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East/West Game: Defenses rule day in West’s victory

The 51st annual East/West all-star football game was predictably dominated by the defenses.

The last big play by the West came when Mitchell Jones of Woodinville got an interception at midfield with under six minutes to play, setting up the winning series as the West prevailed 21-13 at Central Valley High School on Friday.

With East quarterback Trever Asbjornsen scrambling, Jones decided it was wise to stay near receiver Tyler Dionne of Union.

Sure enough, Asbjornsen tried to squeeze a throw in a tight window, but Jones pulled the ball away from Dionne.

Eleven plays later, JR Ngauamo of Kennedy Catholic dove in from 2 yards for the winning score. He also scored the two-point conversion with 1:23 left.

The East drove as far as the West 31 before the drive stalled with 20 seconds to go.

“He ran a hitch, like 5 yards and stop, and I think he wanted to run a hitch-and-go,” Jones said of his interception. “There seemed to be some confusion and the quarterback was scrambling. I just did my job and stayed on the receiver. I was able to rip it from him.”

Two players who never get close enough to play defense, though, played big roles.

They were the placekickers – Spencer Pettit of Glacier Peak for the West and Rehn Reiley of Moses Lake for the East.

The teams played to a 10-10 tie in the first half – with both TDs either coming from an interception or set up by an interception.

Pettit put the West ahead 13-10 with a 35-yard field goal on the first scoring possession of the second half.

Reiley countered in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 13-13 with a 33-yarder with 8:21 to go.

Pettit is headed to the University of Nevada and Reiley is going to Whitworth.

“The defenses played a pretty big role,” said Lewis and Clark coach Dave Hughes, who headed the East. “It was a fun game, it was a competitive game. It’s tied with two minutes to go so I guess it’s a good game.”

In the first half, Pettit put the West ahead 3-0 when he kicked a 45-yard field goal at the 7:28 mark of the first quarter.

That’s where the score stood going into the second period.

Kyle Vermeulen of Union (Vancouver) got the East going when he intercepted a pass in stride and dashed 62 yards untouched for a 7-3 lead with 6:53 to go before halftime.

A series later, East extended the lead to 10-3 when Reiley booted a 48-yard field goal with 3:17 to go before intermission.

With the clock well under a minute to go before halftime, the West’s Hamilton Kendrick of Cascade intercepted a pass and returned it to the East 6. A play later, quarterback Andrew Zimmerman of Monroe hit Shawn Munro of Bothell on a well-executed play-action pass to knot the score at 10-10.

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