Clarkson-Leigh's multi-talented football star Chris Konicek set a receiving record in the 8-Man All-Star Game.
East scores 36 unanswered points to top the West in Sertoma 8-Man All-Star game.
by Bobby Mills (1000 Yard Guy)
The East all-stars spotted it's West counterparts a 15 point lead in the 1st half, then apparently figured out a way to give their quarterbacks more time to throw. It also appears that East head man Blair Kalin and his staff drew up a scheme to neutralize Hemingford's relentless Colt Foster at the halftime break. All this strategy resulted in a 30 point 2nd half outburst and a 36-15 victory for those East All-Stars in the 38th Sertoma 8-Man All-Star Game in Hastings.
Things could'nt have started any better for the West on this warm, muggy afternoon. On the opening play of the contest, West signal caller Ben Heinrichs (Giltner) bobbled the snap from center, then lost a fumble on the West 25 yard line. It took only 1:55 for West QB Alex Kunz (Stuart) to spot Sandhills-Thedford's 6-5 Justin Lee for a 21 yard touchdown strike. Elm Creek's Christian Best hooked up with Twin Loup's Braydon Davis for the double extra point and the West had an 8-0 lead with only 1:59 deep into the game.
Neither team could get a running game established in the first half, despite the presence of 18 one thousand yard rushers, 5 of whom eclipsed the 2,000 yard mark. Defense always rules the run game in nearly every Shrine Bowl or 8-Man All-Star game I have ever witnessed. Just the way it is. You know the drill, no time for the offense to prepare.
Late in the 2nd quarter, the West put together a nifty 63 yard drive sparked by two nice aerials. Alex Kunz found Maxwell's Jaylon Sturdivant on a crossing pattern for a 24 yard gain with 1:26 left in the half. Two plays later, Kunz lofted a pass to Hemingford standout Ethan Skinner, who skirted 35 yards down the sideline, tight-roping to avoid going out-of-bounds before crossing the goal line. Christian Best booted the kick through to give the West a 15-0 lead with only 55.5 ticks left in the half.
But the West let one slip away before the intermission. After a holding call moved the ball from to the East 47 yard line, BDS quarterback Grant Norder dropped back and sailed a perfect spiral to Clarkson-Leigh's Chris Konicek for a spendid 53 yard score. With only 29 ticks left in the half, the East cut the West's lead to 15-6.
No doubt about Hemingford's Colt Foster standing out in the 1st half for the West. Ditto for the East's 6-3, 220 pound Simon Sandburg (Friend), an exchange student from Sweden.
The East all-stars owned the 2nd half. With Colt Foster being slowed a bit, the East quartebacks had more time to throw, and the line had more time to spring Fullerton's magnificent running back, Garrett Sonderup.
On the East team's opening 2nd half possession, the adjustments payed off. High Plains quarterback Jabe Wurtz fired a 37 yard completition to quarterback-turned-receiver Ben Heinrichs, for a 37 yard gain. The very next play, Sonderup blasted through for a 6 yard touchdown. The 2 point run failed, but the East was within two, 15-13.
About 3 minutes later, Christian Best coughed up the ball after taking a brutal hit and the East pounced on the loose ball at the their own 45. Ben Heinrichs then nailed speedy Garrett Sonderup for a 34 yard pass play, then 2 plays later nailed Chris Konicek for his 2nd TD reception, a 57 yard strike. That score put the East squad up for good.
51.8 seconds before the end of the 3rd quarter, Falls City Sacred Heart sprinter Sawyer Kean (pronounced Cain) swept around right end and was gone on a 34 yard TD jaunt. The run on the point after failed, and the East was up 24-15 after three quarters.
The East scored on it's first possession of the 4th stanza. After West punter Joseph Colfack (Bertrand) unleashed a 67 yard punt, pinning the East on it's own 20, it took only 3 plays for the Easterners to hit paydirt. Fullerton's Garrett Sonderup lost a yard on his 1st carry, but bolted for a 41 yard gain on the next touch. Operating from the West 40, QB Jabe Wurtz (High Plains) spotted......you guessed it....Chris Konicek. Konicek performed a juggling trick before hauling in the Wurtz pass for a 40 yard touchdown. After the failed point after run, it was the East 30-15.
On the West's next, and final possession, as it would turn out, Fullerton's superb defensive end, Gage Horacek intercepted a wobbly Alex Kunz pass. Kunz was clearly upset the play before and was flagged for a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when he spiked the ball after being sacked for an 11 yard loss.
The East took over the ball on their own 46 and drove to the East 9 yard line as the game came to a close and the East secured a 36-15 win in the 38th Sertoma 8-Man Classic.
The finals stats were not close. Three East QBs combined to complete 6-11 passes for 215 yards and 3 Tds. The East backs ran for 164 yards, buoyed by Fullerton's Garrett Sonderup, a Doane recruit, who took game rushing honors with 88 yards on 16 carries and 2 scores. The East totaled 379 yards. Clarkson-Leigh's Christopher Konicek grabbed 3 receptions, all for touchdowns, for 150 yards, an 8-Man All-Star record.
The West completed 8 of their 14 passes for 126 yards and their only scores, but also suffered 2 interceptions. The rushing game was completely stuffed to the tune of a minus 27 yards on 31 attempts and that is with a stable of runners that accumulated over 14,000 yards during the 2014 football season.
The East's offensive player of the game was Chris Konicek, while the defensive honor went to Friend's Simon Sandburg. For the West, it was Stuart's Alex Kunz that garnered the Offensive Player of the game honors, while the award on the defensive side was a no brainer as Hemingford's Colt Foster was an easy choice.
I thought the crowd may have been one of the largest I have seen in recent years at this great game and considering the hot, humid day, that is terrific. Best of luck to all these 8-man football standouts as they progress to the next level of their lives. Thanks for the memories men. Each and every one of you from top to bottom, is an elite football player and don't ever forget that.