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January 8, 2008
East dominates all-star game
JACKSON, Miss. - The fourth annual Max Emfinger International All-American Bowl Game Classic found a new home at Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Miss. The previous three years, the game had been played at Independence Bowl Stadium in Shreveport, La.
It will go down as a game that many on the West squad would like to forget. In the most lopsided game in the history of the series, the East All-American's dominated the West to the tune of 42-0. The East was led by two-star uncommitted prospect David Kooi who turned in the most impressive performance of any signal-caller in the game. Kooi and fellow East QB Kyle Ridley were given solid protection all night by two huge and athletic offensive lines, including Wake Forest commit Joe Looney and rising Mississippi prospect Tobias Smith.
The East squad had a pair of sleeper running backs make big impressions in the game. Mt. Olive, Miss. running back Jason McNair rushed for 66 yards and showed great moves. Madison (W.V.) Scott running back Jordan Roberts had a break-out week and may be the biggest sleeper prospect in the game. Roberts showed quick moves and break-away speed in the game in which he scored a 22-yard TD. He also delivered several big hits on special teams for the East.
However, the biggest difference in the game may have been the defensive line play by the East squad. The East featured a pair of bookend defensive linemen that proved too much for the West to handle. Florida State commitment Everett Dawkins and Arkansas pledge Lavunce Askew were dominate, each tallying three sacks in the game. Defensive tackle Padric Scott of Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln had an outstanding game at DT notching two sacks of his own.
The defensive secondary chipped in for the East as well. Following the opening kickoff, on the West's first offensive possession of the game, Rashun Dixon out of Terry, Miss. picked off an errant pass from Texas A&M commit Tommy Dorman and returned it 35 yards to put the East up 7-0 after a successful PAT. Undersized CB Montez Austin from Batesville (Miss.) South Panola picked off two passes in the West end-zone to thwart scoring opportunities.
Odds and Ends:
Timothy Graham from Benoit (Miss.) Ray Brooks HS led the East with 68 rushing yards and 1 TD, he played both QB and OLB during the game.
Sleeper WR Tyrone Goard (6-foot-5, 190-pounds) from Charleston (W.V.) Capital had a solid showing all week.
Joe Looney turned in the most dominating performance of any lineman at the game. The East played two full OL's in the game and they combined to lead the way for 306 rushing yards for the game.
Four star DB prospect Charles Mitchell returned a pick-six in practice.
Editor's note: Originally this article featured Jim Youngblood as the East starting quarterback but, due to injury, David Kooi out of Pensacola, Fla. was the East's leading signal caller all week. Youngblood was not in attendance.