WEST TEAM ALL-AMERICANS WIN 14-10 IN NINTH ANNUAL
ALL-AMERICAN BOWL GAME!
By Max Emfinger
PENSACOLA, Florida – The 2013 All-American Bowl Game Classic was a hard-hitting SEC-Type of Defensive Struggle. In fact, this game was probably the best Defensive Game of the Nine-Game History and in this game, the West Team beat the East Team 14-10; thus winning for the second straight year and bringing their overall record to 5-3-1 in the Series.
The Ninth Annual Max Emfinger All-American Bowl Game Classic was originally approved and scheduled to be played in Daphne Jubilee Stadium in Daphne, Alabama, but the game was moved to Pensacola after it was found that the original certification of the game had not been done.
We also had a great Sponsor with Microtel Hotel of Daphne. Getting the great Daphne Jubilee Stadium and Microtel Hotel in Daphne, were instramental in our decision to play the All-American Bowl Game Classic, in Daphne, Alabama.
We play our All-American Bowl Game so that we can give some great players that are Flying Under the Recruiting Radar a second chance and some added publicity. So our decision, on Thursday before the game, was either to play the game in either Florida or Mississippi and since our East Head Coach, Mike Bennett, was the Head Coach at Pensacola High School, in Pensacola, Florida, a few more miles down I-10, we were able to get the Pensacola High School Jim Scoggins Football Stadium.
This All-American Bowl Game Classic is completely different than any other High School All-American Football Bowl Game, because every player in this game is playing at 110% speed, unlike in the Showcase Games where the players are not playing at Full-Speed. In the 2012 All-American Bowl Game Classic, the defenses of both teams were so dominant, none of the running backs were able to get back to the line of scrimmage. It was the same way in this game except on two plays when West Team Slot-Back Josh Cleveland (5-7, 165, 4.29) of Austin Del Valle, Texas was able to use his electrying 4.29 speed in the forty to score on a beautiful 61-yard touchdown, down the right sideline, in the second quarter and then break for another 57-yard run later in the same quarter. Cleveland was Voted by the Coaches at the end of the Game as the All-American Bowl Game MVP. “God is Great,” said Cleveland after the game.
In this game, there were so many spectactular bone-crunching hits on defense to remember all of them and most of them were for losses and quarterback sacks. When our Coaches finish voting on the East Team MVP’s and West Team MVP’s, we will probably have more MVP’s on Defense than on Offense, but we will announce all of our East Team and West Team MVP’s in a few days. Once we get a chance to look at the highlight film and grade it, some of the defensive stats might change.
Four West Team defensive linemen from Louisiana were outstanding all week and were dominating in the game. Those four included DT Tanzel Smart (6-2, 295, 4.9) of Scotlandville; DE Jared Tackno (6-3, 235, 4.7) of Plaquemine; DE Victor Gutierrez (6-2, 235, 4.7) of Parkview Baptist; and DE Nic Bickham (6-4, 240, 4.67) of St Amant.
Smart recorded eight tackles and two quarterback sacks, in the game after getting 18 tackles for a loss as a senior. Tackno recorded eight tackles and a sack in the game after getting 24 tackles for a loss as a senior in only his second year of football. Gutierrez recorded six tackles and a sack in the game after getting 24 tackles for a loss and four blocked kicks as a senior. Gutierrez was voted Defensive MVP for his high school team that won the Louisiana 4A State Championship this year. Bickham was sensational as he recorded six tackles, including two sacks; two other tackles for a loss; and he also recovered a fumble in the game after being impressive all week in practice.
East Team Middle Linebacker Roderick Woods (6-1, 240, 4.5) of Bratt Northview, Florida was outstanding as he recorded 13 tackles, including one tackle for a loss. Darian Pickett (6-0, 200, 4.5) of Pensacola, Florida and Donald Luster (6-1, 215, 4.56) of Harvey Thornton, Illinois were two other outstanding East Team linebackers. Pickett recorded eight tackles, including two tackles for a loss; while Luster recorded six tackles and had one tackle for a loss. “When Woods, Pickett, and Luster were in the game, the West Team had a very hard time running the football,” said Coach Gary Cowart who was the East Team Defensive Coordinator. West Team OLB Jamaal Payton (6-1, 215, 4.42) of Hillside Proviso West, Illinois was outstanding as he recorded nine tackles, including four tackles for a loss and he also had three pass breakups.
