In an exciting early 8-Man DII All-Star Game on Saturday morning and afternoon at Trojan Field in Beloit, the West All-Stars used a score in the final minute and a turnover on downs from the East to pull out a 36-28 win.
The East actually gained the momentum early. On just their fourth play from scrimmage, they scored on a 48-yard pass from Hanover’s Jacob Jueneman to fellow TVL receiver Mitchell Buessing of Axtell. Colin Jueneman of Hanover added a 2-point conversion run to put the East up 8-0.
After holding the West to a 3-and-out, the East struck again in just three plays as Jacob Jueneman hit Colin Jueneman on a 59-yard swing pass on a 3rd and 13 play to extend the lead to 14-0.
The East defense would pitch a shutout in the first half as the team went to the locker room with the 14-0 score.
The West went three-and-out on their first second half drive, but a fumbled punt was recovered by the West at the East 27 yard line. However, a turnover on downs gave the ball back to the East. Needing a break, the West squad got it three plays later. Stafford’s Kleyton Schreiber intercepted Jacob Jueneman and returned it 22 yards to the house and Colton McCarty of Cheylin added the two-point run to cut the East lead to 14-8.
The East responded on their next drive as Jacob Jueneman finished a 7-play, 54-yard drive with a 13-yard TD run and he added the 2-point run to put the East up 22-8 going into the fourth quarter.
The East lead did not hold up long, as two seconds into the fourth, McCarty ran a touchdown in from a yard out and connected with St. Francis back Shadryon Blanka on the two-point pass to cut the East lead to 22-16.
The East offense followed with another three-and-out and two plays later, McCarty found Blanka on a 52-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 22.
From there, each team had drives that ended in a punt, as the East took over at their own four yard line with 5:40 remaining. Two plays later, Jesse Baxter of St. Francis made a big defensive play to force a fumble that was recovered in the end zone by Trevor Zarybnicky of Wheatland-Grinnell to give the West a 28-22 lead.
Not to be outdone, the East had an answer. They finished a five-play drive with the longest pass play from scrimmage in 8-Man All-Star Game history. The tandem of Jacob and Colin Jueneman from Hanover connected again, this time on a 71-yard touchdown pass on 4th and 12 that tied the game at 28 with 2:39 remaining.
The West was not rattled, though, as they went 65 yards in just five plays capped with a 2-yard run by McCarty of Cheylin, as Blanka ran in the two-pointer to put the West up 36-28 with just 59 seconds remaining. After an East turnover on downs with 38 seconds remaining, McCarty took a knee to seal the win.
McCarty, who led Cheylin to a 6-Man State title in the fall, came up big for the DII West. He finished 12-16 for 182 yards and a touchdown passing and also ran for two scores. Blanka was the leading receiver for West with three catches for 70 yards. Jacob Jueneman finished 16-23 for 268 yards and three touchdown passes for the East. Colin Jueneman finished with nine catches for 187 yards and two scores.
1st, East: Buessing 48 pass from J. Jueneman (C. Jueneman run), 10:22 (8-0 East)
1st, East: C. Jueneman 59 pass from J. Jueneman (PAT failed), 6:05 (14-0 East)
3rd, West: Schreiber 22 interception return (McCarty run), 5:46 (14-8 East)
3rd, East: J. Jueneman 13 run (J. Jueneman run), 2:39 (22-8 East)
4th, West: McCarty 1 run (Blanka pass from McCarty), 11:58 (22-16 East)
4th, West: Blanka 52 pass from McCarty (PAT failed), 9:06 (22-22 Tie)
4th, West: Zarybnicky fumble recovery in end zone (PAT failed), 5:40 (28-22 West)
4th, East: C. Jueneman 71 pass from J. Jueneman (PAT failed), 2:39 (28-28 Tie)
4th, West: McCarty 2 run (Blanka run), 0:59 (36-28 West)
DII All-Star Game Stats:
Total Offense: 276 338
Rush Offense: 8 142
Pass Offense: 268 196
Penalties: 4-50 4-30
Score by Quarters:
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
East 14 0 8 6 28
West 0 0 8 28 36
East: C. Jueneman 10-25, PAT; Gerstner 2-6; Cornelison 2-0; J. Jueneman 7-(-23), TD, PAT
West: Pruitt 7-36; Blanka 18-31, PAT; McCarty 11-25, 2 TD, PAT; Weinhold 2-18; Perez 2-17; Robles 3-13; Wolf 1-3; Hause 1-(-1)
East: J. Jueneman 16-23-268, 3 TD, 2 INT
West: McCarty 12-16-182, TD, PAT; Wolf 1-1-14
East: C. Jueneman 9-187, 2 TD; Buessing 1-48, TD; Gerstner 4-10; Ferguson 1-8; Cornelison 1-5
West: Wolf 3-75; Blanka 3-70, TD, PAT; Robles 3-31; Perez 4-20