High school football's popularity in Texas has been well-documented in books, TV series and movies, but this fact from over the weekend sums up just how crazy it's gotten with one statistic: The Class 5A high school football state championship game between Allen (Texas) High and Pearland (Texas) High outdrew an NFL contest over the weekend.
The game, won for a second consecutive season by Allen, 63-28, drew 54,347 fans to the Cowboys' state-of-the-art AT&T Stadium in Dallas on Saturday night. While the game didn't quite sell out the 80,000-seat building, it outdrew a Dolphins-Bills game in Buffalo (54,305) that featured a Miami team still competing for an NFL playoff spot.
Allen, which plays its home games in front of 18,000 fans at the nation's most expensive prep football stadium ($60 million), features junior quarterback Kyler Murray, who has drawn plenty of Johnny Football comparisons in his two state title-winning seasons. Murray concluded his junior season with 65 total touchdowns and almost 5,000 total yards, including 468 total yards and five scores against Pearland.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Saturday's state title game crowd is believed to be the nation's largest in prep football history, ironically outdrawing a game between Buffalo high school rivals Kensington and Bennett that hosted 50,988 fans at the Bills' old Civic Stadium in 1948. The gathering also bested the previous Texas state record of 49,953 for a 1977 game between Port Neches-Groves and Plano at Texas Stadium.
Of course, the Bills have long been rumored among the most likely teams to relocate should the NFL return to Los Angeles or expand to Toronto, but Buffalo signed a 10-year lease to remain at Ralph Wilson Stadium (barring a $400 million penalty through 2020).
And while we're at it, here's one more crazy statistic from the Texas prep football season that ended over the weekend: Class 4A state champion Aledo (Texas) High never trailed this fall, becoming the first high school team ever to eclipse 1,000 points in a season.
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