East Team Defensive Tackle Bobby Evans (6-5, 370, 5.0) of Pensacola High is the largest player that we have ever had in our game and he was sensational as he recorded two quarterback sacks, three quarterback hurries, and two other tackles for a loss. Evans was fast, quick, and in very good shape and he was virtually not blocked in the game.
Four East Team defensive linemen from Alabama were outstanding in the game including DE Elliot Williams (6-2, 230, 4.7) of Daphne; DE Nate Cole (6-2, 265, 4.7) of Foley; DE Nykolas Ashe (6-1, 217, 4.6) of Greensboro; and NG/DE Casey Ray Simerly (6-0, 235, 4.7) of Fairhope. Williams recorded seven tackles, including a 12-yard quarterback sack; while Cole was all over the field and recorded seven tackles, including two tackles for a loss. Ashe recorded seven solo tackles; had two assists and one quarterback sack; while Simerly recorded five tackles as he played both tackle and end. In an All-American Bowl Game, how could you not select all four of these defensive linemen as a potential defensive MVP?
With outstanding defenses for both teams, the only touchdown in the second half was a West Team fumble and East Team recovery for a touchdown by FS Daniel Blake Norwood (6-2, 195, 4.55) of Pensacola, Florida. This East Team touchdown by Norwood brought the final score to 14-10.
The West Team, on the running of Cleveland and Hezekiah Randolph (5-11, 215, 4.46) of Louisiana 4A State Champion Baton Rouge Parkview Baptist scored two touchdowns and the West Team went ahead 14-3 at halftime and then held on to a 14-10 victory. Running Back Korliss Marshall (6-1, 205, 4.34) of Osceola, Arkansas was also outstanding all week in practice and in the game.
Some quarterbacks were not able to attend, and so both the East Team and the West Team offenses were led Alabama quarterbacks. After Mike Richardson (6-1, 195, 4.6) of Marble Falls, Texas and Boeing Brown (6-4, 220, 4.6) of Brookfield, Connecticut had to cancel, Colby Simmons (6-3, 185, 4.7) of Gulf Shores, Alabama, along with his favorite wide receiver Thrisstan Cornell (6-4, 175, 4.4) of Gulf Shores were moved to the West Team. Maison Taylor (6-0, 205, 4.7) of Foley, Alabama joined Norwood at quarterback for the East Team.
Cornell caught one 22-yard pass and in the fourth quarter, he was on the receiving end of another pass, just a few steps out of the end zone. On that play that originated from the 16-yard line, Cornell ran a fade-pattern, but he was pushed out of bounds, out-of-the-end zone, but he made a sensational catch lying on his back. After the penalty, the football was placed on the eight-yard line, but the West Team did not score.
“I want to Thank Coach Emfinger for giving me the opportunity to play in another game so that I could show my talent to the college coaches,” said Cornell. “I also want to Thank all of the great coaches who helped me and taught me so many new things.”
Also, in the second quarter, East Team Defensive End Elliot Williams (6-2, 235, 4.7) of Daphne, Alabama stormed-through and sacked the West Team quarterback for a 12-yard quarterback sack, forcing a third down and 22. Simmons then hit tight end Jonathan Hendrix (6-3, 250, 4.72) of Batesville Arkansas over the middle for a key first-down to keep the drive going. Cleveland had his 57-yard run in that drive. Randolph ended the 80-yard drive as he scored on a two-yard run. This great scoring drive, which resulted in what was the winning touchdown, was engineered by Simmons.
“Coach Emfinger, I want to thank you for the opportunity you gave me and all of the other players in your game and to participate in the week of practice. I was able to spend time with my players from all over the country on the football field one more time during my senior year. Tonight I received a call from a college coach in Virginia that told me that he “Wants me bad” as a result of the game and the exposure that it brought to players like myself. Since I was a little boy I have dreamed of playing college football and it looks like I might be getting a little bit closer to that dream,” said Simmoms.
“I would also like to thank Mr. Mike Ebert and the rest of the coaches that helped all of us in the game, because it would not have happened without them,” Simmons further stated.
In one of the loudest collisions of the game, Evans made a crucial hit on the quarterback, forcing a punting situation with a loud crash-test collision deep behind the line of scrimmage. With the NCAA College Rules in play, an excessive celebration call put the ball back in the West Team’s control. Simmons then led the West Team down to the 18 yard-line of the East Team before facing a fourth-and-5. The last pass attempt of Simmons was deflected at the six-yard line by Pensacola linebacker Roderick Woods (6-1, 240, 4.5) to give Maison Taylor and the East Team offense one more shot with 3.33 left on the clock and 82 yards to go.
