The West DeKalb County All-Star team ended a four-game losing streak after the West defeated the East 28-23 in the seventh annual DeKalb County Coaches Association All-Star football game Dec. 21.
Before the game, the East team held a 5-1 advantage in the series, having won the past four meetings. The West’s lone victory came in 2008 with a 14-7 victory.
The All-Star game featured some of the top juniors and seniors from all 19 DeKalb County high schools along with St. Pius and Decatur. The East team was coached by Towers head coach James Holloway and Cedar Grove’s Jermaine Smith coached the West squad.
Smith said this game was an opportunity for the players to have some more fun playing football.
“They did have fun,” Smith said. “They did a great job today. Coaching these types of guys is a joy for me. I had fun also.”
After the West took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, the East tied the game at seven in the second quarter on a quarterback sneak by McNair quarterback Mickey Ridley. The East took a 10-7 lead on a 23-yard field goal by Stephenson kicker Wisdom Nzidee.
The West regained the lead early in the third quarter on a touchdown run by Redan running back Kevin Parker to give the West a 14-10 lead.
Late in the third quarter, a blocked punt by Decatur’s Nick Bentley was scooped up by M. L. King’s Kelvin Murray and returned for a touchdown, which extended the West’s lead to 21-10.
The West extended the lead to 28-10 early in the fourth quarter after a 6-yard touchdown run by M. L. King’s Jamel Smith. The East cut the score to 28-17 after a touchdown pass from Stone Mountain quarterback Corderal Cook to his fellow Pirate teammate Arlonzo Simpson.
The East made the game a little exciting midway through the fourth quarter. An attempted field goal by St. Pius kicker Thomas O’leary fell short and was caught by Towers’ Daemyon Hassell and returned 103 yards for a touchdown.
Hassell credited the blocking by his teammates for the 103-yard return.
“We were just trying to keep ourselves in the game and I did what I can do,” he said.
A failed two-point conversion after the touchdown brought the final score to 28-23.
Hassell and Bentley were name most valuable players of the game.
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