John Curtis beat Winnfield by a large margin (33-3) in the Louisiana Class 2A state title game earlier this month, but the game was nip-and-tuck during the first half.
Curtis led at halftime, 7-3, and the Patriots were able to prevent Winnfield from scoring a touchdown in the second quarter when Richard Allen soared high into the air and intercepted an Alonzo Moore pass in the end zone.
"I saw No. 2 (6-4 junior WR Michael Patterson) (split out)," said Allen. "He's tall and I knew they like to throw fades. I keyed on him when I saw their quarterback keep his eyes on him.
"It was really great to win a state championship after we had lost the last two. We have a lot of juniors and most everybody coming back. We'll be the senior leaders now."
Several months ago, Allen ran a 4.38 at the New Orleans Under Armour Combine -- slightly faster than five-star Dutchtown safety Landon Collins, who clocked a 4.39.
"That was my first time running the 40 when it's timed," said Allen (5-9, 175). "I was hoping to run a 4.49 to 4.50. I was really excited, because it's good for colleges to see that.
"It's great to have speed. You can get to the ball faster. It allows me to close in and break up passes to receivers that make their breaks past the linebackers."
Allen mans the free safety spot for Curtis, which boasts a wealth of young talent in the secondary. At his size and speed, he expects a switch to corner in college.
"I like cornerback," he said. "I'm good in man coverage.
"I hope SEC schools recruit me. I'm also interested in Pittsburgh and Stanford. I know somebody that was recruited to run track at Stanford. Their campus is beautiful."
What does Allen have to say about playing for John Curtis?
"We have a great coaching staff. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," he stated. "The coaches help bring you to the next level and teach you good technique and sportsmanship."
Allen is a big part of Curtis' track and field squad, which has won two consecutive state championships. In 2011, he led the Patriots with four interceptions. He broke up 12 passes, scored three touchdowns, and averaged 13.5 yards per punt return.