By Jordan Miller
Once the East team got rolling, they got rolling!
The East team completed a shutout of the West 31-0 in the Times-Reporter All-Star game July 22 at Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium in New Philadelphia; the first shut out in the series since the West won 36-0 in 2011.
The game displays the talents of the best area athletes playing in their final high school football game. All proceeds of the event benefit The Rainbow Connection.
The victors led the West in a majority of the categories: The East had 11 first downs, the West had 8; the East rushed for a total of 150 yards while holding their opponents to 52; the West led in penalty yards, a majority of them coming from three personal fouls. The West squad gained an edge on the winners in the passing category, out passing the East 128 to 127.
Representing schools in the Free Press Standard’s coverage area include: Baylee Fitch (DT/DE) and Landon Monter (LB), Malvern; Brandon McCreary (WR/DB), Conotton Valley; Jacob Wager (K) and Brandon Murphy (LB), Sandy Valley; and Bryce Mohn (CB), Carrollton.
East Head Coach Troy Pallotto and the East squad held onto a 10-0 lead heading into halftime after New Philadelphia graduate Tyler Carter plunged in the end zone from five yards out, followed by a PAT by Sandy Valley graduate Jacob Wagner. Carter finished the game with 88 yards on 17 carries.
Wagner extended the East’s lead to 10-0 after a 26-yard field goal with 2:06 remaining in the opening half.
Tempers started to flare in the final 10 seconds of the second quarter, as the West squad was called for two personal fouls on two separate plays, giving the East two untimed plays. The East all-stars were unable to capitalize on the opportunities.
The West all-stars received the ball to start the third quarter, but were held to a three-and-out and forced to punt the ball.
After driving the ball into the West’s territory to the 36-yard line, Wagner attempted a 53-yard field goal, but the ball fell 1/2 a yard short of the goal post.
The West took over at the 20-yard line.
West quarterback and Fairless grad Christian Simmons found himself out in the open and scrambled for a 12-yard pick up to the 32-yard line, but was unable to get the rest of the offense moving.
On the ensuing drive, Carter broke the plain again for a five-yard score followed by a Wagner PAT to give the winners a 17-0 lead.
The West was held to minus six yards on their next drive and forced to punt from their own 14-yard line.
East quarterback and Indian Valley graduate Brady Cotsmire connected with New Philadelphia all-star Braden Young for an over-the-shoulder 34-yard touchdown reception. The East led 24-0 after a Wagner PAT with 48 ticks remaining on the clock in the third period.
Claymont graduate Justice Avery ran a fade route and out jumped West defender Cole Lillibridge, a Ridgewood grad, in the back of the end zone for the final score of the game with 9:18 to play. The 14-yard grab followed by the Wagner PAT extended the winners lead to 31-0.
“It meant a lot to play in it, especially since it was the all-star game,” said Mohn following the game. “I honestly didn’t think I missed it as much as I did, but once I got out on the field I realized how much I missed it.”
“I had a lot of fun playing with the all-stars from around the area. They were all great guys and it was fun to play with them in the game and at practice,” mentioned Mohn. “The highlight of the game for me wasn’t just one thing, rather a continuous thing. It was how well we shut down their offense, which in return led us to a 31-0 victory.”
Mohn will attend The University of Akron this fall but will not pursue any sports.