ANDERSON — More than 80 players representing 44 schools took part in the 14th annual East-West Football Classic on Friday night at Anderson High School. The East squad took command early and pulled away for a 56-17 win.
Area players participating on the East squad included Chandler Wilson, Eren Davis and Austin Boulware of Pendleton, Lane Young, Chandler Hale and Jared Thurston of Shenandoah, and Bailey Partington of Lapel. Playing on the West squad were Anderson Indians Jerian Beard and Chris Schlenker, Frankton’s Colton Waymire and Madison-Grant’s Austin Purkey.
The East scored first, taking the opening kickoff and marching 80 yards for a touchdown on a 14-yard run by Mount Vernon’s Alec Lohman. The East went up 14-0 on a sneak by Shelbyville quarterback Jake Laker. Maconaquah’s Jorge Cortez put the West on the board with a 36-yard field goal. The East struck again late in the half after Laker hit Yorktown’s Jacob Wagner with a 45-yard bomb and found Wagner again for an 8-yard touchdown pass with 32 seconds left in the half.
Offense ruled the third quarter as the teams scored four touchdowns in the span of less than three minutes. The East responded to both West touchdowns in the third quarter to lead 35-17 and iced the game when Wilson snagged a 30-yard pass from Laker with 2:24 left in the third.
“(Laker) read the defense well and put the ball right where it needed to be,” said Wilson.
The East tacked on another score in the fourth when Lohman scored from one yard out. Lane Blake of Tri scored the final touchdown late in the fourth.
Area players represented the area well. Davis returned a few kickoffs and had some early catches. Wilson had two 30-yard catches. Beard had a 31-yard catch, but was injured on the play and did not return. Young had a sack and a batted pass. Purkey was busy with several tackles, while Thurston and Boulware were part of the offensive line that was opening up holes and protecting the quarterback. Waymire had a few nice runs early, bowling over tacklers on two runs in the first, and Schlenker had some nice tackles for the West squad.