MT. PLEASANT — The athleticism and chemistry shown between Detroit Cass Tech’s Keith Moore and Farmington’s Jason Wilson was unmatched — the difference maker for the East All Stars.
Official All-Star Game Box Score and Stats
The duo linked up for two of the team’s three long touchdown passes en route to a 30-13 victory over the West on Saturday afternoon at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on the campus of Central Michigan University.
“We’ve been doing that all week in practice,” said Moore, a Saginaw Valley State commit who finished 8-of-13 for 212 yards and three touchdowns. “We got some fast guys on our side and you gotta use the speed you got. I wish I had them in college next year.”
The East All Stars recorded 290 passing yards and 353 total offense yards to the West’s 151 and 213, respectively.
Wilson finished with three catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns while Fordson’s Rabeah Beydoun rushed for a team-high 23 yards and scored the game’s final touchdown on a 10-yard run to the pylon.
Wesley Gall — the East’s head coach from Manchester High School — said his players’ characteristics and desire to work hard every day made the week extremely enjoyable.
“There’s just nothing like this,” he said. “When you have a group this talented with guys who want to make plays not for themselves, but for the team, that’s special. I am thrilled I got to experience this.”
In the first half, Wilson’s speed stole the show — scoring on two touchdown receptions from Detroit Cass Tech’s quarterback Keith Moore.
The first — a 61-yard catch — came with 2:50 remaining in the first quarter, keeping the drive alive after the West jumped offside on a 4th-and-4. The score put the East up 6-0, with their extra point blocked.
With 4:49 left in the half, Moore unloaded another bomb on a fly pattern from Wilson, scoring on the 68-yard reception, putting the East up 13-7. Wilson finishd the half with three catches for 136 yards.
The East’s sole first-half score came on an 11-play, 69-yard drive when Traverse City Central’s Mack Sovereign found Ithaca’s Luke Capen alone in the end zone, with 5:39 remaining in the second quarter. Sovereign finished the half 5-of-8 for 69 yards.
Keith Moore continued to use his out-of-pocket speed to deceive the West’s secondary in the second half, finding Auburn Hills Avondale’s Ray Tillman on a 10-play, 89-yard drive to put the East up 23-7.
While being rushed out of bounds to the sideline, Moore kept his composure, set his feet and let a soft pass sail to Tillman who raced 15 more yards for the score, with 4:59 remaining in the third quarter.
The West never cut the lead to less than six after they lost their 7-6 lead in the first half.
Cadillac High School’s Mike Weeks, with 11:46 left in the fourth quarter, caught a jump ball from quarterback Mack Sovereign, cutting the East’s lead down to 23-13. The West attempted a two-point conversion that was unsuccessful.
“It was a great experience as a high school coach in Michigan, it’s a once in a lifetime experience, despite the outcome of the game,” said Pete Schermerhorn, the West’s coach from Portage Northern. “They had some play makers; they really shut down our outside passing game with their press man coverage and they were able to make plays against our man coverage. They had kids that got open and got the ball to them. We were stopping the run consistently then we’d give up a big play.
The West recorded a couple big third- and fourth-down penalties that extended drives for the East — which they capitalized on
“No team can do that, it’s tough to win when you do that,” he said.
Wilson — who is headed to Central Michigan tomorrow for college classes — said he’s thrilled to call Kelly/Shorts Stadium his home field.
“I love it here, but no matter where I’m at, I’m going to work hard and put the work in and try to make plays,” he said. “It was great getting a feel for the dorms, around the campus, it was great being here.”
Also in the first half, Dalton Stenberg of Grand Haven H.S. picked off Tommy Vento’s second pass of the game, taking it down to the East’s 18-yard line. The West failed to score, fumbling just two plays later.
The East’s Aaron Berthet knocked in a 32-yard field goal with just two seconds remaining in the half, putting his team up 16-7.
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Game Notes: East Beats West 30-13, Seniors Head To College
MT. PLEASANT — After the completion of Saturday’s 31st annual Michigan High School All Star Football Game, the 88 selected players immediately became college freshmen in the eyes of the athletic realm.
Below is a notebook of topics surrounding the game itself:
This fall, Central Michigan’s football roster will feature eight of the athletes from the 2011 All Star Game.
Those athletes include: Jason Wilson (Farmington High School), Kenny Rogers (Holt High School), Cole Walderzak (Standish-Sterling High School), Colin Wilson (St. John’s High School), Nick Beamish (Riverview High School), Courtney Williams (Melvindale High School), Ben McCord (Warren Cousino High School) and Ramadan Ahmeti (Waverly High School).
“I think this experience was great. It was a good transition to get away from home and have a chance to interact with the best talent in Michigan,” said offensive guard Kenny Rogers.
“It’s a good transition for next week when I start college football at CMU. I’m excited for everything about playing here — it’s hard work, but so worth it. It was a quick summer, but I’m ready. Being free and continuing to play football for five more years, that’s exciting.”
Center Nick Beamish said he’s excited for the toughness of the CMU coaching staff.
“That’s how I grew up learning and playing,” he said. “That’s what I looked for. Today was a different kind of a game, but it felt right.”
If there were an award for fastest player on the field, no one would have come close to edging Jason Wilson of Farmington High School.
The senior wide receiver caught three passes in the first half for 136 yards and two touchdowns, blowing by defensive backs with ease.
Wilson — coached by Farmington’s John Bechtel — is headed to Central Michigan to continue his football career. He was a three-year varsity football player, 2010 team MVP and all-time leader in all wide receiver categories.
“I love football and continuing to play, going to CMU for college, man that was the right decision for me, he said. “I’m thrilled to get started.”
Wilson starts summer classes on Monday.
He smiled and said, “It was a short summer but that’s college football. I love it and I’ll do whatever I have to if that means I can play.”
Bazuin is back
Dan Bazuin fulfilled his role as honorary captain with a smile on his place, humbled to come back to a place that is so near and dear to his heart.
Bazuin said he is excited CMU was able to show off their facilities.
“They’ve got some great stuff here and they might as well put it to use,” he said.
A three-time All-Mid-American Conference first team selection, Bazuin was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year as a junior in 2005. He led the nation in tackles for loss (26.5) and ranked second in sacks (16) in 2005, setting school records in both categories and tying the MAC single-season record for sacks. He is CMU’s career record holder for sacks (35.5) and tackles for loss (63.5).
Bazuin said he hopes each player will take the relationships they built during the week leading up to the game and continue to cherish them.
Bazuin said he likes where CMU’s football program is heading — with players coming in, expecting to win championships and move on to the next level.
“I’m proud of the program,” he said.
A bonding week
Mack Sovereign — quarterback for Traverse City Central H.S. and the West All Stars — said by Wednesday night of this week, it felt as if his team had been one for three months.
“I’m so glad they set this up the way they do,” he said. “Just hanging out at night, everyone ragging on each other, it was an awesome experience. I can’t imagine not having done this.”
The East’s Ray Tillman, a wide receiver from Auburn Hills Avondale who scored a touchdown in the game, said he never thought a group of football players could bond so quickly.
“At the beginning of the week, we didn’t know each other, but to see how fast it happened and to come out here and win … that was fun,” he said, finishing with two catches for 61 yards. “I love this game, I always loved football, I’m a fan of the sport, it really means a lot to me to be able to come out here and win, especially with how much we did win by.”