Video: Brawl with 9:14 left puts an end to East-West All-Star Classic


NEWTOWN — At least the East-West All-Star Classic is consistent.

They are 2-for-2.

Two years and two fights.

This year’s East-West football game on Saturday night at Mingo Central High School’s Buck Harless Stadium was called with 9:14 left in the fourth quarter after a fight erupted between East and West players.

A bench-clearing brawl erupts between East and West All-Star players

The West was awarded the victory, 13-7 over the East, but for the second year in a row, the game was plagued by an on-field fight.

A brawl erupted in last year’s inaugural East-West game but players were separated after tensions simmered down and play continued.

That wasn’t the case on Saturday night.

After the fight, players were told to go to their locker rooms and the game was halted early.

One player reportedly sustained an injury during the altercation but that could not be confirmed late last night.

The brawl spoiled an overall good game between the two evenly-matched teams.

The weather, clear and cool with temperatures in the low 70s, was also picture-esque on top of the mountain at Harless Stadium. Last year’s game was also plagued by thick fog and poor weather. There would be no fog this time, but just like last year, there would be another on-field fracas.

The fight happened early in the fourth quarter.

The game was a defensive struggle as both teams had problems moving the ball and keeping the chains moving.

The West, though, led the East 13-7 and had the ball in their own territory looking to keep the clock running and maybe march down field for another score.

The West, though, saw its drive stall on its own 31 and were forced to punt on fourth-and-two.

A flag was thrown, the latest of many yellow hankies tossed by officials in a penalty-filled third quarter.

But then West All-Star head coach Joey Fields stepped across onto the field and appeared to be yelling at his own players about something.

Two East players seemed to interpret that they were getting yelled at. Fields and other players along the West bench said something back. The East players walked closer, to within a few feet of Fields, West players and the West bench area.

More words were exchanged.

Then the fists flew and the brawl was on.

Again.

For the second year in a row.

After a couple of moments, the fracas was broken up by coaches, game officials, police and other unidentified people who somehow made their way onto the turf.

Players were told to head to their locker rooms.

An announcement was made that the game was over.

There would be no on-field player awards, team pictures or trophy presentations.

It was done.

The West All-Stars were made up of graduated senior players primarily from Mingo, Logan, Wayne and Boone counties with a smattering of others from the Charleston and Greater Kanawha Valley.

The East was comprised by graduated senior players from Man High School, Wyoming, McDowell, Mercer and Raleigh counties, including gridders from tradition rich Bluefield and Beckley Woodrow Wilson high schools.

The East-West game replaced the old Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl which ran from 1996-2013 and pitted top graduated seniors from southern West Virginia against those from eastern Kentucky.

Ryan Miller’s pass to Zac Casto is broken up near the goal line.

As for the game itself, the West scored its only touchdown of the game in an old Logan-to-Logan connection as QB Ryan Miller hit his old Wildcat teammate Zac Acord on a 47-yard touchdown strike with 8:15 left until halftime. After Tyler Harrison’s extra point kick, the West led 10-0.

The strong-legged Harrison also booted two field goals. The first was a 21-yarder with 2:18 to go in the first quarter which put the West on top 3-0.

The second field goal was a 32-yarder by Harrison with 7:28 left in the game.

West All-Star Tyler Harrison of Mingo Central kicks a 32-yard field goal in Saturday night’s 13-7 win by the West in the second-annual East-West All-Star Classic at Mingo Central’s Buck Harless Stadium. The game was stopped with 9:14 left in the fourth quarter after a bench-clearing fight between the two teams.

The East’s only touchdown and score of the game was with 50 seconds left in the second quarter as quarterback Aaron Griffith of Wyoming East hit his old Warriors’ teammate Nik Walker on a 30-yard strike. Tristan Jones, also of Wyoming East, split the uprights on the PAT.

Holly Fields of Riverside High School is crowned at halftime on Saturday night as the 2015 East-West All-Star Classic Queen. She is crowned by last year’s queen Abby Hensley.

Holly Fields of Riverside High School was named at halftime as the East-West All-Star Classic Queen.

Look for more video highlights of the East-West game at www.loganbanner.com. Also look for still photos and a recap of the game in Tuesday’s Logan Banner print edition.

 

By Paul Adkins

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