Prep Football | Blake Bledsoe leads East to win with late TD
Blake Bledsoe, a distant cousin of former WSU great Drew Bledsoe, made the key plays for the East in a 13-12 victory over the West.
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EVERETT — Maybe this performance will open some doors for Blake Bledsoe.
Bledsoe, the former quarterback at Central Valley High School in Spokane, made two clutch plays in the final two minutes to lift the East to a 13-12 victory Saturday in the annual East-West All-Star Game at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Bledsoe converted a last-gasp 19-yard completion to Ashton Clark of Heritage (Vancouver) on a fourth-and-11 play, then bounced like a pinball into the end zone from 13 yards with 1:40 left to provide the margin of victory in the game for Class 4A and 3A high-school seniors.
A distant cousin to former Washington State great Drew Bledsoe, the 6-foot, 180-pounder was going to walk on at WSU before recently deciding instead to play football at Santa Rosa Junior College.
Bledsoe said it all came down to execution on the two key plays that led to him being named the game's most valuable player.
On his touchdown run, Bledsoe said he got a great block from Grant Cisneros, a 6-foot-4 lineman from Sumner who will open holes at Central Washington next fall.
"We had practiced that play a lot, and that was the first time in the game I actually followed my blockers," Bledsoe said. "The whole line just dominated on that play. I felt like I was playing pool the way I was bouncing off bumpers. I just tried to keep my head down and keep my feet moving."
After Bledsoe's touchdown, the West still had a chance after a short kickoff set them up at the East 48. Jacob Allie of Lindbergh hit Spencer Hannah of Ferndale with a pass to the 34, but Mount Tahoma's Ronald Baines separated Hannah from the ball with a vicious hit. The East then forced two more incompletions and ended the game with a sack.
Receiver Jake Frauenholtz of Everett was MVP for the West. The Eastern Washington recruit caught three passes for 43 yards and intercepted a pass.
"I'm happy with the way we played, but we just made some minor mistakes that hurt us," Frauenholtz said.
The West scored on its first possession, marching 60 yards on 14 plays. Frauenholtz made a great catch at the 4-yard line to set up a TD run by T.J. Lee of West Seattle, but the extra-point kick was blocked.
The East tied it in the second quarter on another great catch, by Clayton Homme of Southridge (Kennewick). The 6-6 Homme leapt high to pull down a 13-yard pass from Bledsoe, and Stan Langlow of Curtis made the extra-point kick to give the East the lead.
The West regained the lead on a 25-yard pass from Nick Baker of Lake Stevens to A.J. Carroll of Meadowdale in the third quarter, but failed to connect on a two-point conversion attempt.
Bledsoe completed 10 of 18 passes for 88 yards and ran for 38 yards.
• $500 scholarships were awarded before the game. Bledsoe won the Lynn Rosenbach Memorial Award and West linebacker Orin Paul of Ferndale received the Tony Whitefield Memorial Award.
• Since the 4A-3A game was changed from North vs. South to East vs. West in 1980, the West leads the series 17-14. The East has won the past two.
• At Zaepfel Stadium in Yakima, Greg Herd of Steilacoom threw a 27-yard touchdown pass and ran 16 yards for a score to rally the West to a 31-13 victory over the East in the 15th Earl Barden Classic for 2A, 1A and B players. Herd passed for 134 yards and carried 10 times for 70 yards. Selah defensive lineman Ethan Bersing piled up 5 ½ sacks. Kicker Cameron Homan from Eatonville kicked a Barden Classic-record 36-yard field goal.
The Yakima Herald-Republic contributed to this report.
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