Leading up to Saturday’s 37th Hall of Fame All-Star Game for high school football seniors, East head coach Chris Brown of Chaffey constantly reminded his team about the drubbing the East took in last year’s game.
They clearly got the message.
The East was simply too big, too fast and too strong and it all added up to a 34-6 win over the West at West Covina High.
“It was good,” said East quarterback Cole McDonald of Sonora, who was named team MVP. “We didn’t have any expectations. We just went and played, and came out on top. We just all wanted to have fun, win and showcase our talents as a team.”
Erick Hernandez of Burroughs was named West team MVP after scoring his team’s lone touchdown on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Flintridge Prep’s Andrew Tsangeos. Rancho Cucamonga’s Nathan Thomas was named MVP lineman.
The East leads the all-time series 24-11-2. The East had a seven-game win streak in the series entering last year’s game, but a tweak in the boundaries of which both teams draw their talent from helped get the West back in the column.
But Saturday, the East was right back to its dominant way. Sonora running back Jacob Fimbres started the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter.
The East was right back in the end zone moments later on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Charter Oak’s Kam Brown to Chaffey’s Mike Dean. The West, badly in need of some points, was met with disaster instead.
Early in the second quarter, Ayala Isiah Flowers stepped in front of a short pass by the West and returned the interception 25 yards for the touchdown and a 20-0 lead that felt insurmountable.
“They kept running that same bubble play/read option, and I just decided to jump it and it fell in my hands,” Flowers said. “I was getting frustrated because they kept throwing that bubble and I wasn’t there making a play. I caught it and was headed straight for the end zone.
“It’s great because it’s my last high school game. I will remember this for probably the rest of my life … tell my kids about it.”
McDonald’s 18-yard touchdown pass to La Serna’s Anthony Garcia made it 27-6. McDonald later showed what he could do with his feet by scoring on a nifty 12-yard keeper.
Other than Hernandez’s touchdown, there was only a few nice runs by Monrovia’s James Spicer to talk about as far as highlights. But still, Hernandez was happy for the experience.
“It feels good to score a touchdown in my last game,” Hernandez said. “It feels good to be out here with the guys and be out here having fun. We gave a good effort, but some things didn’t go our way. We had a good time.”