Bassett, in addition, showed his skills on special teams by running back a 97-yard kickoff in the third quarter. Bassett is a versatile option who’s important on all sides of the ball.
FS Dakota Smith, Sr.:
At 6-4 and 195 pounds, Smith definitely passes the eyeball test, particularly in the secondary. He’s a big, hard-hitting defender who appears to be healthy after battling a neck injury.
ATH Tre Jones, Sr.:
The son of former Kansas City Chiefs RB Bill Jones, the senior caught seven passes for 108 yards and a touchdown against Allen. Jones possesses speed and athleticism, but most importantly, he is showing no effects of having torn the ACL in his left knee last year. Jones is starting to see his acceleration again.