NAPA — Special teams are often an afterthought in the East-West Charity All-Star Football Classic, but that phase of the game provided all the scoring in this year’s edition.
Napa High graduate Julio Deharo booted four field goals – 30 and 44 yards in the second quarter, 30 and 37 yards in the third – to lift the East to a 12-0 victory at Napa’s Memorial Stadium, Saturday.
The 42nd game in the series is the last to be played in the summer. Seniors from the 2014 season will play the next classic in late December.
The West, coached by Vanden’s LeVon Haynes and made up primarily of players from Solano County Athletic Conference schools, managed just 53 yards rushing to go with the 71 passing yards by Vallejo’s Damani Dillahunty.
The East, made up largely of players from the Monticello Empire League though coached by John Swett’s Bob Quesada, did a little better, getting 85 yards rushing overall and 86 yards passing from Fairfield’s Michael Arredondo, who started out practicing with the East and decided to stay there.
“It wasn’t a lot of offense,” said Haynes. “I said before, defense is always ahead of the game in events like these with little time to prepare. The kids played hard. I’m proud of the way we played.”
Haynes was surprised by Arredondo suiting up for the East, especially since he was scrambling to fill the quarterback position on his own team.
According to Antonio Arredondo, the quarterback’s dad, “Michael told me, ‘I don’t care who I play for, I just want to play.'”
Former Falcon Tyler Ross also stayed with the East, while Marcus Blanton, who had started practicing with the East, ended up playing for the West.
Haynes, who intends to coach again in December, hopes those in charge of the game, the Vallejo Police Activities League, are more clear regarding league alignments when it comes to future rosters.
“The game is designed a certain way for a reason,” Haynes said. “Allowing guys to pick where they want to play messes up the integrity of the game, it defeats the purpose.”
Vince d’Adamo of the Napa Register contributed to this report. Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646 ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.