8-Man East All-Stars crush West Division I contest 58-6

BELOIT – The Division I East squad resembled that of a finely tuned and efficient machine as though they had shared four weeks of practice and preparation rather than the four days they actually had during the first game played in Saturday's All-Star games at Trojan field in Beloit.  The East set the tone immediately by striking first offensively, establishing dominance at the line of scrimmage and never looked back as that tone never really came into tune for the West side.

The East All Stars needed just four plays to reach the end zone from 67 yards out on the game’s opening possession. On their second play from scrimmage, a 52-yard pass from Cade Miller of West Elk to Jacob Burdine of Solomon set the East up inside the West’s 10-yard line before finishing the drive off with a 6-yard touchdown run by Logan/Palco’s David Thompson.

The East team was off and running offensively. They went on to dominate essentially wire-to-wire at the line of scrimmage from both sides of the ball, and they owned the trenches defensively. Aside from the 58 points they put on the scoreboard, the East controlled the game most noticeably with their pass rushers as frequent and unwelcome guests in the West squad’s offensive backfield.

The East needed just two plays to go 51 yards on their second possession capped by a second touchdown run from Thompson.  The East led 12-0 after a second failed two-point attempt.

On the ensuing West possession. Riley Allen of Logan/Palco intercepted a pass from West QB Maverick Green of Rawlins County and returned it 33 yards to the West 37.  The East again took just two plays to go 51 yards for six more points as Miller took it to the house with a run from 36 yards out.

Bennington’s J.J. Allen caught a two-point conversion pass, and the East squad had jumped out to a 20-0 advantage with nearly five minutes still to play in the first quarter.  However, it would remain the score after one period was in the books. East 20 West 0.

The East picked up in the second quarter where they left off in the first. A mere nine seconds in, the West snapped the ball from their own 13-yard line. Burlingame’s Tristan Lee sacked a retreating and scrambling Green at quarterback in his end zone for a safety to give the East a 22-0 lead.

On the second possession of the same quarter for the East, they safely delivered the football again across the goal line yet again.  Following another short West possession ending with an even shorter punt, the East squad was right back in business again at the West 12-yard line, Thompson cashed in a third rushing touchdown on the very next play. He also added a two-point conversion on the ground to make it a 30-0 game with 8:28 still to play in the first half.

Defensive lineman and Shrine Bowl selections Tryston Lee and Anthony Albertini of St. Paul led a relentless defensive line including Lee’s teammate Jake Thompson of Burlingame, Andrew Capsey of Solomon and others kept the hurried West offense on their heels under a nearly constant state of pressure. Another West possession, another West punt.

Taking over at the West 29, the East ran seven plays capped by a three-yard touchdown run from Osborne’s Denton Schurr. A two-point conversion run was added by Schurr as the East lead swelled to 38-0 with 2:26 left in the first half. That margin stood as the game’s score heading into the halftime locker room.

The West appeared to make some successful adjustments to their blocking schemes coming out for the third quarter. They were finally able to move the ball downfield steadily, albeit slowly, on their first drive of the second half.  They used up nearly five and half minutes of clock to cover 65 yards over 13 plays. The East made good on the sustained effort and ended up with a 2-yard touchdown run from Hoxie’s Chris Cox to show for it. After a failed PAT, the East still held a comfortable 38-6 lead.

An uptick that occurred for the West team could hardly have been more short-lived over half of the third quarter, as it was snatched away by the East offense’s first play of their ensuing possession. Miller scored his second rushing TD of the day from 65 yards out.  He added a 2-point pass to Allen to put the East up 46-6 with 6:24 to play in the third.

The West later attempted a fake punt, while staring down another fourth and long on their next possession. The East was yet again up to and beyond the task of holding their opponent in check and well short of the line to gain. Snatching the ball back three yards into their opponent’s territory after forcing the turnover on downs.  Five plays later, Miller hit Allen on a short strike touchdown pass from a yard out give the East a 52-6 lead.

They would tack on another score in the fourth quarter which proved to be a record setting 20-yard TD pass from St. Paul’s Braven Born to Colton Noonan of Burlingame.

The final score was set at 58-6 for the East in victory.  The 52-point scoreboard discrepancy established a new all-time record for the largest margin of victory in the 33-year history of Kansas 8-Man All-Star football games.  The East squad also, unofficially, set a record for sacks in a game with nine. 

With the victory, the East has shrunk the gap in the overall Division I series win totals. The historical advantage of the Division I West All Star’s series lead was narrowed to two games at 10-8. The split of Kansas 8-Man football into two divisions occurred in 1983. The inaugural Kansas 8-Man All Star game was played in 1986. The Kansas Eight Man Football Association did not reflect the adoption of two divisions within the 8-Man classification and add a second game to the annual All Star event until 2001.

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