The East All-Stars defeated the West All-Stars in the 71st Annual NCCA East-West All-Star Football game on Wednesday night because of persistent rushing and a solid defense.
The East opened the game with a productive three-play drive that ended when Lamont Murray caught a pass from Kyler Davis and broke free from coverage, taking off to the end zone for an 81-yard touchdown. The touchdown was the longest touchdown from scrimmage in the history of the game.
The West defense was able to make stops in the first quarter, including a hard-nosed hit by Ragsdale High School’s Xzavian McIntyre that forced the East ball carrier to fumble, resulting in a 69-yard touchdown by the West. The West converted on their two-point conversion to take the lead, 8-7 with 4:03 to play in the first quarter.
“I broke free and was able to make the tackle,” McIntyre said of the fumble-forcing hit.
Following the score by the West defense, neither team would score for the remaining of the opening quarter.
The next points came when the East scored a defensive touchdown of their own, a 20-yard interception return by Kentreaz Coston that gave the East the lead for good. The score was 13-8 following a missed extra-point try, and remained the same until halftime.
The East offense was powered by Tarboro running back and offensive MVP, Keon Caudle. The back was dynamic all night and seemed to be the only thing keeping drives going.
Caudle put the exclamation point on the night when he pushed through the West defense and scored the final touchdown to make the score 20-8.
The West was able to stay in good field position the entire game due to the booming punts of North Surry’s Ethan Evans, who averaged an amazing 53 yards on seven punts in the game.
However, although their field position was good, they couldn’t find a way to score on offense or complete a single first down.
McIntyre finished the game with two big tackles for loss, and five total tackles on the night.
“I wanted to come out and show my skills,” he said. “It was a great experience. Although we didn’t get the win, I still had a lot of fun and this is something that I will be able to talk about for the rest of my life.”
Eastern Guilford graduate Alex Gowda had six tackles in the game. Another former-Wildcat, Josh Hayward had four.