VAN NUYS — For two weeks, standout high school players chosen to compete in the annual East-West All-Star Football Game prepared for one game and one final chance to end their high school careers on a high note.
"All the greatest players in one game," Alex Davidians of Bellarmine-Jefferson said. "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 remaining.
Solis tied the game at 17 just minutes earlier with a 30-yard field goal. The two key field goals gave Solis team-most valuable player honors.
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 in front of a crowd of nearly 3,500 at Birmingham High.
"Everybody dreams of this," Bray said. "I dreamed of it, but never thought I'd get it."
And the punt return?
"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, other local players included David Chirikian of St. Francis, who tallied two sacks, Dalton Williams of Burroughs, who had 23 yards in three carries, Rocky Moore of La Cañada who completed two of three passes for 28 yards and Crescenta Valley's Harry Pessy, who ran the ball for 14 yards in three carries.
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 locals on the East roster were Sam Campbell and Julian Craig of Crescenta Valley, Ivan Abarenov of Hoover, Josh Hanson of La Cañada, Leo Rodas, Michael Williams and Anthony Cervantes of Burbank, Charlie Hosea and Michael Solano of Burroughs and David Quintanilla-Rico of Bellarmine-Jefferson.
Both local and non-local players shined in a hard fought game that was indicative of how important winning it is.
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, but then Solis' foot happened.
"Coming out with a victory is worth the two weeks we spent away from family and friends," said Burbank Coach Hector Valencia, who coached the East, who now gets to keep the trophy until next year. "Good way to end their high school football careers."