A 34-yard touchdown run by Cardozo High School's Antonio McKenzie with 6:01 remaining in the fourth quarter broke open a close game as the West defeated the East, 22-6, in the 19th annual D.C. Coaches Association All-Star football game yesterday at Cardozo.
The West victory, in front of an estimated crowd of 4,000, was its second straight in the midsummer classic.
The West used a potent ground attack. McKenzie, who will play for Central State (Ohio) this fall, and Coolidge's Adrian Miles were especially effective.
The West received the opening kickoff and went on a 12-play, 78-yard drive that ended on the only pass play of the series. Starting quarterback Mark McCutcheon of Coolidge threw to Cardozo flanker James Epps on a five-yard fade pattern for the touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, and the West led, 6-0, with 4:15 remaining in the first quarter.
The West defense was impressive. Defensive end Swift Burch of Theodore Roosevelt and defensive tackle Sean Lindsey of Coolidge stymied the East offense, which used four quarterbacks trying to find a solution. The 6-4, 260-pound Burch, who is heading to Temple, and the 6-0, 304-pound Lindsey, who will attend Norfolk State, each had two sacks.
The East's only scoring threat of the first half occurred when Ballou defensive back Darrin Sumpkins intercepted a pass by McCutcheon intended for Miles and returned it to the West 15-yard line with 6:43 remaining in the second quarter. However, Burch forced Ballou quarterback O.J. McGhee into an errant pass that was intercepted by Lindsey.
The West finished the first half on the two-yard line when McKenzie was tackled on a sweep play. With no timeouts left, the clock ran out on the West and its lead remained 6-0.
"We practiced hard for a long time to win this game," said McKenzie, who rushed for 126 yards. "We deserved to win because our coaching was very good."
The third quarter began with the West defense again dominating the line of scrimmage. Burch and Lindsey combined to force H.D. Woodson quarterback Anthony Parker into throwing an off-balance pass from his own goal line. Coolidge's Maurice Simpson, who is headed for Syracuse, intercepted the errant pass and ran it in for the touchdown with 8:45 left in the quarter. McCutcheon, who will attend Tennessee State, then passed to Coolidge teammate Darnell Woods for the two-point conversion and a 14-0 West lead.
The West defense shut down the East on its next possession, but the East got the ball right back when a fumbled punt was recovered by Anacostia's Calvin Walden at the West 10. H.D. Woodson quarterback Darwin Bridges scored on the next play on a keeper. The two-point conversion failed and the West led, 14-6.East 0 0 6 0 6 West 6 0 8 8 22 W -- Epps 5 pass from McCutcheon (run failed) W -- Simpson 2 interception return (Woods pass from McCutcheon) E -- Bridges 10 run (pass failed) W -- McKenzie 34 run (Ellerby run)