Ryan Opie of Crane catches a fourth quarter touchdown pass. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)
By Randy Parks
Dayton’s AJ Hedgecock hit a 42-yard field goal as time expired to give the West a 31-28 win over the East in the 60th Oregon East-West Shrine All-Star game on Saturday, Aug. 4, in Baker City.
The winning kick came after the East had rallied from a three-touchdown deficit to tie the game at 28-28 with 6:38 left in the game.
After Ryan Opie of Crane hauled in an 18-yard scoring pass from Kennedy’s Daniel Hammer to tie the game, the two teams traded punts and the West began what would be the winning drive at their own 37.
A key play on the drive was a 5-yard run by Sonny Tapua of Siuslaw on fourth-and-one. Hedgecock then ripped off a 13-yard run down to the East 35-yard line. Three plays later, the West had the ball at the East 25 with just four seconds left on the clock and Hedgecock delivered the game-winning kick.
The East scored the only touchdown of the first half on a 63-yard touchdown pass from Weston-McEwen’s Dallas Reich to Marcus Lynn of Enterprise.
The West got their offense rolling in the third quarter beginning with a four-play, 55-yard drive capped off by a 3-yard TD run by Scappoose’s Stephen Bowe. The extra-point kick was wide and the East led 7-6.
After a short punt by the East, the West took the lead with a 26-yard scoring pass from Gaston’s David Carr to Alex Hovelsrud of Santiam Christian and a two-point conversion.
Following the kickoff, the East again failed to pick up a first down and the West blocked the punt, taking over at the East 16. On the third play from scrimmage, Tapua scored from a yard out to put the West up 21-7.
The East went three-and-out and another short punt gave the West excellent field position. On the first play from scrimmage, Carr hooked up with Hedgecock on a 39-yard score and the West led 28-7.
The East was far from done however, as on a second-and-11, Reich headed up the middle on a quarterback draw, broke a couple tackles and outran the secondary for a 79-yard score.
The West drove the ball deep into East territory on their next possession, only to fumble the ball away at the 15.
Seizing the opportunity, Reich hit Lynn down the sideline for an 85-yard touchdown and the West lead was down to seven.
The West was forced to punt and the East took over at their own 30. With Hammer under center, the East put together a 10-play scoring drive, capped off by Opie’s TD reception with 6:38 left in the game.
The East had one more possession in the game, but were unable to move the ball and the ensuing punt set up the game-winning drive for the West.
The West has won the last three Shrine games, but the East still leads the series 29-28-3.
1 2 3 4 Final
East 0 7 7 14 28
West 0 0 28 3 31
East – Marcus Lynn 63 yard pass from Dallas Reich (Scott Whispell kick) – 11:49
West – Stephen Bowe 3 yard run (Bubba Brown kick no good) – 8:15
West – Alex Hovelsrud 26 yard pass from David Carr (John Johnson run) – 5:43
West – Sonny Tupua 1 yard run (AJ Hedgecock kick) – 2:04
West – Hedgecock 39 yard pass from Carr (Hedgecock kick) – 1:01
East – Reich 79 yard run (Whispell kick) – :34
East – Lynn 85 yard pass from Reich (Whispell kick) 11:00
East – Ryan Opie 18 yard pass from Daniel Hammer (Whispell kick) 6:38
West – Hedgecock 42 yard field goal – 0:00