PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

June 15, 2014

Rose, Stewart shine bright in All-Star affair

BEAUMONT — The East squad in The Southeast Texas Coaches Association All-Star Football game seemed to have the better team on paper and Saturday night they backed it up.

The East won 21-7 over the West which ended a two-game winning streak for the West team.

Port Neches-Groves receiver Jeremiah Rose was named the East Offensive MVP as he turned in seven catches for 68 yards with two dazzling touchdowns. Nederland’s Beau Stewart won the Defensive MVP for the East. Stewart crashed all over the West quarterback, Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s Caleb Harley, all night long and picked up three sacks and he forced two fumbles.

East coach Brandon Faircloth knew he had tons of talent and was impressed with the way his team performed at the Thomas Center in Beaumont.

“It was a fun night,” Faircloth said. “Southeast Texas has some great players and all the credit goes to them. Winning is always more fun. Our defense tonight was certainly an all-star defense. Those guys can play some football.”

That was an understatement.

The East had four interceptions and held the West to -29 rushing yards on 23 carries.

Stewart played exactly like his Nederland teammate DeShawn Washington did all 2013 season, in the opponents’ backfield.

“It just felt great playing next to my brothers again,” Stewart said. “There was a lot of talent on our side of the ball. I wasn’t too sure if we would all work together when this all started but we really came together in the practices. One thing is for certain, I never dreamed I would be so excited to ever see Rose catch two touchdowns.”

Everyone in the place was excited because Rose’s touchdowns are certain to make some bigger colleges regret not signing the all-time leading receptions leader in PN-G history. He will now head to Southeastern Louisiana.

Rose first showed off great footwork and agility on his first touchdown. He caught the ball short of the endzone and made serveral moves to score.

His second touchdown proved Rose has great awareness and football knowledge. He caught the ball on the side of the endzone and was able to keep his feet in bounds for the six points. It put the East up 21-0 at the half.

“I have always enjoyed playing at this field so it felt good to come here and have a good game,” Rose said. “Our team had a great week of practice and I felt everyone deserved this award. I was happy and honored they handed it to me at the end. I told Preston to just put the ball up and I would go get it for him. He always put the ball iin a position to where I could make a play. It was great to play with the Memorial guys I have known since little league. It was just a great experience and I am very happy we ended the West’s winning streak.”

The boys from Memorial certainly made their presence known on defense. Albert Jacobs did have one catch for five yards early in the first quarter.

Memorial’s Torian Lott and Trenton Swinton both had interceptions. Lott almost came up with a second interception in the endzone.

Swinton was at first assigned to the West squad but told coaches he wanted to switch to the East if there was an opening so he could play one last time with his Titans teammates.

Swinton eventually replaced Nederland’s Colton Kimler on the East squad. Kimler is now famous for having four interceptions in a game against Beaumont Central last year so he is for sure proud of Swinton’s performance.

“I first got the call and an East coach asked if I wanted to play cornerback or safety and all I could answer with was neither,” Swinton joked since he was a receiver at Memorial. “That interception felt good. When I saw the ball get popped up in the air I went and grabbed it and then just tried to make a play.”

One of the best stories of night for the East was when Bridge City’s Ashton Hunter stepped foot on the field. Hunter was injured last summer before the start of his senior year and he never was able to play football.

He carried the ball once Saturday for five yards.

“It was an amazing feeling” a smiling Hunter said. “I have been waiting so long to be on the football field again. It was amazing to get a carry after not touching the ball all year. It was a good night.”

The East defense was finally bent back in the fourth quarter by West Offensive MVP, Little Cypress-Mauriceville running back Brandon Toliver.

Tolliver scored from nine yards out late in the final frame.

West Orange-Stark linebacker Elijah Teel, a Defensive MVP finalist, was great all night and certianly brought some Mustangs Chain Gang defensive attitude to The Butch for the East.

“I liked being able to come out and play with some of these other guys,” Teel said. “We stressed all week not talking and not communicating would cause us to lose the game. We decided to come out and play like we have known each other all our lives.”

Teel showed some great sportsmanship after the game and stood by officials handing out the MVP awards. He then congratulated each and every MVP after his named was called. “I had to congratulate all those guys,” Teel said. “We are all apart of the Golden Triangle. I want  the best for everyone out here. We all wanted to come out to play high school football one more time and have some fun.”

Crosby’s Frank Foley was named the West Defensive MVP.

Both teams also had already voted on a team MVP before the start of the game. The East MVP was Woodville’s Charles Fentress. SETCA President Mark Foreman reported Fentress had 10 interceptions during the East practices and won over the hearts of all his teammates.

The West MVP was Coldspring’s Byrne Baggett.

All MVP winners were given $400 scholarships from SETCA.

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