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Sorensen helps spark shutout win for East

East's Jordan Tonani (Ferris) breaks a tackle from West's Aaron Heck  (Everett) to score the second East touchdown of the first half Friday, July 1, 2011 at Roos Field in Cheney in the East/West all-star game. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
East's Jordan Tonani (Ferris) breaks a tackle from West's Aaron Heck (Everett) to score the second East touchdown of the first half Friday, July 1, 2011 at Roos Field in Cheney in the East/West all-star game. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Cody Sorensen wasn’t even scheduled to play in the 47th annual East/West All-Star Football Summer Classic.

The Ferris defensive back was a last-minute replacement for injured Paul Miller of Mead.

The Idaho State University-bound Sorensen made the most of his opportunity Friday. He was in on several tackles, including a couple of jaw-rattling hits, almost had an interception, recovered a late fumble and blocked a field goal attempt as the East shut out the West 19-0 on a lovely evening at Roos Field in Cheney.

For good measure, Sorensen broke up a pass on the game’s last play.

“They didn’t have any corners and they needed me to step up and play and I just did what was best for the team,” Sorensen, who was dripping with perspiration, said about playing cornerback rather than the position he played his senior year, safety. “Any time you can run around and lay a good hit on someone, it’s always a good time.”

Sorensen was part of a magical team last fall at Ferris that captured the 4A state championship. His head coach, Jim Sharkey, coached the East.

“He had a great game,” Sharkey said. “We moved him to his old position, cornerback, that he hadn’t played since his junior year. He knew cover 2 and we were short (defensive backs). He stepped in and did what we asked of him. The defensive coaches elected him a captain based on how he practiced. He just had a great week of practice and it showed up on game night.”

Sorensen was asked to play two days before practice started Monday. He had to get time off from his summer job as scoreboard operator for the Spokane Indians.

“Otto (Klein), my head boss, was really cool about it,” Sorensen said. “He’s a football guy.”

Sorensen said he enjoyed the week leading up to the game more than the game itself.

“It was a great experience,” Sorensen said. “I thought the whole experience with the players at practice was a lot better than the game itself. It’s just a great wrap-up to an awesome high school career. The coaches put together a great scheme. Every thing we practiced they ran. It’s all to the coaches for sure.”

It was all East in the first half. The East should have led by more than 12-0 at intermission.

In the first quarter, East receivers dropped three touchdown passes.

Both the West and East had field goal attempts blocked.

After a scoreless first quarter, the East broke through on its first possession of the second period.

Chiawana quarterback Lucas Graff completed an 11-play, 71-yard drive when he scooted left out of the shotgun, broke an arm tackle and stumbled in from 5 yards out with 5:19 remaining before halftime. The point-after kick was blocked.

After holding the West on its next possession, the East benefitted from great field position, taking over at the West 36-yard line.

On third-and-goal at the 3, Graff connected with Jordan Tonani of Ferris on a 3-yard swing pass for a TD. The East went for two but the pass was dropped.

Tonani had five catches for 30 yards in the first half.

The East outgained the West 185 yards to 29 in the first two quarters.

In the second half, the East’s defense kept the West at bay. Then the East added a third TD when Zack Browning of Union in Vancouver dashed 63 yards. He finished with 106 on eight carries. He was named the East’s offensive most valuable player.

Eddie Releford of Lakes was named the East’s defensive MVP. He had two sacks, forced a fumble and was in on several tackles. The athletic 6-foot-2, 235-pound Releford has accepted a preferred walk-on invitation to play at Washington State University.

“He’s the real deal,” Sharkey said. “The Cougs got a steal there.”

Running back Mikell Everette of Kentwood was named the West’s offensive MVP and Kevin Martin of Newport was named the West’s defensive MVP.

Everette, who completed a halfback pass for 43 yards and gained 24 on eight carries, praised the East. But he also thought the West played poorly at times.

“Their defense was good,” Everette said of the East. “They came fast, they were reading right. They’re a good team and they had a whole bunch of good players. But it had something to do with us, too. People were doing the wrong things and not running the right routes or the backs were going in the wrong direction. It was a lot on us.”

The East dominated the final statistics, outgaining the West 329 to 155.