SALADO — Troy Allison watched his opponent, Ryan Simmons, knife the McGregor defense for 182 first-half passing yards and figured he might as well return the favor.
After almost doubling Simmons’ first-half output, McGregor’s Allison totaled 336 passing yards — 288 in the first half alone — and CJ Sims rushed for 142 yards on seven carries as the Bulldogs (9-1, 5-1) cruised past Salado 49-28 in the season finale Friday at Eagle Stadium.
“We played great on offense but we started a bit rough on defense — we picked that up in the second half,” said McGregor’s junior quarterback. “We wanted to keep it rolling toward the playoffs to make sure that we are hitting on all cylinders.”
Sims, filling in for injured Garrett Salas, scored touchdowns on his first two touches of the game as the Bulldogs pulled away 35-21 in the first half
“When we needed something we turned to Sims and he went a lot farther than we thought he would — it was amazing,” said Allison. “(Salado) was pressed up in different ways and it opened up different routes for our receivers and we got some really big plays from the receivers.”
Senior receivers Marcus Irons and Martin Chaires led through the air, with Irons pulling in 184 receiving yards on five catches and Chaires added 81 on six grabs and a touchdown.
“I knew Salado would play hard because it was their senior night, so it’s one of those traps games,” said the Bulldogs coach. “Both teams did a great job in the first half there but we were able to come out and take care of business the rest of the way.”
For the Eagles (2-8, 2-5), they were left to plan for next year.
Simmons, Salado’s junior quarterback, threw for 201 yards and added 59 on the ground but was only lamenting on the feelings of the Eagle seniors: “We wanted to come out and get a win for the seniors — we were hoping for a miracle.”
Although they struggled to stop McGregor’s high-powered offense, Simmons and the Eagles maintained serve, answering each score with one of their own as Simmons punched it in twice from 11 and 1 yards after getting on the board with a 74-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Womac midway through the first quarter.
But with McGregor still leading 28-21 following Simmons 11-yard touchdown run with 2:02 left, the Bulldogs marched down the field on four plays and capped the first half with a 12-yard pass from Allison to Bret Boles.
Eagles’ head coach Glenn Talbott praised the effort of his squad while also pointing to how important the upcoming offseason is for his team.
“Next season starts now. We have to get prepared earlier and use this season as a learning experience,” he said.