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June 9, 2013

Challenge: Allen leads way to 7-on-7 title

MORE: Complete Five-Star Challenge coverage

CHICAGO -- Kyle Allen wondered what all the fuss was about.

The four-star quarterback from Scottsdale, Ariz., stood at the 50-yard line of Soldier Field with his Offensive Skill MVP trophy in one arm following his team's win in Sunday's 7-on-7 tournament at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour and received the adulation of those in attendance.

Team Yahoo! featured outstanding performances from players on both sides of the football en route to its win, but it was the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Allen whose performance had everyone buzzing.

"I didn't feel I did that bad yesterday, but obviously I brought it to another level today," Allen said. "Once I got with all my receivers, we saw what the defense was doing out there and found the concepts that worked, we got it going."

Allen was dominant through all five games Sunday, but his championship game stats were indicative of the day's performance: 12-of-17 for 176 yards and four touchdowns. He led Team Yahoo! to touchdowns on four of five possessions in the decisive game.

Although quarterbacks tend to get the accolades when things go right, Allen's MVP win was well deserved. Team Yahoo! took the 7-on-7 tournament title on Sunday, though, because of a combination of surgical passing and a stingy pass defense.

Four of the five defensive backs on Team Yahoo! were ranked among the top 50 class of 2014 prospects in the country, and the fifth was Long Beach (Calif.) Poly 2015 cornerback Iman Marshall. As a group, they accounted for 13 pass break-ups and two interceptions -- one by Marshall and another by safety Jamal Adams.

Although he did not record an interception, five-star cornerback Marlon Humphrey of Hoover, Ala., made it a clean sweep for Team Yahoo! in the skill MVP awards. Humphrey led all players on all teams with a total of five pass break-ups, and he took home the Defensive Skill MVP trophy.

It was Allen and the offense that sparked the 26-24 win over Team Flickr in Sunday's championship game, however. Team Flickr opened the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson to tight end Milan Richard. Watson came back and found running back Kalen Ballage for a 35-yard pass on the first play of the second drive, setting up a 5-yard scoring strike to Adoree' Jackson and a 12-7 lead.

The Team Yahoo! offense continued to plug away, however, scoring on its first three possessions with touchdown passes from Allen to Daniel Helm, Justin Brent and KD Cannon. It added a fourth touchdown -- the second caught by Brent -- to take a 26-18 lead and set up a potential game-tying drive for Team Flickr.

Watson found Artavis Scott twice to move Team Flickr into the red zone during the final drive. After a short pass to Richard and a pass break-up by Team Yahoo! linebacker Zach Whitley, Watson found wide receiver Josh Malone on a slant route for a 9-yard touchdown and a chance to tie the game. Before Team Flickr could run its extra-point play, however, time ran out and Team Yahoo! preserved a 26-24 victory.

Team Flickr earned its spot in the championship game with a 2-1 record in pool play and a semifinal win over Team Rivals.

Team Yahoo! also went 2-1 in pool play, with its only loss coming by a final of 19-17 to Team Tumblr. It exacted revenge on Team Tumblr in the semifinals, however, securing the spot in the title game.

Team Yahoo! wide receiver Travis Rudolph led all athletes with five touchdown catches on the day. Team Rivals running back Joe Mixon, Team Yahoo! receiver Cannon and Team Tumblr athlete Jackson each accounted for four TDs.

Team Flickr cornerback Tarvarus McFadden led all defensive players with two interceptions on the day. Other interceptions were made by Trent Sherfield, Adams, Tre Williams, Marshon Lattimore, Montae Nicholson, Steven Parker, Marshall, Minkah Fitzpatrick and John Houston.



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