SHREVEPORT, La. — Springdale's Damian Williams was a trip away from possibly putting his East team ahead.
Just minutes after Williams' fumble ended a East scoring threat, Williams broke off a 42-yard punt return but was tripped up just as it looked like he was going to make a break in the end zone.
The East's field goal attempt was blocked and the West held on for a 21-13 win in the second Max Emfinger All-American Bowl Game Classic at Independence Stadium.
"They did a great job blocking and I just couldn't get it done," Williams said. "I messed around and tripped over a guy. I couldn't ask for better blocking. ... We blew it."
Williams had six catches for 84 yards in the game and was named the East's offensive player of the game. Martez Smith, a linebacker from Velma Jackson, Miss., that Arkansas contacted this week, earned defensive player of the game honors for the East in the loss.
Even with the turnover problems the East had, it still had a chance to tie the game in the final minutes, after Alec Banks (Gulfport, Miss.) returned a kick to the 22 after Charles Scott (Jonesboro-Hodge, La.) put the West ahead 21-13 with 2:19 remaining. Scott's touchdown was set up by Jason Teague's interception.
"Offense is going to start kind of slow," Scott said. "The defense played great. The offense kind of struggled at times but when we struggled our defense put us on their back and we rolled them."
A penalty that resulted in Bernardo Henry, a Leesville, La. produce Arkansas is also looking at, being ejected then moved the ball half the distance to the goal.
But the fourth-down pass to Courtney Smith (Prattville, Ala.) in the corner of the end zone fell incomplete, ending the East's hopes for a comeback.
After Williams' punt return, the East had a third-and-1 at the 15 and seemed primed to take the lead. But DeMorris Kilow was stopped for a loss of two on third down and Matt Johnson's field goal attempt — that would've put the East up 16-14 — was blocked.
"I just tripped up," Williams said. "I should've took it back. But we had ample opportunities and we just didn't take care of it. We had a ton of turnovers."
The East had several more chances to go ahead in the second half, but each time came up short. Gerald Munns picked off Will Fidler's pass to end a threat on the East's first possession after Williams' return.
Springdale's Matt Clinkscales wasn't the only now former Red'Dog player coping with a position change.
Ben Cleveland, a two-way player who played tight end on offense for Springdale, saw minimal time on the field offensively or defensively. When he did play on offense, though, Cleveland lined up at fullback.
Clinkscales, a running back for Springdale this season, moved to defense for the game, playing safety. Clinkscales also saw time on the kick coverage unit.
Shiloh Christian receiver Eric Shaffer had one catch for one yard.
Scott was named the overall offensive player of the game while Munns earned defensive honors.
Damian's Red Flash
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