It did not matter that the West All-Stars were outnumbered Saturday night in the Freedom Bowl Classic.
The West had Tony Sparrow and Jordan Berni.
Together, the two Skyview teammates put on quite a show, leading the West All-Stars to a 32-20 victory at Kiggins Bowl in the 12th annual summer football showcase featuring recent graduates from Southwest Washington.
Proceeds from the Classic go to area Shriners charities. The deserving players, though, keep the MVP trophies.
Sparrow was named the game’s overall MVP after scoring three touchdowns to go along with his stellar play in the defensive secondary.
Berni was named the West’s offensive MVP after rushing for one score and passing for two more.
The West had to scramble this week to get enough players in uniform, while the West had 37 guys on its roster.
But the West never trailed. The defense got the ball on downs on the first drive of the game, then the West offense scored on its first play. Sparrow took a backward pass and rushed 37 yards for a quick 6-0 lead.
“This hasn’t happened to me since Pop Warner,” Sparrow said. “I haven’t played offense much in high school; usually just defense. Those are actually my first touchdowns ever. That’s pretty nice.”
West went 78 yards on 11 plays on its next possession, with Berni scoring on an 18-yard keeper. The 2-point conversion made it 14-0.
The East got back in the game with a Treve’ Ensley touchdown run from a yard out early in the second quarter, but Berni and Sparrow attacked two more times for the West to end the half.
Berni found Sparrow wide open on a fourth-down play for a 14-yard touchdown pass to make it 20-7. Later, the West went on a two-play, 72-yard drive with a 41-yard pass from Berni to Terelle Bolton of Columbia River and then a 31-yard TD pass to Sparrow.
This is Berni’s second MVP trophy of the summer. He was the game’s MVP in the all-state contest last month.
“It was fun to compete in this game. I knew everybody,” Berni said.
He acknowledged that also led to a bit more emotion. There were some pushing and shoving between county rivals.
“It is a charity game, but once you get on the field, you play hard,” Berni said. “It didn’t get too out of hand. It was OK. Everybody was playing 100 percent.”
Ensley of Union, who was named the East’s defensive MVP, had the first of his two interceptions in the third quarter, leading to his 3-yard touchdown run to make it 26-14 late in the third quarter.
The East, though, would lose the ball on downs on its next possession.
Kevin Haynes of Battle Ground, a beast all night on defense as the West’s defensive MVP, then scored on a 36-yard TD run as the West tried to run out the clock.
“It felt great getting to know these guys,” Haynes said.
He didn’t have to meet all new people. It was mostly Battle Ground’s coaching staff on the sideline for the West.
“It was great to do this with my coaches and get one last hurrah before I go off and continue my career,” said Haynes, who is going to Central Washington.
The East saved some pride when Jacob Austin of Prairie found Patrick Woodson of Mountain View on an 11-yard touchdown pass on the game’s final play.
Evergreen’s Anthony Thomas was named the East’s offensive MVP. He rushed for 73 yards and passed for 67 more.
Austin finished with 91 yards passing for the East, and Woodson had three catches for 57 yards and the score.
In the end, though, the East had no answer for a guy they could not have scouted.
Tony Sparrow was never an offensive threat in high school.
Until his final game associated with high school football.
WEST 32, EAST 20
East 0 7 7 6–20
West 14 12 0 6–32
W — Tony Sparrow 37 run (run failed)
W — Jordan Berni 18 run (Anthony Chamberlain run)
E — Treve’ Ensley 1 run (Kevin Grimsted kick)
W — Sparrow 14 pass from Berni (pass failed)
W — Sparrow 31 pass from Berni (pass failed)
E — Ensley 3 run (Grimsted kick)
W — Kevin Haynes 36 run (run failed)
E — Patrick Woodson 11 pass from Jacob Austin (No attempt)
RUSHING — East: Ensley 7-26, Ben Childs 9-39, Nate Admas 1-(-2), Macon Sumpter 1-0, Anthony Thomas 11-73, Vicente Huber 3-18, Austin Tofell 5-43, Tim Hergert 1-(-6), Austin 4-(-16), Thomas Kirschenbaum 2-1, Grimsted 1-(-2). West: Sparrow 1-37, Haynes 10-86, Berni 14-60, Trevor Ingram 1-3, Terelle Bolton 1-2, Clayton Farr 5-10.
PASSING — East: Austin 8-18-0-91, Thomas 3-8-1-67. West: Berni 8-16-2-113.
RECEIVING — East: Hergert 2-45, Grimsted 2-20, Austin Rabinowitz 1-15, Jack Beall 2-24, Woodson 3-57, Ensley 1-(-3). West: Bolton 4-53, Sparrow 3-44, Eli Evenson 1-16.