In Play with Tom Markowski

East All Stars win again, defeat the West, 20-13

Football   | Tom Markowski

State Champs! Sports Network

 

Saginaw – All-star games are about having fun, and the way Corey Parker sees it, you have more fun when you win.

Parker, the head coach at River Rouge, coached the East All-Stars on Saturday and the East defeated the West All-Stars, 20-13, in the 34th annual East-West All-Star Game at Saginaw Valley State University.

The game, and the week’s events, are sponsored by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

This was the first time the game was held at Saginaw Valley State.

It’s the second consecutive victory of the East and four of the last five. The East leads the series 19-15.

“We take pride in this,” Parker said. “The fact that you come down to Ford Field and take home the trophy, we wanted this.”

Parker’s comment was in reference to the perception that the teams on the west side win more than their share of the state titles.

Of the eight titles won in 2015, three were by won by teams from the west side and three went to teams from the east. The other two winners, Ithaca and Ishpeming, are from the middle of the state (Ithaca) and the Upper Peninsula.

Parker’s Panthers reached the Division 5 final last November and lost to Grand Rapids West Catholic, 40-34.   

Paul Hurley is a player who knows a little about winning. He was the starting quarterback on the Romeo team that won the Division 1 title, the school’s first. Hurley, who will play at Northern Michigan, played well on Saturday as he had 31 yards rushing on eight carries, and he was 9-of-16 passing for 97 yards and one touchdown. His 3-yard touchdown pass to Lindrell Mitchell (Detroit East English Village Prep) gave the East a 20-0 lead with 14.1 seconds left in the first half.

“It’s a whole new tradition,” Hurley said about Romeo. “It’s so much fun being out here. It’s just great to be nominated. I didn’t know how much fun these four days would be. I made a lot of friends here.”

Denzel Adams (Livonia Franklin) scored first for the East as he caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Thomas (Walled Lake Western). Adams had three receptions for 41 yards.

Adams was the quarterback who led Franklin to the Division 2 semifinals. An elusive runner, Adams said he will play receiver, and possibly defensive back, at Allen Hancock Community College in Santa Maria, Calif.

“It’s amazing to be out here with all of the best players in the state,” he said.

Nate Moore (Saginaw Arthur Hill) had a 12-yard touchdown run for the West.

Evan Conn (DeWitt) caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Jake Smith (Ithaca) to bring the West to within 20-13 with 3:48 left.

The West never seriously threatened after that.

One of the biggest plays was made by linebacker Austin Kosinski (Almont). Kosinski returned a fumble 10 yards for a touchdown giving the Eats a 13-0 lead with 8:45 left in the first half.

“The quarterback got stripped and I just picked it up,” Kosinski said. “That’s the first touchdown I’ve scored in high school on defense. It was awesome in front of all these people.”

Kosinski will play at Michigan Tech in the fall.     

The teams combined for 16 yards in the first quarter. The East finished with 179 yards, the West had 142.