By DOUG DONNELLY
SOUTHFIELD – A fourth quarter touchdown drive was the difference Saturday in the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association East-West All-Star Classic.
The game was played mainly between the 35-yard lines as the defenses from both sides were outstanding, limiting big plays and scoring chances by both teams.
Livonia Franklin’s Zac Olesuk, however, threw for one touchdown and helped the East seal the 14-7 victory during the final drive of the game. His touchdown pass came in the first quarter, about four minutes into the game, when he connected with Warren Fitzgerald receiver Trey West on a 23-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead.
The lead stood until just before halftime when the West scored on a 15-yard pass from Gavin Reams of Fruitport to Jabari Campbell of Kelloggsville. That tied the game at 7-7.
The third quarter was scoreless, but the East broke through with the biggest play of the game when Dacaria Jenkins of Clintondale hauled in a 42-yard reception from Detroit Loyola quarterback Anthony Garrett to put the East in scoring position at the West 6.
Two plays later, Auburn Hills Avondale running back D’Angelo Harris scored on a 6-yard plunge behind a wall of offensive blockers, putting the East up 14-7 with 10:57 left.
Once the East got the ball back in its hands, Olesuk helped control the clock and the game.
The Leo’s Coney Island Player of the Game was River Rouge lineman Davonte Miles, who will play at Bowling Green State University next season.
Belleville head coach Jermaine Crowell was the head coach of the East while Cody Mallory of Spring Lake was the West head coach.
“It was a great experience,” said Ottawa Lake-Whiteford’s Noah Bauman, one of the captains of the East team. “To be up here around all these guys all weekend was great. We all just love football. It’s definitely fun playing against the best competition you can.”
The win by the East sends the MHSFCA trophy back to the east side of the state. Last year, the West won 48-14.
“It’s nice to have the trophy back on the East side,” Crowell said.
The game was held on the campus of Lawrence Tech University in Southfield for the second consecutive season. It was part of a huge weekend of activities for the MHSFCA, who inducted two hall of fame classes Friday and held some of the first 2022 Leadership Development Alliance sessions.
The game also featured 15 sideline cheerleaders from across the state.
East 14, West 7
E – Trey West 23 pass from Zac Olesuk (Joey Kostrubiec kick),
W – Jabari Campbell 15 pass from Gavin Reames (Bryce Harless kick), 1:30
E – D’Angelo Harris 6 run (Joey Kostrubiec kick), 10:57