West falls to East in Division II all-star game
Published on -6/9/2012, 6:53 PM
By KLINT SPILLER
BELOIT -- Otis-Bison defensive back and wide receiver Matt Crotinger said the Eight-Man Division II All-Star Game was more than just the last game of his senior year. It made him question his own stereotypes.
In the week leading up to the game, he had to interact with area rivals like athletes from Thunder Ridge, who he said he hated in high school.
"We did not like each other, but (the all-star game) brought us all together," he said. "Within 30 minutes, we were all laughing and having a fun time."
Thinking about that transformation made him feel like all wasn't lost after the West team fell 52-24 in the Division II game Saturday at Trojan Field.
"Even though we lost to the East, we are still really good friends, and it was just fun coming to this," he said.
The West got off to a hot start, as Moscow wide receiver Osvaldo Granillo returned the opening kickoff 68 yards for a touchdown.
Dighton running back Guy Fullmer extended the West's lead at the beginning of the second quarter, as he ran it in from three yards out.
From then on, the East dominated, scoring touchdowns on its next five possessions.
By the start of the fourth quarter, the East had built a 46-16 lead.
Fullmer broke a 26-yard run for a score, and after the successful 2-point conversion, the West had closed the lead to 22 points. However, the East responded with another touchdown on its next possession.
West head coach Max Keltz, of Cheylin, who has coached in the All-Star game four times now and twice as head coach, said though the All-Star Game is supposed to be fun, it's more fun to win.
"At the same time, there has to be a loser," Keltz said. "We played a good athletic team."
Baileyville B&B's trio of stars dominated the day.
East quarterback Eric Huerter, of B&B, threw for 86 yards and had four touchdowns. Fullback Cody Heiman ran for 73 yards and caught a 17-yard pass for a touchdown, and Mitch Engelken carried the ball 18 times for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
Golden Plains running back Kalyn Weber, who played for the West team, said the East's size was difficult to deal with. The East had 13 players at 6 feet or taller and five who were 6-4 or better.
Nevertheless, Weber still managed to gain 51 yards.
"Getting hit by those guys, you never forget it," Weber said.
"I'll never forget the one I took on the sideline. Those guys are studs."
Fullmer led the West with 66 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Crotinger, who picked off Huerter in the red zone, put the loss in perspective, and said it was still a good way to finish off his high school career.
"It was kind of a relaxed game," he said. "Yeah, you want to win it, but if you don't, it's not going to kill you. It's not like the state championship or anything."