Cason Allen is a four-year starter who does about everything for the Cross Plains football team. Allen is listed as quarterback/defensive back this year, but he has also played running back and wide receiver for the Buffaloes.
Allen rushed for 1,003 yards and five touchdowns on 143 carries a year ago and also completed 20 of 35 passes for 409 yards and four TDs, leading the Buffaloes to an 8-3 record. Cross Plains, which finished runner-up to state-ranked Albany in District 8-2A Division II, suffered a heartbreaking 28-27 loss to Petrolia in bi-district.
Getting past the bi-district round is a goal for the Buffaloes, who have lost three straight bi-district playoff games by seven points or less in the last three years.
Cross Plains returns seven starters on both offense and defense this season. Although the Buffaloes don’t have much size, coach Daniel Purvis said the strength of this year’s team’s is its speed.
Purvis calls RB/LB Ryan Hopkins (15-303, 6 TDs receiving) the Buffaloes’ “most explosive offensive weapon.” Ryan Reed, a 6-4 junior WR/DB, is “a mismatch for any opposing secondary,” according to Purvis. Reed also led the team with five interceptions last season.
OL/DL Riley Conlee was the leader of the Cross Plains defense a year ago with 98 tackles, including 21 tackles for losses. RB/LB Noah Moses was the Buffaloes’ second leading tackler.
WR/DB Asher Moses started eight games as a freshman last year. OL/DL Alex Parker is a returning starter, too.