Well, it was an all-star game and coach Juan Morales decided to have a little fun.
It began with a reverse handoff on the opening kickoff. It was followed by a double reverse pass on the first play from scrimmage. That led a touchdown pass two plays later.
It set the tone for a 43-29 East victory over the West in the San Antonio Sports All-Star Football Game held Saturday at the Alamodome.
“We wanted to make sure we got the kids comfortable,” said Morales, the second-year Highlands coach who guided the East. “We wanted to make sure they knew what the game plan was and that was all a part of the deal. Depending on the field position, the situation lent itself to exactly what we wanted to do and we had some fun.”
Steele’s CJ Williams sparked things when he returned the opening kickoff 29 yards. On the first play from scrimmage, Roosevelt’s Bryson Carroll took the ball on a double reverse and passed to Sam Houston’s Jawon Anderson for 24 yards.
“We came out firing and that helped add the fire,” Carroll said.
Two plays after the Carroll-Anderson connection, Adkins hit Williams for a 21-yard score and the East was off and running.
“Bryson took that and I knew he was going to make a great pass and Jawon got the catch,” said Adkins, who was named the game’s player of the game. “It set the tone for us and we kind of ran with it from there.”
The East scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and added a field goal and touchdown in the second quarter to take a 29-0 lead.
Smithson Valley’s Jack Gibbens returned an interception 55 yards for a score and Judson’s Mi’Kel Jackson added a 3-yard scoring run that was set up by 31-yard rush by Reagan’s Marquis Duncan in the first quarter.
“It was awesome to make a play that impacted the game,” Gibbens said. “We were just rolling – offense, defense, everything. It was fun to get on a roll like that and just play well right out the gate.”
The East returned two interceptions for scores. Alamo Heights’ Joe McGrath had one for 25 yards.
Williams had a huge day, not only on the field but off of it. Earlier Saturday, he announced his committed to Navy via Twitter.
After being district foes for so long, Adkins was happy to get a score to Williams.
“I’ve been to a couple of camps with him,” Adkins said of Williams. “I know how talented he is. I’ve seen him do it against us. Playing with him was a lot of fun and it was nice to get a connection to start off the game.”
Williams said of Adkins: “We used to play against him. It’s great being on the same team as him this time.”
The East scored twice in the third quarter to pull to 29-14. Both scores came on passes from Stevens’ Bryce Rivers to O’Connor’s Jonathan Tapia for 11 and 7 yards. Those were special scores for Tapia.
“Bryce is a good guy,” Tapia said. “We’ve been friends forever.”
Rivers and Tapia are headed to UTSA. Rivers is committed in football, while Tapia signed with the Roadrunners in baseball last fall.
“I wanted to leave it all on the field, knowing this was my last football game ever,” Tapia said.
The fun wasn’t limited to the East. The West had some after Devine’s Dillon Ricord scored on a 10-yard run in the fourth quarter.
The East was called for a penalty on the extra point try, which was no good. The West went for two on the retry and Ricord threw a backward pass to Brennan offensive lineman DoRion Dreighton, who lumbered into the end zone for a two-point run.
“We’ve been working on it all week in practice,” Dreighton said. “On the first day, they let us know we were going to get a lineman a pass and I said, ‘Coach, that’s me.’ ”