True Tejada

University of Arkansas signee Alex Tejada (6-1, 210) shows off his vaunted leg by booting a pair of field goals, making his PAT and getting touchbacks on three of his four kickoffs Friday night during the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star game.

University of Arkansas signee Alex Tejada didn't get too many opportunities to show off his leg Friday night, but the former Springdale kicking standout was true when he did trot out onto the field at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Tejada connected on field goals of 38 and 31, made his only PAT and sent 3 of his 4 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks but the East downed his West squad 23-13 in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star game.

That was good enough to earn Tejada, whose chose Arkansas over LSU and will enroll in school next week, the Special Team Player of the Game award.

"It's been awesome," Tejada said. "I waited for this and been preparing all week very hard to come into this all-star game and do well. I kicked two field goals, made my PATs and got some touchbacks and that means a lot to me to do it on my future home field."

Tejada (6-0, 210) had never attempted a field goal in Razorback Stadium before Friday night, but put both of his attempts through the uprights during the contest.

"This was my first time," said Tejada, whose pre-game work had been on the UA practice fields. "They wouldn't let us on the game field until the game. I kicked on the practice field a few times to try and get use to the goal posts, but this was my first time out there."

Tejada used a tee for the last time before moving onto college, which doesn't allow a tee. The transition should be pretty easy because Tejada has spent the past three summers kicking without a tee to get himself ready for his step up.

"I keep doing each summer and haven't stopped," Tejada said. "It is going to prepare me to be in games like this when the lights are on and coming out here and kicking with no tee."

On the rare times that he doesn't kick it into the end zone, Tejada may have a little bit more punch to help make a tackle if needed – like he did in a Springdale game his senior season while forcing a fumble.

"I am fully healthy now (from a knee injury) and have been trying to gain weight and get myself to that next level," Tejada said. "It's been a lot of work trying to gain weight, but the last few weeks I have been running and trying to keep in condition because coming in next week we will do a lot of running."

Tejada is the state's record holder for career PATs (175) and single season PATs (84) - including being 66 for 66 as a sophomore.

He was 7 of 14 on field goal attempts as a sophomore, 2 of 3 as as junior (including a 55-yarder) and 7 of 17 as a senior - but six of those misses as a senior were from beyond 56 yards.

Little Rock Catholic's Norris Dukes was named the game's outstanding back after rushing 12 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns – one of 3 yards and a game-clinching 60 yard dash in the fourth quarter.

The game MVP was Warren's Byran Church, who had 5 tackles with four of them for lost yardage. He was credited with 2 ½ sacks while Osceola's Elroy Brown had 3 sacks and was named the top defensive lineman.

Arkansas signee Freddy Burton, a linebacker from Morrilton, had a game-high 9 tackles.

The East took a 9-0 lead on Duke's 3-yard run with 46 seconds left in the first quarter and Rob James' 26-yard field goal early in the second.

The West cut that margin to 9-7 when Bentonville quarterback Ryan Isabell connected with Rogers wideout Chad Peachey for 19 yards and a score and Tejada added the PAT.

Nettleton's Derek Lawson, who had 14 carries for 95 yards, gave the East a 16-7 lead with 7:17 left in the third quarter.

Tejada then booted a 38-yard field goal with 2:07 left in the third and a 31-yarder early in the fourth to get his team within 16-13.

But Duke's ripped off his 60-yard run and put the game out of reach.

Tejada said he will look back on his All-Star week with some fond memories.

"I met a lot of new guys and a few new teammates and we kind of grew closer over the week," Tejada said. "We started some relationships and hopefully we will keep in touch and hang out in the future."


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