Tiger contingent not enough to beat East in Tulare-Kings All Star tilt

By Ed Martin, Editor
Cort Groathouse breaks loose during Saturday's Tulare-Kings All Star class.
Cort Groathouse breaks loose during Saturday's Tulare-Kings All Star class.
Photo by Chris Garcia, Newman Garcia Studio

Saturday night’s East versus West All-Star Football game, featuring many of the best high school football players Tulare and Kings counties had to offer, ended up as mostly a one-side affair as the East squad, displaying a stingy defense upset a highly-touted West squad 27-0 on a hot night at Golden West High School’s Groppetti Stadium.

Even Lemoore’s vaunted presence of eight players from an 11-1 West Yosemite League championship team this past football season, couldn’t stop the East Squad from a big second-half three-touchdown effort.

Marquis Love hauls in a pass from Tiger quarterback Cort Groathouse.
Marquis Love hauls in a pass from Tiger quarterback Cort Groathouse.
Photo by Chris Garcia, Newman Garcia Studio

Despite the loss, Lemoore’s Zachary Frazier, who plans to attend Fresno City College next year and play football for the Rams, was upbeat about the all-star experience. “Well, I just love how this all-star football game came to be. It was a big battle tonight and I was just so excited to play with some of these players, and I hope I see them in the future … because they’re like another family to me.”

Isiah Rodriguez, who plans to attend College of the Sequoias and play football, was equally as disappointed with the loss, but trumpeted the satisfaction of playing in the game. “Definitely it’s a good experience. It’s awesome now to be moving on to bigger and better things. College ball is going to be fun and high school football was a blast. I’m just glad I had the opportunity to play in this game.”

Event West Most Valuable Player Karson Overmyer, who came up with a big interception at the West’s three-yard line wasn’t able to stop the East. Overmyer, from his defensive backfield position, along with linebacker Tim Johnson, came up with several key defensive plays to try and stop the East’s march, but it was too little too late for the West.

The first quarter looked promising for the West team, particularly with Tiger quarterback Cort Groathouse running the show early. His initial drive, which included a long run, was stopped short in East territory. Groathouse managed to move his team 43 yards into East territory before running into a block wall.

With Johnson making key stops and the East unable to get untracked, the two teams went into the second quarter locked in a scoreless tie. It wasn’t until Golden West’s Leo Nunez connected on a 25-yard field goal that the East squad finally broke through with 5:44 left in the first half.

With just 30 seconds left in the half, Nunez again booted a field goal, this time a 44-yarder as the East took a 6-0 lead into the half.

In the second half Redwood’s Rickie Garcia hauled in a pass from East quarterback Michael Nava from 25 yards out to put the East up 13-0 at the 9:44 mark of the third period.

The East made it 20-0 thanks to a very poor West punt that netted just three yards. Starting from the West 24-yard-line the East’s Nava hit Farmersville’s Joseph De La Cruz on a seven-yard pass.

Overmyer prevented another scoring opportunity when he intercepted a pass deep in his own territory. But Orosi’s Isaiah Chavez returned the favor with an interception to put the East back in scoring position. The East scored one more time late in the final period to account for the 27-0 final score.

Lemoore’s best opportunity for a score came late when Groathouse connected with Lemoore’s Marquis Love for 46 yards to put the West in scoring position at the three-yard line. The West failed to score with just seconds left in the game.

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