“It was great. I loved everyone on the team,” said Burdno, headed for Morehead State University. “Early on, it was a defensive battle. Then everyone kind of calmed down and it turned into a fight, and we ended up pulling it out at the end.”
Blake Bockrath of Kings also had an interception for the East. The winners got outgained 305-232 in yardage, but they never trailed.
Tyler Pilcher of Glen Este threw for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy’s Johnny Noyen only had one completion, but it was a 38-yard scoring connection with Shannon.
“It was a fast game. Everyone had a little bit of speed,” said West outside linebacker Josh Weaver, a Fairfield graduate. “Guys had a couple moves, and the offense got a couple plays on us. We just came up a little short on some fourth downs.”
Weaver notched a solo tackle and an assist for the West, which piled up nine tackles for loss. Defensive lineman Zach Nutter of Lakota West contributed two assists.
Also for the West, Winton Woods linebacker Kwamane Watson and Wyoming lineman Jamal Fox both had five solos and three assists. Taylor Holston of Shroder and Nijha’i Jackson of Taft added interceptions.
Weaver, who will play at Lake Erie College, said it was an enjoyable experience.
“You get your juices going and it’s just like Friday night again,” Weaver said. “You’re out there hitting and everything’s good.”
The West offense was piloted by four quarterbacks: Dustin Foley of Ross, Steve Cunningham of Hamilton, Samonte Griffin of Aiken and Mitchell Hogue of Harrison.
Cunningham was 7 of 18 for 70 yards and got picked off twice. Foley directed both West touchdown drives and hit Juwaun Tye of Western Hills for an 8-yard TD.
“At first, I thought he was running a fade, but then he like cuts in for a slant and I somehow got the ball to him,” Foley said. “It worked. It happened. It was nice.”
Foley also played wide receiver. He was 4 of 10 for 50 yards through the air, ran 10 times for 24 yards and caught a 4-yard pass from Cunningham.
“We struggled in the first half,” said Foley, who will continue his career at Centre College. “And some of their touchdowns were some circus acts. We just had a couple tough breaks.
“Once we got everything together, it worked out real good. We just kind of got going late, and that’s why we lost the game.”
The Foley-to-Tye touchdown came on the last play of the third quarter. The extra-point attempt by Colerain’s Christian Dinevski was blocked, leaving the East with a 7-6 advantage.
The East responded quickly with Noyen’s TD toss to Shannon, but the West rallied again with a 70-yard drive that ended with Elder’s Ja’Vahri Portis scoring on a 3-yard run. Foley’s conversion pass failed, and it was a 14-12 game with 5:39 left.
The clinching score for the East came with 2:26 remaining. Pilcher hit Shannon for a 22-yard touchdown and New Richmond’s Austin Torrens added his third extra point for the final margin.
“It was a blast,” Foley said. “Football’s always a blast for me, but that game was real fun.”
E: Aaron Shannon 16 pass from Tyler Pilcher (Austin Torrens kick)
W: Juwaun Tye 8 pass from Dustin Foley (Kick blocked)
E: Shannon 38 pass from Johnny Noyen (Torrens kick)
W: Ja’Vahri Portis 3 run (Pass failed)
E: Shannon 22 pass from Pilcher (Torrens kick)
West: Jujuan Linzy (North College Hill) 6-65, Ja'Vahri Portis (Elder) 5-25, Dustin Foley (Ross) 10-24, Nykwuan Presswood (Taft) 3-16, Steve Cunningham (Hamilton) 1-13, Samonte Griffin (Aiken) 2-12, Kenny Mabrey (Winton Woods) 2-1, Kalik Lewis (Hughes) 1-1, Mitchell Hogue (Harrison) 3-0, Alex Anderson (Harrison) 2-(-10)
East: James Deaton (Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy) 18-77, Robby Boone (Glen Este) 4-23, Jeffrey Botts (Bethel-Tate) 2-3, Tyler Pilcher (Glen Este) 4-2, Team 2-(-3), Johnny Noyen (Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy) 3-(-9), Dylan Smith (Anderson) 2-(-10)
West: Steve Cunningham (Hamilton) 7-18-2, 70 yards; Dustin Foley (Ross) 4-10-0, 50 yards; Samonte Griffin (Aiken) 1-5-0, 9 yards; Mitchell Hogue (Harrison) 2-3-1, 29 yards
East: Tyler Pilcher (Glen Este) 7-16-1, 112 yards; Johnny Noyen (Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy) 1-7-1, 38 yards; Dylan Smith (Anderson) 1-5-0, -1 yard
West: Delshon Watson (Finneytown) 4-40, Mitchell Hogue (Harrison) 2-45, Kenny Mabrey (Winton Woods) 2-29, Jujuan Linzy (North College Hill) 2-21, D.J. Martin (Northwest) 2-11, Juwaun Tye (Western Hills) 1-8, Dustin Foley (Ross) 1-4
East: Aaron Shannon (Withrow) 4-95, Robby Boone (Glen Este) 2-45, Travis Goodman (Norwood) 1-7, Jeffrey Botts (Bethel-Tate) 1-3, Austin Torrens (New Richmond) 1-(-1)
West: Christian Dinevski (Colerain) 5-37.4
East: Tyler Pilcher (Glen Este) 3-40.0; Dylan Smith (Anderson) 2-43.5; Johnny Noyen (Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy) 1-55.0; Team 1-6.0
West: Kenny Mabrey (Winton W00ds) 1-0.0
East: Adrien Baker (Turpin) 2-5.5
West: Nykwuan Presswood (Taft) 1-21.0
East: Adrien Baker (Turpin) 1-30.0