East edges West on last-second field goal in wild PSFCA All-Star game
Penn-Trafford’s Brett Laffoon had a memorable final game of his high school career.
The Grove City recruit completed 13 passes for 181 yards and three touchdowns to garner West MVP honors at Sunday’s Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association All-Star game at Cupples Stadium on the South Side.
But it wasn’t enough as the East’s Derek Adams of Manheim Township booted a 34-yard field goal as time ran out to lift his team to a 20-19 victory in the 14th annual event.
Laffoon gave the West a 19-17 lead on a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jaymond Dunn of Woodland Hills with 14.9 seconds left in the game.
That was after a 5-yard pass from Susquehanna Township’s Ben Moser to Parkland’s Kenny Yeboah put the East in front 17-13 with 48.1 seconds to play.
It was all part of a wild fourth quarter that culminated with 16 points in the final 48 seconds that gave the East a 10-4 lead in the series.
“One of the craziest games I ever coached in,” East coach Rick Pennypacker of Pottsgrove said. “I’ve got to give both coaching staffs and the kids a lot of credit. They never quit. We were down 10, scored two touchdowns to go ahead, they went ahead, we went ahead. It’s one of those games where the kids had character.”
Despite limited practice time, Laffoon connected with seven receivers and caught an 18-yard pass after handing off to Steel Valley’s Trey-Earl Edwards, then going out to grab an option pass.
“We had two practices, but it’s kind of easy to throw to those kind of receivers,” Laffoon said. “They’re studs.”
Dunn caught four passes for 88 yards, and Robert Morris-bound Harrison Dreher of Clairton pulled in six passes for 43 yards and one touchdown.
Defense dominated much of the first three quarters as the East had just 16 yards rushing in the first half and the West managed 7 yards.
Adams gave the East a 3-0 lead in the first quarter with a 35-yard field goal.
Laffoon threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Norwin’s Steve Petrick in the second quarter and an 8-yarder to Dreher with 7:04 left in the third to give the West a 13-3 advantage.
The West got a break when Harry S. Truman’s Maurice Jackson almost blocked Jake Chapla’s punt, resulting in excellent field position at the West 31. Later, Mike Waters scored from 5 yards out.
A bad snap to Chapla on a punt with 1:23 to go gave the East the ball on the West 7, where Temple-bound Yeboah scored two plays later.
“This is the way an all-star game’s supposed to be,” West coach Rick Murphy of Brashear said. “You do things you’re not supposed to do like an onside kick to start the second half and the score changing three times there in a minute. I’ve never been involved in a football game like this.”
Chapla, also the kicker, was hurt on the botched punt snap, and the West had to try for two with 14.9 to go. A completion was stopped short of the goal line, opening the door for Adams’ winner.
George Guido is a freelance writer.