East airs it out to beat West in 9-man game
GRAND FORKS – Wide receiver Luis Vasquez said he and quarterback Tyler Stockton talked this week at practice about their love of the deep ball.
It was easy to see why Saturday night during the 9-man Shrine Bowl all-star football game.
The East squad used the Vasquez-Stockton combination to overwhelm the West 47-6 at the Alerus Center.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Vasquez of Wyndmere-Lidgerwood racked up 124 receiving yards, while Stockton of North Border tallied 215 passing yards.
“I told (Stockton) if you put it somewhere close to me, I’m going to try as hard as I can to go and get it,” said Vasquez, who plans to play college football at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton in the fall. “(Stockton) puts it right where it needs to be. That’s all a wide receiver wants is a chance. You don’t want an overthrow.”
Vasquez also had 40 rushing yards, a fumble recovery and a key block on a punt return for a touchdown.
Stockton finished 10-for-14 passing. His most effective plays were lobs to Vasquez. Stockton also consistently found New Rockford-Sheyenne’s Chance LaBrie, who finished with 100 receiving yards. Hillsboro-Central Valley’s Dusty Schildberger chipped in two catches for 43 yards.
“You just throw it up and (Vasquez) makes a play,” said Stockton, who plans to pursue a coaching degree at Mayville State. “We knew we’d be good offensively, but we didn’t expect anything like this.”
The East thoroughly dominated. After the East defense forced a three-and-out on the West’s first possession, Jaron Moor of Lakota-Adams Edmore returned a punt 60 yards for a score.
After another three-and-out for the West, the East made it 14-0 in the first quarter when Stephen-Arygle’s Daniel Haugen capped a 10-play drive with a 5-yard run.
The East led 20-0 at halftime and pushed the lead to 47-0 before the West avoided the shutout with 43 seconds to go in the fourth quarter.
On fourth-and-inches, Mason Ankenbauer caught a 6-yard pass from Aaron Morman to put the West on the board at 47-6.
The West was led offensively by Divide County quarterback Lance Knudson, who passed for 42 yards and rushed for 12 yards on 15 carries.
Knudson’s favorite target was Kenmare-Bowbells’ Mason Ankenbauer, who caught a pair of passes for 33 yards.
Knudson was under constant pressure from the East defensive line.
“Our line is stacked with kids,” Vasquez said. “All our linemen are going to play college ball. They’re big, mean guys who like to get to the quarterback.”