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’09ASG – The Wild West


East Lansing – The 4th of the July may have been last Saturday but we saw one heck of a fireworks display this afternoon at Spartan Stadium as the West exacted revenge on the East 43-22, in the 29th Annual Michigan High School Football All-Star Game presented by the MHSFCA.  The game was a 13-9 defensive struggle at the half but turned into a big play exhibition in the 2nd half.

Defense wins Championships and it also wins All-Star games.  Its a good thing for the West too because they played a lot of it in the 4th quarter.  Grand Rapids Christian’s RB, Michael Booker scored on a 3 yard scamper and after a Fletcher Spears (Clio) extra point it was 34-9 West.  The East answered with a beautiful drive down the field, capped off by a 3 yard pitch and catch from Eisenhower’s Taylor Copacia to West Bloomfield’s Chris Hurst.  Troy’s Kevin Muma added the extra point and the lead was cut to 34-16.  That is where the ‘fun’ began.

A rule that was put in place to keep the games more competitive kicked in.  If a team that scores in the 4th quarter is down by 12 or more points, they will continue to receive the ball.  So the East got the ball right back and capitalized in a hurry.  The East went into their bag of tricks and got the ball quickly to Detroit Southeastern WR, William Sturgis.  Sturgis then heaved the ball down the field to a streaking Hurst who went 79 yards for the score, just 17 seconds after his previous TD.  The East called a timeout to discuss their options down 34-22, the magic 12 point difference.  After some discussion, the East intentionally missed the extra point and were set to get the ball right back.  The fact that the West defense had to take the field again could have been mentally and physcially devastating but what happened was the complete opposite.  The intentional miss fired up the West sidelines and gave them the extra energy they needed to stop the bleeding and take back control of the game.

On first down, Bay City Western’s Lucas Kozuch saced Truman’s Ryan Hargraves.  After that an attempt by Hargraves to escape immense pressure led to a scramble that seemed to last minutes but resulted in safety.  Hargraves did a number escaping pressure from every direction and finally got the ball off as he was being closed in on.  He didn’t get it close enough to an eligible receiver however and was called for Grounding in the endzone, which resulted in the safety.  For the first time in a while, the West got the ball back.   All day the defense had put the West in position to win and the offense capitalized on the opportunities.  This time, it was up to the offense to just burn the clock and that’s what they did.

The offenses were done scoring for the day but the final exclamation point came from the West’s DB Juwan Hemphill from Kalamazoo Central.  The East dropped back and looked to go out into the flats but Hemphill read it perfectly and jumped the route, intercepting the pass and taking it to the house for a 47 yard score.  Spears added another extra point and capped the scoring at 43-22.

The wild fourth quarter was set up by an explosive performance by the West in the third quarter in which they outscored the East 21-0.  The 3rd highlighted Everett QB, Reggie Williams and his speed and almost un-paralelled quickness.  Playing at WR in the game, Williams was a force on kick returns and as a wideout.  RW’s 50 yard score in the 3rd came from a handoff however as he took the end around weaved in and out of traffic until he got into the open field and turned on the jets before diving into the endzone for the score, putting the West up 27-9.  That came right after a methodical drive capped off by Mt. Pleasant’s Jarrett  Leister to Boyne City’s Trever Kruzell on a 3 yard pitch and catch.  Leister rolled out to evade pressure and hit Kruzell in stride for 6.

In the first half, Spears had field goals from 37 and 42 yards to open the scoring for the West in the 2nd quarter.  The West went up 13-0 on a Leister QB sneak.  The East answered the call with 9 straight points on a 33 yard scoring strike from Hargraves to Sturgis and 41 yard field goal from Muma as time ran out on the first half, making it 13-9.

Hudsonville’s RB, Jordan Jonker led the West with 79 yards on the ground while the East had a 141 receiving yard performance from Hurst.

Official Box Score & Game Stats

Click Here to See the Event Pictures.

The 2009 MHSFCA All-Star game is slated to kick off at 2PM on Saturday, July 11th @ Michigan State’s Spartan Stadium.  Tickets will be available at the gate.  The coaching staff and both rosters are listed below.  Stay tuned for a recap of the action including game photos to be posted on Sunday morning after the game.


West Coaching Staff

Randy Lark (Alma)

Geoff Stewart (Reed City)

Lenny Brinson (TC West)

Lou Rau (Beal City)

East Coaching Staff

Bob Saylor (Reese)

Andre Harlan (Det. Fredrick Douglas)

Hank Chelbek (Wyandotte)

Bob Rowe (Taylor Truman)

2009 East & West Rosters → Click Here



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