West rolls East in charity event
Area athletes gain one final gridiron victory
The West All-Stars’ domination in the 17th annual Sertoma Grin Iron Classic continued again this year with a 42-3 romping of the East All-Stars in the prep football finale.
The West has won 15 of the 17 meetings, with this game being the most lopsided on the scoreboard.
With nearly one-third of the roster dominated by Big 8 Conference players, the West jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter before pushing the lead to 28-0 by the end of the first half. The momentum stayed in favor of the West in the second half.
For the victors, a defensive front, led by a front four of Zeke Wall, Will Anoai, T.W. Ayers and Eli Robinson, stopped the East time and time again on the ground and through the air.
Wall, of Carl Junction, indeed recorded a tackle for a loss on the East’s first play from scrimmage and never let up. His tackles total was in double figures, making him the West Defensive MVP.
Wall was on the field for every West defensive play and even filled in on the West’s kickoff coverage on one occasion in the fourth quarter.
The West went up by four touchdowns late in the second quarter when Nevada’s Braeden Hinton found Seneca tight end Gavin Dunnam on a five-yard touchdown pass with 22 seconds left to play. Carthage’s Arkel Smith had two receptions of 17 yards and 19 yards, while Neosho’s Jarvis Funk opened the drive with a 20-yard catch.
Smith played just one offensive snap in the second half and still dominated enough to be named the West Offensive MVP. He had eight receptions, including a touchdown catch.
All this came after he led Carthage to the team championship at the Class 4 State Track Meet last weekend.
Dillon Lancaster, of Carthage, closed the scoring with a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown.
The East Defensive MVP was lineman Jace Gorn, of Ozark. The East Offensive MVP was quarterback Carter Otwell, of Mountain Grove.