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East rallies late and edges West in overtime

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The East’s Gavin Patrick (78) of Shenandoah pressures West quarterback Brett Kaylor (14) of Huntington North during Friday night’s Indiana Football Hall of Fame East-West All-Star Classic at Delta High School. The East scored late in regulation and in overtime for a 13-12 win over the West.
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The East’s Nicholas Grieser (24, on ground) of New Castle and Lucas Wuestefeld (22) of Shenandoah wrap up West ball carrier Kitchel Gifford (21) of Western for little or no gain during Friday night’s Indiana Football Hall of Fame East-West All-Star Classic at Delta High School. The East won in overtime 13-12.
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The East’s Lucas Wuestefeld (22) of Shenandoah defends on a pass attempt from the West quarterback to Luke Stoker (81) of Tipton during Friday night’s Indiana Football Hall of Fame East-West All-Star Classic at Delta High School. Wuestefeld intercepted a pass in the first half of the East’s 13-12 victory in overtime.
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East quarterback Jose Olivo of Knightstown runs for yardage during Friday night’s Indiana Football Hall of Fame East-West All-Star Classic at Delta High School. Olivo ran for a pair of first downs and passed for 14 yards in the East’s 13-12 overtime victory over the West.
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/ For The Courier-Times The East defeated the West 13-12 in overtime in Friday night’s Indiana Football Hall of Fame East-West All-Star Classic at Delta High School. Local area players for the East in the game were front row, left to right, Nicholas Grieser (New Castle), Lucas Wuestefeld (Shenandoah), Cooper Strawsma (Knightstown), Triston Chesher (New Castle), and Dakota Raley (Tri). In the back row, left to right, are Ryan Golliher and Jake Combs (Hagerstown), Jose Olivo (Knightstown), Gavin Patrick (Shenandoah), and Devin Keck and Logan Stephens (Tri).
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The East’s Cooper Strawsma (18) of Knightstown defends on a pass aimed for the West’s Dakota Spencer (24) of Eastern-Greentown during Friday night’s Indiana Football Hall of Fame East-West All-Star Classic at Delta High School. The East won 13-12 in overtime.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

ROYERTON – The West outgained the East in total yardage 274 to 135 and generated 15 first downs to eight for the East. So it won Friday night’s Indiana Football Hall of Fame  East-West Classic at Delta High School, right?

Wrong.

The objective of the game is to score more points than the opponent, and the West just couldn’t convert that advantage in real estate to points. This enabled the East to rally late, send the game to overtime, and then stymie a two-point conversion attempt in the extra session to edge the West 13-12.

The East had several players from the local area on it, most on defense, and those players made some key contributions to the victory.

Representing the East from local area high schools were Nicholas Grieser and Triston Chesher from New Castle; Lucas Wuestefeld and Gavin Patrick from Shenandoah; Jose Olivo and Cooper Strawsma from Knightstown; Logan Stephens, Dakota Raley, and Devin Keck from Tri; and Ryan Golliher and Jake Combs from Hagerstown.

The West received the ball first, generated a first down, and then faced a 3rd-and-15 situation at its 46-yard line.

West quarterback Brett Kaylor from Huntington North attempted a pass, but it was picked off by the East’s Lucas Wuestefeld from Shenandoah, who motored down to the West 18-yard line.

“I had a blast,” Wuestefeld said after the game. “Playing with and against guys from bigger schools in front of a big crowd was a lot of fun. We knew if we continued to play hard on defense, something would break for us offensively, and it did. I plan to go to Purdue and study astronautical engineering.”

Three offensive plays by the East generated one yard, a field goal attempt by Donte Torres for Centerville was wide right, and the West took over on downs at the its own 20.

Runs of nine yards by Kitchel Gifford of Western and four yards by Delton Moore of Manchester gave the West a first down at the 33, but Kaylor’s pass attempted on 2nd-and-6 was pilfered by the East’s Jacen Beckmon of Connersville at the West 41.

The East generated its initial first down of the game on a 12-yard quarterback keeper by Jose Olivo of Knightstown that moved the ball to the West 29.

But on 3rd-and-6, Olivo was sacked for a six-yard loss, a delay of game penalty moved the ball back an additional five yards, and Olivo’s seven-yard pass completion to Colby Jenkins of New Palestine was not enough to generate another first down, so the West took the ball over on downs at its own 29 with 3:34 left in the first quarter.

The West then moved the ball 71 yards in nine plays for its first score of the night. Andrew Abbott of Muncie Central carried the pigskin three times for 42 yards and Moore three times for 21 yards in the drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown pass from Kaylor to Tipton’s Luke Stoker on the first play of the second quarter.

The extra point kick attempt by Andrew Freeman of Western was no good, so the West led 6-0 with 11:56 remaining in the second period.

The rest of the second quarter primarily was a defensive struggle with both teams punting the ball away twice. In the middle of those punts, the East did record a pair of first downs.

The East’s Camron Craig from Rushville and quarterback Zach Neligh of New Palestine had runs of eight and 14 yards, respectively, to generate one first down, and Neligh completed an 11-yard pass to Jenkins for the other. But the drive stalled out at the West 36, and the West took over on downs.

Two six-yard runs by Abbott gave the West a first down late in the first half, and the West took that 6-0 lead into intermission.

The East received the second-half kickoff. Olivo was sacked for a pair of four-yard losses and the East punted the ball away to the West 36.

