A crowd of more than 5,500 turned out to witness the East squad take a page out of an old-school playbook and come away with a 20-8 win over the West at the annual N.C. Coaches Association All-Star football game in Greensboro at Jamieson Stadium on Wednesday.
On the East’s first play from scrimmage, quarterback Kyler Davis (Seventy-First) rolled to his right on third-and-11 and hit receiver Lamont Murray (Pamlico) in stride down the right sideline. Murray outraced the West defense for an 81-yard touchdown to give his team a 7-0 lead after the Declan Hall (South Brunswick) kick.
The play set a new record as the longest play from scrimmage in East-West All-Star history.
The stout East defense didn’t allow a single touchdown on the night. The lone score by the West came on a 69-yard scoop and score off on an East fumble returned by Kenneth Washington (Reagan) in the first quarter. The only points the offense put on the board was on the ensuing 2-point conversion run by JahTwan Stafford (Monroe).
The West could never get anything going on the ground or with the passing game and finished the night with measly minus-15 yards of total offense on 32 plays. Pass blocking for the West squad was virtually non-existent as the East closed out the game with six sacks for a total of 58 yards. An interception by the East’s Kentreaz Coston (Holmes) resulted in a 20-yard return for a touchdown which also was the result of the relentless pressure exuded by the defense. The kick failed which put the East up 13-8.
Still, the West was in the game until the end. With the East hanging on to a 13-8 lead and facing third-and-five from the West 8-yard line, they needed a stop. But Tarboro’s Keon Caudle, who closed out the game with 119 yards on 18 carries and would later earn Offensive Most Valuable Player honors, broke a string of tackles and dragged defenders into the end zone for the game-sealing score with 1:34 to play for the 20-8 final score.
On a hot and steamy night where the West defense played good enough to win, allowing just one offensive touchdown, Caudle was a problem for the West defense for the majority of the game as he kept the chains moving and burned clock.
The East defense was led by Eastern Guilford linebacker Alex Gowda who finished with six tackles.
“That’s East football. That’s the way I remember it growing up. It hasn’t changed much. Our kids did a really good job of staying the course. The offenses are at a disadvantage because they don’t have much time together. We just let the kids play, move around and have some fun. The biggest thing out here is the camaraderie,” said Ragsdale coach Johnny Boykin, the West team’s linebackers coach.
Joe Sirera of the Greensboro News & Record contributed to this report.
East 7 6 0 7 20
West 8 0 0 0 8
East — Lamont Murray 81 pass from Kyler Davis (Declan Hall kick)
West — Kenneth Washington 69 fumble return (JahTwan Stafford run)
East — Kentreaz Coston 20 interception return (kick failed)
East — Keon Caudle 8 run (Hall kick)