VAN NUYS — For two weeks, standout high school players chosen to take part in the annual East-West All-Star Football Game prepared for one contest, and one final chance to end their prep playing careers on a high note.
“All the greatest players in one game,” said senior Alex Davidians of Bellarmine-Jefferson High. “It’s about representing something.”
Davidians was a part of the winning squad, the East, which took a 20-17 victory on the strength of a 35-yard field goal from Eric Solis of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame with 48 seconds left in the game.
Solis tied the game at 17 just minutes earlier with a 30-yarder. The two key field-goals gave Solis his team’s most-valuable-player honor.
Also a part of the East squad was the game’s most valuable player, Antonio Bray of Arleta.
Bray fielded a punt and returned it 59 yards for the game’s first score. The play served as a reminder to the crowd of roughly 3,500 that anything can happen on any play when the best of the best are playing.
“Everybody dreams of this,” said Bray, holding his MVP trophy. “I dreamed of it, but never thought I’d get it.”
And about his punt return for a touchdown?
“If they’re going to kick it to me, then there are going to be consequences,” said Bray, who also had two receptions for 50 yards.
Along with Davidians, eight other Burbank-area players took part in the game. The East squad was also coached by Burbank’s Hector Valencia.
Among the players enjoying success were David Chirikian of St. Francis, who tallied two sacks, running back Dalton Williams of Burroughs, who had 23 yards in three carries, quarterback Rocky Moore of La Cañada, who completed two passes for 28 yards and Crescenta Valley’s Harry Pessy, who ran the ball for 14 yards.
Kohl Adams-Hurd of Burroughs left a bigger mark on the game with a crucial interception that gave the East the ball on the West 16-yard line for the eventual game-winning drive.
Other area athletes taking part were Burbank’s Leo Rodas, Mike Williams and Anthony Cervantes, Burroughs’ Charlie Hosea and Michael Solano and Bell-Jeff’s David Quintanilla.
Both local and players out of the area shined in a hard-fought game that was indicative of how important winning was.
Chaminade’s Brando Tessar caught three balls for 117 yards, including two touchdowns, giving him team-MVP honors for the West.
“This was just so fun,” Tessar said. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”
His second touchdown reception put the West up, 17-14.
“Coming out with a victory is worth the two weeks we spent away from family and friends,” said Valencia, who now gets to keep the trophy until next year. “Good way to end their high school football careers.”