Trailing 10-0 heading into the fourth quarter, the East dialed up a dominant fourth quarter, which included six sacks of West quarterbacks, and a pair of touchdowns, including the game winner with 4:14 left, to top the West, 13-10, in the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
An MVP performance by Dee Hart, who committed to Alabama during the game, was one of the offensive highlights for the East, Hart rushing for 100 yards. James Wilder ran for a three-yard touchdown with 4:14 remaining in the game to put the East ahead.
But the story of the game was the defense of the East, recording an Army Bowl record 12 sacks, half of them coming in the final quarter.
"We just dominated them," said Aaron Lynch, who along with with Ray Drew, had a game-leading 2.5 sacks. "We knew we could get pressure on the quarterback and give them a long night."
Eight East players recorded a sack and 11 had a tackle for loss, with Curtis Grant compiling a team high five tackles, part of a balanced defensive effort. More impressive was holding the West to -20 yards rushing and to 144 yards in total offense.
"They were tough up front," said West lineman Jordan Rigsbee.
Despite the East's pressure, the West had a 10-0 lead heading into the final frame.
They got on the board early with a 22-yard field goal from Benjamin Pruitt with 7:23 remaining in the second quarter.
A fumble early in the third quarter gave the West the ball at the East 32, and then they scored again on a Cody Kessler pass to Jaxon Shipley for 35 yards.
The 10-0 lead, and the East's struggles on offense, made it look like that would be enough.
But the fourth quarter completely belonged to the East.
First, Teddy Bridgewater got the East on the board with a 22-yard touchdown strike to Miles Shuler. The PAT was missed, making a touchdown a necessity.
That was fine for the East, who got one on an 11-play, 65-yard drive, that featured James Wilder running wild. First, he stiff-armed George Atkinson to get the ball down inside the ten, and then he took the handoff for a three-yard run and a 13-10 lead.
The West picked up 18 yards on two plays before the East D turned it up. They sacked Kessler for a one-yard loss then a six yard loss. An incomplete pass was followed by another sack of Kessler.
From there, it looked like the East would just run clock, but Bridgewater tried to make something from nothing on a 4th and 4 and badly overthrow a pass that DeAnthony Thomas intercepted, to give the West one last gasp with 1:13 left.
That was fine with the East, who's best threat was their defense, and they held, including, in fitting fashion, a sack of Kessler, the fifth time they got to him in the quarter.
Jacoby Brissett was the leading passer for the East, going 4-for-5 for 55 yards, with Nickolas Brassell catching two passes for 32 yards.
For the West, Kessler was 6-for-14 for 109 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked nine times on the day. George Farmer had a team high 52 receiving yards and Aaron Green had a West-best 11 yards rushing.
The lone bright spots for the West were DeAnthony Thomas, the West's #1-prospect, who had eight tackles, a breakup and an interception, and defensive lineman Juda Parker, who was next with six tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. Stefan McClure also added a pick for the West.
Attendance at the Alamodome was a U.S. Army Bowl record 37,893.
GAMEDAY COMMITS: Fourteen players made their commitments during the game.
-- Damian Swann (Georgia), Harvey Langi (Utah), Tobias Singleton (Ole Miss), Colt Lyerla (Oregon), James Sample (Washington), Gerod Holliman (Louisville), Odell Beckham (LSU), Donovan Smith (Penn State), Wayne Lyons (Stanford), Viliami Moala (California), Kris Frost (Auburn), Brent Calloway (Auburn), Dee Hart (Alabama) and Lateek Townsend (Clemson).
2012 U.S. ARMY BOWL SELECTIONS: Twenty-one players were selected to the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Oxford (Ala.) OLB
Kwon Alexander, Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove OT Arik Armstead, Lakewood
(Wash.) Lakes OT Zach Banner, Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian DB
Travis Blanks, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep WR Leonte Carroo, Apopka (Fla.) OL
Ty Darlington, Olney (Mary.) Our Lady God Counsel WR Stefon Diggs, Washington
(D.C.) Edison DT Eddie Goldman, Aledo (Texas) RB Jonathan Gray, Ramsey (N.J.)
Don Bosco Prep DE Darius Hamilton, Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek OT D.J.
Humphries, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral CB Davonte' Neal, Westlake Village
(Calif.) Oaks Christian WR Jordan Payton, Oklahoma City (Okla.) Heritage RB
Barry Sanders, Fresno (Calif.) Central CB Tee Shepard, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco
Prep DB Elijah Shumate, Encino (Calif.) Crespi OL Jordan Simmons, Atlanta (Ga.)
St. Pius X CB Geno Smith, Harrisburg (Penn.) Bishop McDevitt DE Noah Spence,
Jacksonville (Fla.) The Bolles School OT John Theus and Sacramento (Calif.)
Grant DB Shaquille Thompson.