There was an undeniable buzz surrounding the first of its kind, spring edition of the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl. Somehow, someway, in the end, the game featuring the nation’s best from the Class of 2021 lived up to the hype as East defeated West, 42-29, on May 17 at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.
There were many difference-makers, but perhaps none more impactful than American Athletic Conference target Zachary Mitchell of the East. Already with a handful of offers, he scored three touchdowns, a pair of 54-yard receptions, also a 39-yard catch and was named Offensive MVP.
Colonial Athletic Association target Daron Bryden was sharp from start to finish for the East and had a pair of touchdown passes. His counterpart, and attentive understudy of NFL veteran trainer Rodney Beasley, Pioneer Football League target Damien Flores threw a touchdown and ran for another.
The game was closer than the final score might’ve indicated, largely thanks to Patriot League target Ethan Grady and Pioneer Football League target Carter Senterfitt for the West. Big Sky Conference target Aginae Cunningham scored twice as well, on a 99-yard kickoff return and a 7-yard run.
On the defensive side of the ball for the East, Virginia Tech commits Jayden McDonald and Jorden McDonald of the East were in a class seemingly all their own. Not only making plays in the defensive backfield, but at the second level, it was no surprise, the twins were firmly in the running for Defensive MVP.
West Virginia commit Kevin Tinsley was disruptive throughout for the East. Sideline to sideline, he had a hand in nearly 10 tackles. Old Dominion commit Elijah Hoskin and Louisiana-Monroe commit Kayden Hager were two more of the many well-known prospects for NFL veteran and head coach Ken Stills.
Similarly for the West, NFL veteran and head coach Arlen Harris relied on Big Sky Conference target Maximus Stineman, Southland Conference target Ja’Calvin Newsom and New Mexico State commit Braxton McDonald to put points on the board. Washington State commit Micah Lopez kept points off.
Under the tutelage of NFL veteran trainer Reggie Young, Big Sky Conference target Amar Smith of the West had two interceptions, one in each half, and was named Defensive MVP. Texas State commit Blake Simpson and Southland Conference target Avery Bowen were particularly effective in the running game.
The West received standout line play, on both sides, with Southland Conference targets, Christian Griego, Dominick Sanchez, Raymundo Martinez and Pedro Posadas on offense. Another set of Southland Conference targets, Aaron Deller, Fernando Rubio and Kyle Perales did their respective jobs on defense.
Colonial Athletic Association target Ronique Capers left a lasting impression for the East. Big boys up front included Southland Conference target Tim Wyatt, Ohio Valley Conference target Dakota Thomas, Colonial Athletic Association target Douglas Pruim and Southland Conference Elvis Strickland.
The main beneficiaries of the interior play for the East were Southern Conference target Michael Moore, Pioneer Football League target Demani Ward, Sun Belt Conference target Willie Edmunds, MEAC target Tayshaun Pittman and Southern Conference target Keyaris Cash. It was a well-rounded effort.