Ninth-ranked Alex had a tough road trip to sixth-ranked Allen this week but it got even tougher now that the Longhorns have lost their star tailback, senior Randy Alexander.

“He tackled a guy halfway through the third quarter last week and dislocated his kneecap,” Alex coach Justin Savage said. “Right now we really don’t know if we’ve lost him for this week or for the season.”

The Horns didn’t need this as they prepare for the Mustangs, who bring back six players on each side of the ball from a 3-7 team last year. They’re big and physical and have a real deep threat in wide receiver Scott Manuel. Sophomore QB Brady Caldwell is growing into the position in his second year taking snaps.

“They’re greatly improved but they do have a tendency to put the ball on the ground,” the coach said. “They were up and down last year with injuries but are healthy this year and are a very tough team.”

Alex will try to hand Allen their first loss. They 45ed Grandfield and Cyril on the road, pounded Paoli 52-14 at home then beat up Bowlegs last week 54-28 on the road again.

The Horns will show some new sets this week to counteract Alexander’s loss.

“We’re going to move Caullen (Alexander) to the tight end spot and split the running duties between Trey Anderson and Kenton Baker,” Savage said. “With Dakota (freshman son Savage, who caught two touchdown passes last week) on the other side we can run Caullen underneath or go deep, depending on their coverage.

“We’re simplifying the running game and will also use both guys as receivers out of the backfield. That’s the plan – we’ll see if it works.”

Alexander’s loss made last week’s 28-24 over Central High much closer than it should have been. After he went out, the offense went three-and-out on back-to-back possessions and the Bronchos used the momentum to score twice for the lead.

A great effort by quarterback Wayne Heffinton on Alex’s final drive and a critical hookup to young Savage got them the comeback win.

“I was really proud of the way the kids responded,” the coach said. “Caullen came up with a big play on a 20-yard carry to set the touchdown up and Heffington threw the ball extremely well all night.”c

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