EMPORIA — Tyler Uselton made one last big block to help the West team keep their winning streak alive against the East squad in the 39th Kansas Shrine Bowl on Saturday night at Welch Stadium.
Uselton, a former standout offensive right guard at Great Bend High School, helped open a hole for Hutchinson’s Ja’Mon Cotton’s 9-yard touchdown run with 10:01 left in the fourth quarter. It loomed large as the only points in the second half during a 14-7 victory, the West’s seventh straight triumph in the benefit all-star game for Shriners hospitals.
Uselton said his key block in one of the lowest-scoring games in Shrine history occurred almost by accident.
“I was supposed to trip off to the back outside linebacker and I just shifted on their linebacker blitz and it sprung Ja’Mon free for a touchdown,” said Uselton, a Butler Community College signee. “Whatever it takes to get a score.
“I had a great time playing in the Shrine Bowl. It was definitely a great experience, everything I thought it would be.”
Cotton, a stocky 5-foot-6, 180-pound running back and a Pittsburg State University signee, was named as the Most Valuable Player for the West squad after rushing for 60 yards in 12 carries.
Garrett Fugate, a quarterback from Blue Valley Northwest, who threw for 204 yards, completing 16 of 32 passes, was named as the East MVP.
Fugate advanced the yard markers down to the West 24 at the 6:57 mark in the fourth quarter before Michael Glatczak was brought down for a 14-yard loss on a double-reverse by Garden City defensive end Gabe Luna, also a Butler signee, negating their drive.
Manhattan High product and Kansas State signee Deante Burton figured prominently on two plays during the West’s decisive touchdown. On second-and-5 from the West 49, Burton took a double-reverse handoff and turned the right corner for a 16-yard gain and a first down at the East 35-yard line.
Wichita Heights quarterback Matt Reed threw a 19-yard completion to Madison’s Kole Schankie on third-and-14 to prolong a drive for a first down at the East 20.
Reed then rushed for two yards on first down.
On second down, Reed threw a fade to Burton in the left corner of the end zone and the East’s Michael Williams, out of Olathe East, was flagged for a pass interference call on Burton as the pass fell incomplete.
“If you’re running a fade, you want to get into their body first and then create separation,” Burton said. “After I engaged him, I noticed he tried to get as close as possible and he grabbed my shirt.
“I was definitely trying to use my body and get to the outside.”
Cotton then scored on the next play.
The West led 8-7 at halftime.
The West dominated the first quarter, controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football in seizing an 8-0 lead.
The smothering West defense recorded six sacks on East quarterbacks Fugate and Glatczak, including four in the first half.
West wide receiver Collin Sexton, out of Abilene, had the game’s first score on a 54-yard catch-and-run off a Reed pass for a touchdown at the 7:27 mark in the first quarter. It capped a brief five-play, 72-yard drive that took only two minutes, 29 seconds. McPherson’s Jordan Hart caught a two-point conversion pass from Reed.
The momentum shifted the East’s way for much of the second quarter as Fugate finished the half with 146 passing yards.
Fugate, a Blue Valley Northwest product, led the East on a seven-play, 76-yard scoring drive midway through the second quarter to close the margin to 8-7.
Fugate hit Glatczak, also a wide receiver, on a slant for a 55-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown with 7:45 left in the second quarter. Nick Walsh kicked the extra point.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Kansas Shrine Bowl
Emporia State University
West 14, East 7
Team 1 2 3 4 F
East 0 7 0 0 — 7
West 8 0 0 6 — 14
West — Collin Sexton 54 pass from Matt Reed. (Jordan Hart pass from Reed), 7:27
East —Michael Glatczak 56 pass from Garrett Fugate (Nick Walsh kick), 7:45
West — Ja’Mon Cotton 9 run (run failed), 10:01