NFL legend Allen named Sports Marshal

The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival announced Friday that Marcus Allen will be the 2015 Festival Sports Marshal.

Allen is probably best remembered for his performance in Super Bowl XVIII, where he rushed for 191 yards and scored two touchdowns in a 38-9 victory over the Washington Redskins. He also caught two passes for 18 yards in the game on Jan. 22, 1984.

He is also a Heisman Trophy winner, a former NFL MVP and NFL Hall of Famer. He will be the featured speaker at the 50th anniversary of the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast presented by Grange Insurance.

Allen was born on March 26th, 1960, in San Diego, California. After high school football, he moved on to play collegiately for legendary head coach John Robinson at the University of Southern California. Recruited as a defensive back, Robinson switched Allen to tailback, where he spent his first season at USC as a backup to Heisman Trophy winner, Charles White. After a move to fullback, eventually, in 1980, Allen became the starter at tailback, and rushed for 1,563 yards, the third-most in the nation that year (behind two more legends: George Rogers and Herschel Walker).

In 1981, Allen had one of the most spectacular seasons in NCAA history, rushing for 2,342 yards to become the first player in NCAA history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in one season. He also gained a total of 2,683 offensive yards, led the nation in scoring, and won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award. Allen finished his four college seasons with 4,669 rushing yards, 5,232 total yards, and 46 touchdowns, while averaging 5.2 yards per carry. USC has retired his jersey number (33).

Allen was drafted with the 10th overall selection of the 1982 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. During his strike-shortened rookie season, Allen rushed for 697 yards and led the Raiders to the best record in the AFC at 8-1. He was voted the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The next season, Allen broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time, was the MVP of Super Bowl XVIII, and continued to prosper in Oakland thereafter, despite a stormy relationship with controversial owner Al Davis.

During the 1985 season, he rushed for 1,759 yards and scored 11 touchdowns, leading the Raiders to a 12-4 record and the AFC West Division championship, and winning the NFL MVP Award.

Allen eventually left the Raiders and joined the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993. He rushed for 764 yards that year and scored 12 touchdowns as he and Joe Montana led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game. Allen was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

Allen retired after the 1997 season. He was the first player ever to gain more than 10,000 rushing yards and 5,000 receiving yards during a career. Allen is considered one of the greatest goal line and short-yardage runners in NFL history, and was elected to six Pro Bowls. In 1999, he was ranked 72nd on “The Sporting News” list of the 100 Greatest Football Players; and, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Tthe Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast, presented by Grange Insurance, will be held at the Winchester Moose Lodge, at 8 a.m. on May 2. Additional sponsors are Collaborative Resources, Dunkin’ Donuts, Handy Mart, NewsTalk 1400 WINC and Sports Radio 1450 AM.