DI East Completes East Sweep With 28-18 Win Over West


In Saturday’s 8-Man DI All-Star Game at Trojan Field in Beloit, the DI West All-Stars struck first, leading 6-0 after the first quarter, but the East outscored the West 28-6 in the 2nd and 3rd quarters combined, on their way to a 28-18 win.

As stated, the West struck first.  On the first possession of the game, the West went 55 yards in 13 plays, capped off by a 2-yard TD run by Spearville’s Luke Heskamp.  The run failed after the TD, as the West held a 6-0 advantage at the 6:34 mark in the 1st quarter.

The East would have a turnover on downs on their first possession, followed by a punt from the West.  On the East’s second possession of the game, Cole Sramek of Rawlins County intercepted a pass from Josh Van Laeys of Logan to give the West the ball right at the end of the first quarter.

At the start of the 2nd quarter, the West had their second straight three-and-out and had to punt.  The East would follow with their first scoring drive of the game, going 49 yards in seven plays, finished off by an 8-yard TD run from St. Paul’s Chandler Struthers.  After a pass from Van Laeys to Osborne’s Cullen Grabast for the 2-point conversion, the East took a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the day at 8-6 at the 7:35 mark in the 2nd.

The score stayed at 8-6 until late in the 1st half when Osborne’s Cullen Grabast got a great read on a pass from Quinton Cravens and the result was a 33-yard interception return for a TD.  The East led 14-6 after a failed PAT with 2:02 left.

The West did not let the turnover deter them, as they used just a minute and a half to drive 65 yards in six plays, finishing with a 7-yard TD run by Brock Waters of St. Francis.  After another missed point after, the West trailed by just two at 14-12 with 0:32 left in the first half.

On the East’s first play from scrimmage on their final drive of the first half, Van Laeys hit Cody Jiminez of Central-Burden on a seam route right down the middle of the field for a 53-yard TD.  That score ended up being the final score of the half, as the East took a 20-12 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The 3rd quarter belonged to the East, as they shut out the West 8-0 in that frame.  On their first possession, they went 54 yards in just five plays, as Van Laeys scored on a 5 yard run.  The score gave the East a 26-12 lead with 10:31 to play in the third.

Later in the quarter, the West attempted a punt, and the snap went over the head of Little River’s Clay Zeller.  He recovered the ball in the end zone and attempted a pass while in the grasp of a tackler.  Zeller was called for intentional grounding, and with the play happening in the end zone, it was an automatic safety, giving the East two points and a 28-12 lead after three quarters.

After a punt by the East in the fourth quarter, the West went on a long drive.  It started on their own 8-yard line, but unfortunately for the West squad after 11 plays, it ended at the East 2 on a turnover on downs.  The drive consumed much of the fourth quarter clock, leaving under six minutes for a comeback.

The East punted again, then the West took their next drive and scored.  With 1:40 remaining in the game, Cravens found Heskamp on a 24-yard TD pass on 3rd and 16.  Trailing 28-18, the West failed to convert on the important 2-point attempt.

The West would recover their onside kick, but six plays later, a turnover on downs would end the game, as the East went in victory formation to run off the final 37 seconds and claim the 28-18 win.

After the East win, the West’s overall lead in the DI All-Star Game series shrinks to 10-7.  The win also gave the East a sweep in the two games, which last happened in 2014.
Scoring Summary

1st, West: Heskamp 2 run (run failed), 6:34 (6-0 West)

2nd, East: Struthers 8 run (Grabast pass from Van Laeys), 7:35 (8-6 East)

2nd, East: Grabast 33 interception return (pass failed), 2:02 (14-6 East)

2nd, West: Waters 7 run (run failed), 0:32 (14-12 East)

2nd, East: Jiminez 53 pass from Van Laeys (run failed), 0:18 (20-12 East)

3rd, East: Van Laeys 5 run (pass failed), 10:31 (26-12 East)

3rd, East: Team Safety, 0:16 (28-12 East)

4th, West: Heskamp 24 pass from Cravens (run failed), 1:40 (28-18 East)


DI All-Star Game Stats:

East     West

Total Offense:  237     278

Rush Offense:  126     115

Pass Offense:   111      162

Penalties:          2-25     3-15


Score by Quarters:

1st     2nd    3rd   4th   Total

East       0       20      8      0      28

West      6        6       0      6      18


Individual Rushing:

East: Struthers 14-49, TD; Grabast 5-47; Van Laeys 10-30, TD

West: Cravens 17-51; Heskamp 18-32, TD; Rogers 6-18; Waters 1-7, TD; Zeller 3-7

Individual Passing:

East: Van Laeys 7-13-111, TD, INT

West: Cravens 9-18-162, TD, INT; Zeller 1-1-1

Individual Receiving:

East: Jiminez 2-85, TD; Grabast 3-14; Kidd 2-13

West: Brown 4-65; Rogers 3-58; Waters 2-26; Heskamp 1-24

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.