Any team that turns the ball over three times in a single half while their opponent doesn't turn the ball over at all, well, you would say that it's going to be a long, long day.
You would be right, but it was the east team that was continually frustrated by a stifling west-side "D". "It was about imposing our will on them," starting linebacker Phillip Dillard said. "We came in determined not to let them do anything against us and not even all those turnovers could keep them in the game."
Four turnovers to be exact, all turned into exactly 3 points. "That's always the game plan," starting safety, Reggie Smith said. "Even if the offense isn't clicking right away, it's up to the defense to keep the team in the game and that's what we did."
"We knew the offense would get going."
The team got going, but it was Long Beach, California's DeSean Jackson that was the spark, the kindling and the inferno as he took the MVP awards for the game, tallying 141 yards in receiving and even throwing for a touchdown, that a product of a double end-around that resulted in a lob to Ryan Perrilloux for the score. "It was his day," running back Marlon Lucky said. "He had a solid game, but I think a lot of people did."
Add Lucky to that list, the North Hollywood High standout going in for the first rushing touchdown of the game, a darting inside and out run that epitomized his playmaking style his senior year, Marlon rushing for over 2,200 yards and scoring almost 50 touchdowns.
The offense of the west went crazy, totaling 407 yards – 323 of it coming in the air, but life on the offense for the east was anything but prolific. "We knew we could do this to them," offensive guard Ndamukong Suh said. "With the guys we have, we knew that we could pressure them as much as we wanted to."
Suh was slated to join Roy Miller, Demarcus Granger and Jerrell Powe on the defensive interior, but because of the injury to center Jesse White on offense, Suh was moved over to add some depth. "I would have liked to have been on defense, but I am glad I could help," he said. "I still didn't do too bad."
With the stifling defense the west exhibited, there were lots of stars that contributed to the east's frustration. Dillard had one interception that he returned 13 yards. Derek Pegues shone as he all but shut down arguably East's best wide receiver Patrick Turner, the 6 foot, 4 inch 215 pound wideout hauling in only 2 balls for a total of 6 yards.
Offensively, aside from
It was what you probably don't expect in a game like this, stars being outdone by stars. Or, perhaps West was just the better team. "When you win like that, you don't need to say anything," Lucky said. "We tried to give it to them early, but still won by over thirty points."
"I think that says it all right there."