Contrary to what happened in the 8-Man Division I All-Star Game earlier in the day, points were hard to come by in the DII classic as the West held on for a 20-14 win over the East on a hot afternoon in Beloit.
It took a while for the offenses to catch their footing in the game, as each team was shutout in the first quarter. The highlights from the first were a blocked punt by Grant Schoenrock of Victoria for the DII West and an interception by Olin Brown of the Thunder Ridge for the East. Neither team was able to take full advantage of those big plays and get on the scoreboard.
However, on the first play of the second quarter, Onaga’s Rilyn Mayginnes intercepted West QB Trey Vincent from Wheatland, which set up the East at their own 36-yard line. Two plays and 22 seconds later, Osborne speedster Mason Schurr found the edge for a 44-yard touchdown run and Lakeside’s Kylan Cunningham connected with Lane Bartley of Waverly on the two-point pass to put the East up 8-0.
The West responded quickly on their next possession. Vincent hit Central Plains’ Cole Lamatsch on a 35-yard pass play, which in turn set up a 30-yard touchdown pass from Vincent to Tucker Uhl of South Central two plays later. Vincent ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8.
It looked as though the teams would go into the locker room with a tie, but late in the second quarter, the East held the West and forced them to punt with just 41 seconds until halftime. However, the punt was muffed and recovered by the West at the East 26. Calling a timeout to set up the final play of the first half, the West reached into their bag of tricks and took the lead on a throwback pass from Nate Bowman of Bucklin to the QB Vincent for a nine-yard touchdown as time expired. The East held the West on the two-point attempt and the score was 14-8 at the break.
Strong defense and the 95-degree heat made the offenses look a bit lethargic in the second half. Neither team scored for most of the third quarter, as the East had an 11-play drive that last 7:38 and ended in a turnover on downs at the West 10. Then, just like in the second quarter, the West was able to punch one in as time expired. Vincent threw across his body on the final play of the quarter and found Triplains/Brewster’s Cayde Welsh for a 48-yard touchdown to give the West a 20-8 lead after three.
The two teams again played to a draw for a little over half of the fourth quarter, but the East got a shot in the arm when Cunningham found his Lakeside teammate Jace Schoen on a 51-yard touchdown to bring them within 20-14 with 5:13 remaining.
With an ineffective rushing attack, the West spent the majority of the day passing the football. On their next possession, Schurr hit Vincent as he was throwing on a third down play and St. John’s/Tipton’s Jaret Eitzmann intercepted an underthrow to set the East up at their own 35. On the ensuing possession for the East, Kylan Cunningham converted a 4th and 10 run down to the West 19. On the following second down play, though, Scott Price of Bucklin sacked Cunningham for a 10-yard loss and moments later, a 4th and 15 pass attempt from Cunningham was knocked down by Lamatsch inside the five-yard line to secure the six-point win for the West.
The West had 268 yards of total offense as Vincent threw for 238 yards and two touchdowns. For the East, Cunningham threw for 176 yards and a score. The win for the West was their third consecutive in the series, but the East still holds a 12-9 overall lead in the DII series.
2nd, East: Schurr 44 run (Bartley pass from Cunningham), 11:38 (8-0 East)
2nd, West: Uhl 30 pass from Vincent (Vincent run), 10:56 (8-8 Tie)
2nd, West: Vincent 9 pass from Bowman (run failed), 0:00 (14-8 West)
3rd, West: Welsh 48 pass from Vincent (run failed), 0:00 (20-8 West)
4th, East: Schoen 51 pass from Cunningham (pass failed), 5:13 (20-14 West)
DII All-Star Game Stats:
Total Offense: 278 268
Rush Offense: 102 21
Pass Offense: 176 247
Penalties: 3-15 2-15
Score by Quarters:
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
East 0 8 0 6 14
West 0 14 6 0 20
East: Schurr 11-57, TD; Cunningham 11-38; Brown 2-7; Lantz 1-2; Hrabe 1-0
West: Vincent 6-23, PAT; Jewell 3-0; Price 2-(-2)
East: Cunningham 17-31-176, TD, PAT; Lacey 0-1
West: Vincent 18-34-229, 2 TD, 3 INT; Bowman 1-1-9, TD
East: Lantz 7-72; Schoen 4-71, TD; Bartley 4-28, PAT; Schurr 1-5
West: Uhl 4-92, TD; Welsh 3-53, TD; Lamatsch 1-35; Jewell 5-36; Price 4-22; Vincent 1-9, TD