(San Antonio, Texas) January 8, 2011 —The East squad defeated the West, 13 -10, in front of a record-breaking crowd of 37,893 at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl today in San Antonio, Texas. The East now leads the overall series 6-5. The Pete Dawkins Game MVP was East running back Demetrius Hart, racking up 101 yards on eight carries. Also recognized for standout performances during the post-game press conference were Aaron Lynch, Cody Kessler and De’Anthony Thomas. The overall defensive struggle registered the lowest-scoring game in Bowl history.
It was almost all defense during the first half with only three points scored and four total first downs produced. Adding to the drama was the East’s two turnovers and crucial mistakes. The first score came when West defensive back Stefan McClure intercepted the ball to setup a field goal as the West went ahead 3-0. West got the ball in great field position after a mishandled snap on a punt to set up touchdown connection between West quarterback Cody Kessler to Jaxon Shipley to go up 10-3 in the third quarter. The East roared back with a 69-yard run by Demetrius Hart, however the drive stalled on a blocked field goal. The East’s first score came in the fourth quarter with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater connecting with Miles Shuler for a touchdown. The extra point was missed to keep the West’s lead 10-6. The East mounted a comeback, driving for the winning score with 3:38 remaining in the fourth quarter to ultimately win the game 13-10.
Notes & Quotes from Game Day:
Dee-Lightful: U.S. Army Player of the Year Demetrius Hart was awarded the Pete Dawkins Game MVP Award for his 101 yards on 8 carries. He became the first 100-yard rusher in U.S. Army All-American Bowl history and was aided by a 69-yard run in the third quarter. Hart’s run is the longest dating back to at least 2004 when Adrian Peterson had a 50-yard carry.
East is Not Least: With today’s win, the East now holds a 6-5 advantage in the all-time U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
FAN-Tastic: Today’s attendance of 37,893 is a new U.S. Army All-American Bowl record, passing the 36,534 mark set in 2008.
Low-Scoring: Today’s 13-10 final is the lowest-scoring U.S. Army All-American Bowl, passing the 18-15 West victory in the first game back in 2001.
Defensive Standout: The West’s De’Anthony Thomas had a great defensive effort with eight total tackles, including an interception, a pass-breakup and a half-tackle-for-loss.
Sack Attack: The East set a Bowl record with 12 sacks for 61 yards lost. Ray Drew and Aaron Lynch each had 2.5 sacks, Delvon Simmons had 2.0 sacks, Michael Bennett had 1.5 sacks, Stephon Tuitt and Sterling Bailey each had a sack and Timmy Jernigan had 0.5 sacks. In addition, there was a team-sack credited.
Tough Sledding: The East’s sack total dragged down the West’s rushing total to -20 on the game and outrushed them 169 to -20 on the day. The West did out-pass the East to a 164-90 margin.
Players Commit Live During Game: Fourteen (14) U.S. Army All-Americans declared their colleges during the Bowl game and live on NBC: Kris Frost (Auburn); Gerod Holliman (Louisville); Wayne Lyons (Stanford); Damian Swann (Georgia); Lateek Townsend (Clemson); Odell Beckham (LSU); Harvey Langi (Utah); James Sample (Washington); Viliami Moala (California); Donovan Smith (Penn State); Tobias Singleton (Mississippi); Colt Lyerla (Oregon); Brent Calloway (Auburn); and Demetrius Hart (Alabama).
U.S. Army National Combine: Junior Stefon Diggs (Olney, MD) was named MVP of Friday’s U.S. Army National Combine, which annually gathers 500 of the nation’s top juniors. Diggs is already committed to play in next year’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Top Juniors Selected as U.S. Army All-Americans for next year’s Bowl game: Twenty one (21) standout players were announced among the first selections to next year’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl: Kwon Alexander (Oxford, AL); Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, CA); Zach Banner (Lakewood, WA); Travis Blanks (Tallahassee, FL); Leonte Carroo (Ramsey, NJ); Ty Darlington (Apopka, FL); Sefon Diggs (Olney, MD); Eddie Goldman (Washington, DC); Jonathan Gray (Aldo, TX); Darius Hamilton (Ramsey, NJ); D.J. Humphries (Charlotte, FL); Devonte Neal (Scottsdale, AZ); Jordan Payton (Westlake Village, CA); Barry Sanders, Jr. (Oklahoma City, OK); Tee Shepard (Fresno, CA); Elijah Shumate (Ramsey, NJ); Jordan Simmons (Encino, CA); Geno Smith (Atlanta, GA); Noah Spence (Harrisburg, PA); John Theus (Jacksonville, FL); and Shaq Thompson (Sacramento, CA).
SEC Snags Six of the 14 Commits Made on NBC: The SEC finished with seven (6) total commitments out of the 14 announced during the NBC broadcast. The PAC-10 came in with five (5) and the Big Ten, Big East and ACC each garnered one (1) commitment.
U.S. Army All-American Bowl Marching Band Puts on Sensational Halftime Show: The 125 students selected as U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Musicians performed a sensational and colorful performance of “Celebrate America!” during halftime. The performance was a celebration of America, utilizing a combination of American rock-n-roll and well-known symphonic music. The young men and women represent the best of the best in marching music.
DeAnthony Thomas on his playing position in the game: “I came in the game an athlete not knowing where they wanted me to play. Coach Rob (Johnson) said he wanted me on D and I said put me wherever you want and need me, I can do it all. Whatever it takes to push the team. I just want to always try to be a leader and contribute to the team.”
Cody Kessler on the East’s defensive line and the talent in the game: “Their D line is just flat-out big and fast. Our line was doing their best but their speed was hard to stop. Every time I looked up there was one of those black jerseys. Lots of talent on that D line…. In high school, we are all big men on our campuses. But here, everyone is great. So playing here prepares us for the next level because we are seeing such speed and strength here…much different than at the local high school level.”
Dee Hart on winning MVP and being first 100+ yard rusher in Bowl history: “It’s an honor and I am just humbled by it. The other guys upfront just went out and did their job which helped me get my yardage. I couldn’t have done it without them. To be the first 100-yard rusher in Bowl history is great and, again, I’m just humbled when you think of the players like Adrian Petersen that have played in this game. It’s been an amazing week and this is a great, great way to end it.”
Aaron Lynch on how it was like playing with such a strong defensive unit: “It was great playing with those guys. I mean, when you are playing with guys that are just as good as you it gives you such confidence. In high school, you stay in all game. Here, because the level of talent, you rotate in and out. And because these guys are so good and talented I had such confidence in what we could do. And it showed out there today.”
Dee Hart on the team’s morale while being down 10-0: “It’s hard when you don’t know all the guys or their emotions or how they react in these situations. But everyone was just trying to pump each other up…just getting everyone to give it their best, their all. And that’s what happened. (Teddy) Bridgewater handled his business and got us back in the lead. And our defense just kept us in the game by dominating the offensive line. All around true team effort.”