Abbott’s first carry of the second half was for 22 yards which took the ball to the East 42, but the East defense stiffened. Wuestefeld and Tri’s Logan Stephens combined to hold Gifford to one yard on 2nd-and-6, and Hagerstown’s Ryan Golliher stuffed Moore for a one-yard gain on 4th-and-3, and the East took over on its own 34.

Olivo’s 20-yard scamper left and up was the East’s longest play from scrimmage of the night and took the ball to the West 46-yard line for a first down. But Olivo was sacked for a five-yard loss by the West’s Jaquan Reeves from Marion on 3rd-and-8, and Torres punted to the West 31.

Aided by a 29-yard pass from Kaylor to Parker Shelton from Western on the first play, the West mounted a drive that generated three first downs and moved the ball down to the East 11 late in the third quarter. A delay-of-game penalty and two plays that generated minus-one yard resulted in the West facing 3rd-and-16 from the 17-yard line.

Kaylor passed the ball to Shelton, who lateraled it to Gifford on a hook-and-ladder play. But Gifford fumbled the pigskin and Golliher recovered it on the East 14 with 1:28 left in the third period.

Olivo completed a five-yard pass to Jenkins, but then lost a total of 17 yards on consecutive sacks by the West’s Peyton Carter of Tipton that placed the ball back at the East 2. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Torres got off a nice punt to the East 44 and a 10-yard West penalty took the ball back to the West 46.

A 13-yard run by Abbott and a 17-yard Kaylor to Stoker pass completion generated two first downs and moved the ball down to a 1st-and-10 at the East 23. The East’s Nicholas Grieser of New Castle was in on three tackles on this drive, which got down to the East 18-yard line.

But on 4th-and-7, a field goal attempt by Freeman was no good and the East took over on its own 20-yard line with 6:02 remaining in the game.

The East then embarked on a 12-play, 80-yard march for the tying touchdown which started with an eight-yard run by Neligh. Key plays in the drive were a 17-yard pass from Neligh to Matt Guhl of Triton Central, a pair of runs totaling 23 yards by Craig, and consecutive pass completions of 10 and eight yards from Neligh to Gage Rosenfeld of Rushville that resulted in a 1st-and-10 from the West 11.

Neligh tossed the ball to Jenkins for seven yards, and the East called timeout with a minute left in the contest. On the next play, Neligh passed to Jenkins for four yards and the touchdown with 56 seconds left. A bad snap prevented the extra-point kick from being attempted, and the game remained tied at 6-6.

After a delay of game penalty on the West, Kaylor passed to Shelton who was stopped by Grieser and Wuestefeld after a gain of 13 yards. Moore’s 10-yard run moved the ball to the West 44, but there were just 10 seconds remaining. A run out of bounds and a knee by Kaylor ended regulation (after just 1:58 of time elapsed) and sent the game into overtime.

The West won the coin toss and decided to go on defense in overtime. Neligh scrambled left and then scampered into the end zone for a touchdown on the first play and Torres booted the extra point for a 13-6 East lead.

“After I recovered that fumble, I was the long snapper for our extra points and thought I had messed up our chance to win with a bad snap after the first touchdown that didn’t even reach the holder,” Golliher remarked. “But led on offense by the two guys from New Pal who won a state championship and the guys from Rushville, we were able to win, which is the important thing. I’m going to Vincennes University, throw the shot put and discus, and major in forestry.”

Kaylor kept the ball for six yards and then Abbott ran the pigskin into the end zone from the four for the touchdown that pulled the West to within 13-12. But Abbott was gang-tacked by a host of East defenders two yards shy of the end zone on the two-point conversion attempt, and the East players celebrated their one-point victory.

Grieser finished with double-digits in tackles, Golliher and Hagerstown’s Combs had several tackles, as did Stephens and Devin Keck of Tri, and Wuestefeld. New Castle’s Chesher was a receiver for the East offense, but no passes were thrown his way. Patrick applied pressure on Kaylor from his defensive line position.

“This was a great way to end my high school career,” Grieser said. “This game brought me back to all those football Friday nights under the lights and all the great memories. I’m glad I could contribute to the win and was honored to be here. I’m going to Purdue to study chemistry with hopes to become an optometrist, and I plan to stay involved in sports doing something for the Purdue basketball team.” 

East 13, West 12 (OT)

WEST 0 6 0 0 6 -12

EAST 0 0 0 6 7 -13

West – Luke Stoker 5-yard pass from Brett Kaylor (kick failed)

East – Colby Jenkins 4-yard pass from Zach Neligh (kick failed)

East– Zach Neligh 10-yard run (Donte Torres kick)

West – Andrew Abbott four-yard run (run failed)

W E

First downs 15 8

Rushes/yards 33-160 29-52

Yards passing 114 83

Passes 13-26-2 10-15-0

Punts 2 5

Fumbles lost 1 0

Penalties/yards 4-25 2-10

Individual Leaders

Rushing

West: Andrew Abbott 15-103, Delton Moore 11-40; East: Camron Craig 9-49.

Passing

West: Brett Kaylor 13-26-2, 114; East: Zach Neligh 7-9-0, 69 and Jose Olivo 3-6-0, 14.

Receiving

West: Parker Shelton 6-55, Luke Stoker 4-33, Kitchel Gifford 3-26; East: Colby Jenkins 6-46, Matt Guhl 2-19, Gage Rosenfeld 2-18.