West is Best off the 605

From left to right: Schurr's Albert "Rhino" Perez, Aaron Cantu, and Abraham Gonzalez of the victorious West. Cantu is holding his "605 All-Star Game MVP" plaque

(Cerritos) – Schurr’s Aaron Cantu threw a five yard touchdown pass to Perry Gomez of Downey in overtime to give the West All-Stars a 23-16 win over the East All-Stars in the 44th Annual 605 All-Star Football Classic Saturday night at Cerritos College.

Cantu also threw a scoring strike to Garion Manning (Long Beach Wilson) in the third quarter to put the West up 16-3 and earned MVP honors for his efforts.

When Cantu connected with Manning in the third it appeared that the West was in control. The score remained that way until 5:21 left in the fourth when La Serna’s Andrew Buenrostro found Donovan Gumbs of Norwalk for a 25 yard touchdown. The point after failed however and the West still led 16-9.

On the ensuing series, Cantu was intercepted by Casey Eyman of Cypress and retuned it to the West 21. The East took full advantage of the West turnover when Buenrostro struck again. This time he rifled a bullet to his favorite target –La Serna running mate Andrew Rosales for a six yard score. Rosales just did manage to hit the pylon at the goal line in the right corner. This time Santa Fe’s Manuel Meza drilled the extra point with 1:19 left to knot it at 16.

The West had one last shot in regulation but Paramount’s Richard Valencia had his 38 yard field goal attempt blocked as time ran out.

The West got the ball first in the California overtime and immediately took advantage marching 25 yards capped by Cantu’s toss to Gomez.

On the East possession Aaron Williams of Dominguez picked off Buenrostro in the endzone on fourth down to send everybody home. Williams actually returned it 100 yards to the other endzone but once he made the interception the game was officially over.

After a scoreless first quarter Valencia booted a 24 yard field goal in the second quarter to put the West up 3-0. The lead increased to 9-0 on a 14 yard touchdown pass from Andrew Perez (Long Beach Wilson) to Louis Tornero of Compton.

Meza kicked a 31 yard field goal for the East to close out the first half.

The game took nearly three hours to complete. It was delayed almost 30 minutes with 15 seconds left in the first half when Dominguez’ Devonte Carter was taken off the field on a stretcher.

The officials didn’t help speed things along either tossing more laundry than a washing machine in the spin cycle.

Mayfair’s Evan Hunko also saw time at quarterback for the East and Eliijhaa Penny was the workhorse in the backfield.

While Cantu and Perez took care of the quarterback duties, Jerramine Jackson (Paramount), Abraham Gonzalez (Schurr) and Jamil Magee of Warren took turns carrying the rock for the West. Julius Childs of Lynwood had several big punt returns to spark the West.    

With the victory the West leads the overall 605 series 16-7-1 since 1986. From 1967 to 1985 it was a North-South format.

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