GRAYSON There was a Russell quarterback throwing a touchdown to a Greenup County receiver.
There was a West Carter graduate adorned in a red jersey proclaiming “East” — think mortal rival East Carter — on the front.
Nobody wearing the East uniforms seemed to mind after Friday’s Northeastern Kentucky Senior Bowl. After giving up a West touchdown, they scored the last three in a 21-6 win at Kentucky Christian University.
To Russell’s Grant Wilburn, Friday was a new — and pleasant — experience. There he was, connecting with Greenup County’s Patrick Kelly for a 10-yard touchdown pass in the far right corner with 2:07 left in the game.
“We’re always in pressure situations during the season, and it’s fun to kinda kick back and not have as much pressure, just have fun with it,” Wilburn said.
West Carter’s Christian Rivers-Glover wasn’t sure what to make of Comet supporters yelling “Go East.”
“That was just a little unnerving for me,” Rivers-Glover said. “I got used to it.”
Greenup County’s Dalton Halstead wants to be an electrician someday. Before he joins the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers labor union in Portsmouth, he finished his high school career with a 19-yard run around left end that gave the East its first lead at 7-6.
“Last one, so I had to make it count,” Halstead said. “You want a big hole, but you don’t always get that, so you’ve got to work with what you’ve got.”
West’s coach, Bath County’s Johnny Poynter, was feeling fortunate to simply have enough players. At one point during this week’s practices, he had just 15, and his quarterback, Jackson County’s Isiah Baker, had never taken a snap before and didn’t find out he would start until 20 minutes prior to kickoff.
“In an All-Star game, you don’t know what to expect,” Poynter said.
Baker adjusted. He scored from a yard out with 7:07 left in the second quarter to complete a drive Powell County’s Austin Trent set up with a 43-yard run the play before.
Rivers-Glover leaves for Army basic training next month at Fort Benning, Georgia. (He wants to be a Ranger.) Friday, his 7-yard score with 24 seconds before halftime gave the East a 14-6 lead, a three-play drive that featured a Wilburn to Ashland’s Isaac Caines for 42 yards.
“West Carter football, coach Kevin Brown and (current head coach Daniel) Barker,” Rivers-Glover said. “They taught me a lot of things about being a man, learning how to deal with physical challenges.”
Ashland head coach Tony Love led the East side. He enjoyed it as much as his players.
“I’m just trying to stay out of the way, let the kids play,” Love said. “ … Once you get to see the kids coming from different schools every day, you get to know ’em, it was a great time for us.”
WEST 0 6 0 0 – 6
EAST 0 14 0 7 – 21
W — Isiah Baker 1 run (run failed), 7:07
E — -Dalton Halstead 19 run (Trey Collier kick), 5:19
E — Christian Rivers-Glover 7 run (Collier kick), :24
E — Patrick Kelly 10 pass from Grant Wilburn (Collier kick), 2:07