Taylor quickly connected with Devin Odom (5-10, 173, 4.47) of Fairhope, Alabama on two passes on the drive. Odom caught three passes in the game. Taylor also hit Super WR Darryl Campbell (6-3, 190, 4.4) for a 42-yard gain in the drive while Super Slot-Back Sammy Tolbert (5-8, 170, 4.3) of Alabama 5A State Champion Spanish Fort also helped the East Team to get to the 30-yard line in West Team territory before the drive stalled with 63-seconds remaining in the game.
On a fourth-and-five, Taylor was forced to scramble and launched a 40-yard Hail Mary which was just out of reach of a leaping Campbell in the endzone. West Team quarterback, Simmons then took a knee to run out the clock,
In the second quarter, there was some excitement when cornerback Bryan Bell (5-9, 170, 4.4) of Fairhope, Alabama intercepted a pass in the endzone and returned it 103-yards for a touchdown, but the play was called back for pass interference. Dre Ervin (5-11, 175, 4.42) also of Fairhope was outstanding all night from his cornerback position. “If we needed to stop the pass, I put in Irvin and he did a great job,” said Coach Cowart.
There were four outstanding defensive backs on the West Team. The four included free safety Christopher Goss (6-4, 185, 4.5) of Sierra Vista Buena, Arizona and strong safety Austin Suits (6-1, 200, 4.56) of Parkview Baptist. These two safeties had the coaches talking all week about their uncanny ability to come-up with big plays and they both were outstanding in the game. Suits recorded six tackles and had three pass breakups in the game. “I thought that this was a very hard faught defensive game,” said Suits.
The two cornerbacks included Manny Mukes (5-10, 180, 4.4) of Parkview Baptist and Myron Jack (5-7, 165, 4.33) of Plaquemine, Louisiana. I saw both Mukes and Jack play on multi occasions and both are two of the most aggressive cornerbacks that I have seen this year. Both Mukes and Jack had three tackles and two pass breakups in the game.
Joshua Davis of Shreveport Evangel, Louisiana was also outstanding for the East Team as he pinned the West Team inside the 10-yard line three times and inside the 5-yard line twice. Davis also kicked the 27-yard field goal and one extra point for the East Team while Alexandros Koulpasis of Plaquemine, Louisiana kicked both of the West Team extra points.
2013 ALL-AMERICAN BOWL GAME CLASSIC
PLAYER MVP’S OF THE GAME – PENSACOLA, FLORIDA
BOWL GAME AND OFFENSIVE MVP
– West Team, SLOT #2 Josh Cleveland, Austin Del Valle, TX –
BOWL GAME AND DEFENSIVE TRI-MVP
– West Team, DT #77 Tanzel Smart, Scotlandville, LA –
– East Team, DT #99 Bobby Evans, Pensacola, FL –
– West Team DE #36 Nic Bickham, St Amant, LA –
BOWL GAME OFFENSIVE LINEMAN CO-MVP
– West Team, Center #77 Sam Fodale, Shreveport Evangel, LA –
– East Team, OT #75 Alex Pagonis, Gulf Breeze, FL –
BOWL GAME TIGHT END MVP
– West Team, #88 Jonathan Hendrix, Batesville, AR –
– BOWL GAME WIDE RECEIVER MVP
– East Team, #12 Darryl Campbell, Greensboro, AL
BOWL GAME LINEBACKER MVP
– East Team, #46 Roderick Woods, Pensacola, FL –
BOWL GAME DEFENSIVE BACK CO-MVP
– West Team, FS #3 Christopher Goss, Sierra Vista Buena, AZ –
– West Team, SS #2 Austin Suits, Baton Rouge Parkview Baptist, LA –
WEST TEAM OFFENSIVE BACK CO-MVP
– RB #1 Hezekiah Randolph, Baton Rouge Parkview Baptist, LA –
– RB #6 Korliss Marshall, Osceola, AR –
EAST TEAM OFFENSIVE BACK CO-MVP
– SLOT #1 Sammy Tolbert, Spanish Fort, AL –
– QB #4 Maison Taylor, Foley, AL –
WEST TEAM QB AND WIDE RECEIVER CO-MVP
