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East beats West at annual Army all-star game

Published: 10:29AM January 17th, 2013
Quick celebration

Tim Hipps, IMCOM Public Affairs

East receiver James Quick (17) celebrates his game-winning touchdown catch with teammates Tyler Boyd (23), and Jeremy Johnson (11).

SAN ANTONIO — Wide receiver James Quick caught the game-winning 34-yard touchdown pass and received the Pete Dawkins Most Valuable Player trophy for helping the East to a 15-8 victory over the West in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Jan. 5, at the Alamodome.

Quick caught three passes for 71 yards and returned a punt 31 yards, giving him a game-high 102 all-purpose yards before an Army All-American Bowl record crowd of 40,133 and a national television audience on NBC.

“Since it was on a national stage and I got to do it with people I just met and actually got to bond with, it means a lot — it’s probably going to be one of my greatest memories,” said Quick, a senior at Trinity High School in Louisville, Ky., who announced during the game that he would stay home and play college football for Louisville. Quick chose the Cardinals over Ohio State and Oregon, ending one of the most highly followed recruiting sagas in the history of Louisville football.

Quick’s touchdown reception from Auburn-bound quarterback Jeremy Johnson of Montgomery High School in Montgomery, Ala., gave the East a 13-8 lead with 3 minutes, 59 seconds remaining in the game.

“We were waiting until fourth down to make that call to James because we wanted to make sure they were in zero coverage,” said East head coach Robert Bailey of Trinity High in Louisville, Ky. “We didn’t want to do it on first or second down because we knew they would be in zone, so we waited until fourth down when we had to. Jeremy Johnson, the quarterback, had to escape a little pressure and made a great, great throw.”

Alabama-bound running back Derrick Henry, the No. 1 career rushing leader in high school football history, with 11,610 yards for Yulee High School in Yulee, Fla., capped the scoring with a 3-yard sweep around right end for the two-point conversion.

“I said, ‘Coach, give me the ball for the two-point conversion,’” Henry said. “He gave it to me and we got it done.” Oregon-bound Thomas Tyner of Aloha High School in Aloha, Ore., led West running backs with 14 yards on four carries.

The West led briefly in the fourth quarter via Texas A&M-bound wide receiver Derrick Griffin’s 16-yard touchdown reception from University of Southern California-bound Max Browne of Skyline High School in Sammamish, Wash. Browne connected with Louisiana State University-bound tight end DeSean Smith for the two-point conversion and an 8-7 lead with 6:49 remaining.

The West scoring drive was highlighted by Browne’s completions of 19 yards to Ezekiel Elliott of John Burroughs High School in St. Louis, Mo., and 14 yards to USC-bound Steven Mitchell of Bishop Alemany High in Mission Hills, Calif., along with a pass-interference penalty that gave the West a first down at the East 44-yard line.

The East quickly answered with Virginia Tech-bound Taquan Mizzell’s 72-yard kickoff return to the West 28, followed by Quick’s touchdown reception from Johnson in a climactic, fourth-and-16 situation.

“I just saw the corner and I went to the post and he bit on it, and the quarterback threw an outstanding ball and just gave me the opportunity to run to it,” Quick said. “I really just let it drop into my hands and tried to keep it away from the defenders closing in on me.”

Henry then outsprinted most of the West defense to the corner to cap the scoring.

The East limited the West to four first downs and 90 total yards.

Georgia-bound Tray Matthews of Newman High in Newman, Ga., and Georgia-bound Johnny O’Neal of West Laurens High in Dublin, Ga., each had four tackles for the East, which got three apiece from Al-Quadin Muhammad of Don Bosco Preparatory School in Ramsey, Tenn., and Clemson-bound Dorian O’Daniel of Our Lady of Good Counsel High in Olney, Md.

Tahaan Goodman of Rancho Cucamonga High in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; University of California at Los Angeles-bound Myles Jack of Bellevue High in Bellevue, Wash.; and Indiana-bound Antonio Allen of Ben Davis High in Indianapolis, Ind., each had five tackles for the West.

Most kids don’t grow up to be U.S. Army All-American football players, a sure-fire step to an NCAA Division I football grant-in-aid. More than 175 alumni of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl are currently playing in the National Football League, including Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, and New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.