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December 29, 2011

West beats East in Offense-Defense Bowl

MORE O-D BOWL: Wednesday's best | More all-star
VIDEO: O-D Bowl Day 2 recap

ARLINGTON, Texas - The West beat the East 21-14 on Thursday night at the Offense-Defense Bowl at Cowboys Stadium.

Kenyan Drake opened the scoring for the East with a 3-yard touchdown run, but the West countered when Warren Ball plunged in from a yard out. Keith Byars II put the East up by a touchdown again when he scored on a 6-yard sweep, but again the West answered when Caleb Rowe hit Gabriel Marks for a touchdown reception. The winning touchdown for the West came in the second half as Jovon Robinson scored from 20 yards out.

Met the hype

WR Quinshad Davis, Gaffney (S.C.) High: Davis had a somewhat quiet week of practice, but he showed up when it counted. He was able to get open quite a bit and was a constant outlet for the quarterbacks when they were in trouble.

QB Nathan Peterman, Fruit Cove (Fla.) Bartram Trail: Peterman, a Tennessee commitment, was the highest-ranked quarterback in the game and he played well in the loss. Peterman tends to take a lot of risks but most of them paid off in the game. He was able to find receivers in small windows.

LB Otha Peters, Covington (La.) High: Peters, another Tennessee pledge, had a huge senior season and had all sorts of new offers coming his way. It wasn't a huge surprise to see him play well. Peters was by far the best player on defense in the game and proved he could play the middle of the field. He is a big kid who is ready to contribute early.

RB Jovon Robinson, Memphis (Tenn.) Wooddale: Robinson, who has committed to Auburn, isn't the fastest player, but he ran incredibly hard. Most impressive, though, was his ability to change direction. Robinson started left and reversed course on a 20-yard touchdown run, and did the same thing on another long run in the second half.

Expected more

RB J.C. Coleman, Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith: It's not really Coleman's fault he is on this list, as he did not touch the ball. Coleman, a Virginia Tech pledge, was dominant all week in practice, so it was surprising he was not used in the game. He was wide open downfield on one play, but Justin Thomas chose to run with the ball instead.

DE Francis Kallon, Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett: After a good week of practice, Kallon - a Georgia Tech commitment - was expected to have a monster game. Instead, Kallon was quiet most of the contest. He recorded one tackle, but was not a factor in the pass rush.

OT Jake Meador, Whiteland (Ind.) High: Meador, a four-star recruit who has committed to Ole Miss, played right tackle for the East squad but struggled with the quick defensive ends he had to block. His feet were not quite as quick in pass pro as would be expected, and he could end up having to play guard in college.

WR Blake Tibbs, Lithonia (Ga.) Martin Luther King: Tibbs had a somewhat disappointing week; he struggled to get separation from defensive backs during practice and continued to struggle in the game. Tibbs, who has committed to Georgia, dropped two passes and didn't prove to be a big downfield threat.

Rising stars

DT Ikenna Nwafor, Irving (Texas) Cistercian Prep: Nwafor, a three-star prospect who has committed to Stanford, played against poor competition in his Texas private school league. Thus, it was a bit of surprise to see him not only start but play well in this game. Nwafor had 1.5 sacks, including one on the final play to seal the victory. He showed he is more college-ready than most thought.

QB Caleb Rowe, Greer (S.C.) Blue Ridge: Rose, a Maryland commitment, was a late addition to the roster and ended up being the leading passer in the game. He was calm and cool under pressure, and did a great job of finding receivers in the short and intermediate zones.

ATH Orlando Thomas, Copperas Cove (Texas) High: Thomas may be a Rivals250 prospect as an athlete, but he primarily has played quarterback, including all day at Tuesday's practice. With only one day of practice under his belt at cornerback, Thomas - a Texas commitment - had a big game, finishing with an interception, a fumble recovery and several tackles.

Observe and report

Four prospects made commitments during the game. At halftime, Westville (N.J.) West Deptford DT Jamil Pollard announced for Penn State, and Las Vegas Desert Pines OT Cedrick Poutasi pledged to Utah. In the second half, Pleasant Grove (Utah) High G Brandon Fanaika committed to Stanford and Lyndhurst (Ohio) Brush TE Pharaoh Brown pledged to Oregon.

The Offense-Defense Bowl gave out its yearly awards at the end of the game. Kenton (Ohio) High QB Maty Mauk was named overall Player of the Year after a record-setting season, and Peterman earned Scholar Athlete of the Year honors.

Davis was named the wide receiver MVP, Coleman the running back MVP and Canton (Ohio) McKinley's Jermaine Edmondson the defensive back MVP. Along the lines, it was Poutasi winning on offense and Se'Von Pittman of Canton (Ohio) McKinley winning on defense.

Peters was named the linebacker MVP, and Tibbs won the Special Teams Player of the Year award.

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