– QB #15 Colby Simmons, Gulf Shores, AL –
– WR #82 Thrisstan Cornell, Gulf Shores, AL –
EAST TEAM WIDE RECEIVER CO-MVP
– WR#2 Jevontey Smith, Greensboro, AL –
– SLOT #7 Devin Odom, Fairhope, AL –
WEST TEAM OFFENSIVE LINEMAN CO-MVP
– OG #74 David Colligan, Scotlandville, LA –
– OT #66 John Clay, Shreveport Evangel, LA –
EAST TEAM OFFENSIVE LINEMAN CO-MVP
– OC #55 Michael Valdez, Foley, AL –
– OT #73 Rufus “R.J.” Hulse, Foley, AL –
WEST TEAM DEFENSIVE LINEMAN CO-MVP
– DE #84 Jared Tackno, Plaquemine, LA –
– DE #28 Victor Gutierrez, Baton Rouge Parkview Baptist, LA –
EAST TEAM DEFENSIVE LINEMAN QUAD-MVP
– DE #64 Elliot Williams, Daphne, AL –
– DE #92 Nate Cole, Foley, AL –
– DE #58 Nykolas Ashe, Greensboro, AL –
– NG/DE #67 Casey Ray Simerly, Fairhope, AL –
EAST TEAM LINEBACKER CO-MVP
– OLB #21 Darian Pickett, Pensacola, FL –
– OLB # 14 Donald Luster, Harvey Thornton, IL –
WEST TEAM DEFENSIVE BACK CO-MVP
– CB #23 Manny Mukes, Baton Rouge Parkview Baptist, LA –
– CB #6 Myron Jack, Plaquemine, LA –
EAST TEAM DEFENSIVE BACK TRI-MVP
– CB #1 Dre Ervin, Fairhope, AL –
– CB #19 Bryan Bell, Fairhope, AL –
– FS #9 Daniel Blake Norwood, Pensacola, FL –
KICKING SPECIALIST CO-MVP
– East Team MVP – #5 Joshua Davis, Shreveport Evangel, LA –
– West Team MVP – #18 Alexandros Koulpasis, Plaquemine, LA –
I also want to Thank all of my Volunteer Coaches from all over the United States who helped coach in this Ninth Annual All-American Bowl Game Classic.
First of all, I would like to give a Special Thanks to Coach Mike Bennett of Pensacola High School in Pensacola, Florida for his Seventh game and Fourth game as Head Coach of the East Team. As the East Team Head Coach, Coach Bennett won this game in 2008 and 2011. His son, Jonathan Bennett, participated in the 2013 AABG Game. His Defensive Coordinator, Coach Gary Cowart, also of Pensacola, Florida has been a Volunteer Coach for Seven Games. West Team Head Coach Jimmy Longerbeam of Panama City Bay, Florida is coaching in his fifth game and he won his First Game as Head Coach.
West Team Offensive Coordinator – Coach Jay Murphree of Jonesboro Nettleton, Arkansas and West Team Offensive Lineman Coach Reagan Smith of Shreveport Evangel, Louisiana were coaching in their third game.
Coach Mike Ebert of The Perdido School, in Foley, Alabama has been our Recruiting Coordinator for six years and he was helped by his beautiful wife Tami Ebert of Faulkner State Community College.
Former NFL Coach Freddie Brown from South Carolina was coaching in his first game after his son Freddie Brown, Junior played in the 2005 All-American Bowl Game. Coach Andre Wright of Chicago, Illinois was also coaching in his First game after his brother, Maurice Wright, also played in the 2005 All-American Bowl Game. Coach Greg Sims of Pensacola, Florida coached in his first game after his son, Dak Sims was Offensive Center MVP in the 2012 All-American Bowl Game.
Other Volunteer Coaches that were coaching in their first game included the following: Coach Josh Robertson of Ozark Carroll, Alabama; Coach James Wright of Greensboro, Alabama; Coach Curtis Graves of Greensboro, Alabama; West Team Co-Defensive Coordinator – Coach Tyrone Richardson of Dolton Thornridge, Illinois; Coach Ike Porter, Sr of Chicago, Illinois; Coach Kyle Davis of Pike County, Alabama; West Team Co-Defensive Coordinator – Coach Donnie Smith of Pike County, Alabama; Coach Coley White of Daphne, Alabama; and Coach Aubrey Johnson of Chicago Saint Francis, Illinois.
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