(Story Contribution: Chris Cottrell, KNEB Radio, Scottsbluff)
In a very competitive, hard fought matchup it was the East beating the West 31-24 in the 2022 West Nebraska All-Star Football game at Bearcat Stadium in Scottsbluff on Saturday night.
The East ran the football. On 53 of their 55 offensive snaps. East head coach Carli Wells said early in the week on Media Day they would run the football, and they did exactly that.
Cooper Ray from Hi-Line of the East was named the games Offensive MVP with 78 yards rushing on seven carries with a pair of touchdowns.
East quarterback Caleb Tonkinson of North Platte led the East with 176 yards rushing, Jacob Weatherly from Cozad ran for 75 yards, and Ansley-Litchfield’s Cooper Slingsby picked up another 32 yards rushing. In total the East ran for 325 yards on the night!
East quarterback Nolan Wetovick from Cozad also came through in a big way. After the West tied the game at 17-17 with a early fourth quarter field goal, Wetovick capped off a East drive with a 6 yard touchdown pass to Kade Mohr of North Platte with 10:17 to play to give the East a 24-17 lead.
Then after a big fourth down stop by the East it was Wetovick making it a two score game with a 13 yard touchdown run with 5:38 to play.
The West got a touchdown late but the East closed out the game with a drive and victory formation.
There were many other standouts on this night. Chief among them would be Gering’s Tyler Garrett. Lining up at wide receiver, Garrett scored on a early two point conversion run on jet sweep, he’d later throw a 23 yard touchdown to Potter-Dix’s Thomas Muldoon on a double pass, and he caught the late fourth quarter touchdown on a 8 yard throw. Garrett also hauled in four catches for 78 yards and had a long kickoff return out past midfield. Big night.
The game’s Defensive MVP was Broken Bow defensive lineman Keifer Anderson, who played stout along the line and also came up with a second quarter safety that got the East back to within three points.
Chadron also was in the spotlight with a Cards helping lead the West team. Quarterback Justus Alcorn finished with 126 yards passing and nearly went the distance as signal caller while high school teammate Dawson Dunbar ran for 143 yards and a touchdown.
Ogallala head coach Brent Bauer had the West lined up in shotgun nearly every play and they ran a balanced attack while the East just kept running it. It was fun contrast in styles and both teams played super hard on night that started with 90 degree temps.
With the victory the East now holds a series lead of 26-17-1.