By Garrett Ross
Adversity has a unique way of testing your limits and it can come in multiple forms and there was no shortage of adversity at the 2021 TSMCA Division II All-Star Game in Wichita Falls.
Calvert’s Davien Flentroy missed most of the first half after an unsportsmanlike penalty, but he was able to bounce back in the second half with a tremendous performance that gave the East an opportunity to get the win.
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As the West controlled the momentum late in the fourth quarter, Flentroy got an interception in the red zone and returned it nearly 40-yards to set the East up with great field position.
The East had four opportunities to punch it into the end zone and take the lead, but multiple dropped passes and a fumble sealed the deal, as the West came away with a 38-34 victory.
The West set the tone early from a physicality standpoint, but the East got on the board first, as Richland Springs’ Landon Burkhart connected with Calvert’s Billy Thompson. The PAT was no good, making the score 6-0.
The West would respond with 3:57 remaining in the first quarter, as Jayton’s Pecos Smith broke loose from 60-yards out. The PAT was good and the West held a 8-6 lead.
After forcing a turnover on downs, the West would strike again. Groom’s Gunner Lamb weaved his way through the East defense and put the West up 16-6 with :34 remaining in the first quarter.
The East was able to establish a rhythm on offense, but a fumble by Burkhart in East territory was recovered by the West. Blackwell’s Cameron Coldiron would reap the rewards as he punched it into the end zone to extend the West’s lead 24-6 with 7:11 remaining in the second quarter.
Despite being behind the eight ball, the East put together another successful drive, but penalties continued to be an issue. Burkhart broke loose for a touchdown, but a penalty would get it called back.
A strong defensive stand for the East gave them the ball back with an opportunity to close the gap before halftime. Strawn’s Luke Eli threw a dart to Blanket’s Tyler Simpson and the East cut the lead 24-12 entering halftime.
The West would receive the ball to begin the second half and got a quick score early in the third quarter to extend their lead 32-12, but then
it was time for redemption.
Flentroy returned to the game and made an immediate impact as he returned a kickoff for a touchdown to put the East back in business with 6:51 remaining in the third quarter.
The remainder of the third quarter would be a defensive slugfest and neither team was able to score, but the West held a 32-20 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The East struck first in the fourth quarter, as Thompson punched it in from 3-yards out and Oglesby’s Nash Shaw connected on the PAT bringing the score to 32-28 West with 9:55 left in the game.
After another strong defensive tilt, the West would extend their lead with 5:09 remaining in the game, as Smith crossed the pylons from 4-yards out to give the West a 38-28 lead.
Iredell’s Hunter Sheffield got the final score of the game on a 9-yard touchdown run that brought the score to 38-34 with 4:35 remaining.
Once the dust settled both teams were rewarded with metals for their efforts and a few players from both sides earned scholarships to help them going forward as they head to college.