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Originally published July 4, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified July 4, 2008 at 12:34 AM


Prep Football | Hometown hero rescues East

In the end, the hometown product emerged a hero. Jeff Minnerly's 2-yard touchdown throw to J. Ryan Coulston with 13 seconds remaining lifted...

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SPOKANE — In the end, the hometown product emerged a hero.

Jeff Minnerly's 2-yard touchdown throw to J. Ryan Coulston with 13 seconds remaining lifted the East to a 17-14 come-from-behind victory over the West in the All-Star Summer Classic football game Thursday night at Central Valley High School.

Minnerly, who quarterbacked Ferris of Spokane to the Class 4A state semifinals last fall, capped his high-school career in glorious fashion in the game for graduating seniors from 4A and 3A schools.

Getting the ball back for a final possession, Minnerly orchestrated a 15-play, 73-yard drive and capped the effort with two perfect passes to Coulston of Moses Lake.

The first was an 18-yard bullet on third-and-17 that put the ball on the West's 2-yard line. Coulston ran an out pattern on the next snap, and Minnerly finessed the ball into his receiver's hands for the winning score.

"It's unfortunate it came down to the last play at the end," said West quarterback Ryan Robertson of Eastlake, "but that's football."

Robertson, who will play at Central Washington after a stellar career for the Wolves from Sammamish, overcame an erratic start and put the West ahead 14-10 with a 20-yard scoring strike to Dustin Adams with less than seven minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The West appeared to be on the verge of victory when linebacker Riley Gervais of 3A state champion Skyline intercepted Minnerly at the West 16 with six minutes left. The West managed just one first down on the ensuing possession, however, and had to punt with 3:31 left.

Minnerly, who completed 14 of 22 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns, converted three first downs on the final drive — two with his right arm and one with his legs. His 3-yard scamper on fourth-and-one gave the East a first down at the West 13. Coulston's winning reception came three plays later.

Minnerly, who also had 40 yards on six carries, developed a rapport with Mount Tahoma (Tacoma) receiver Geno Munoz, who had six catches for 106 yards. Coulston added five receptions for 49 yards.

Robertson misfired on his first five passes but finished 5 of 12 for 65 yards. His West teammate, quarterback John Hekker of Bothell, completed 4 of 6 for 43.

The East offense was held to 10 yards in the first quarter, but built momentum in the second. After Matthew Barker's 39-yard field goal cut the East's deficit to 7-3, Munoz hauled in Minnerly's 20-yard pass 27 seconds before halftime to put his team ahead 10-7 at intermission.

West Seattle's Juston Leverette broke a scoreless tie midway through the first quarter when he shook free from a pair of would-be tacklers and darted for a 28-yard touchdown as the West went ahead 7-0.

Demitrius Bronson of Kentwood paced the West's running game with 52 yards on eight carries.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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