Baltimore-area players contributed heavily to the East team's 35-23 victory over the West in the inaugural Good Samaritan Bowl high school football game at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis last night.
Played before a crowd of about 1,500, the game provided graduating seniors an opportunity to have fun playing high school ball one more time.
And in the case of Randallstown's Melvin Alaeze, who was The Sun's Defensive Player of the Year last season, it was "practice."
Broadneck kicker Chris Desautels, who is headed to Marshall University, called it "an awesome experience being around so much talent."
Alaeze, who is headed to Maryland, said, "This is another practice to get ready for college. It let me know where I'm at with my assets and speed. But, I had a lot of fun ... and I'm looking forward to playing against some of the guys I went against tonight in college."
Hereford quarterback Andrew DePaola (Rutgers), who had an 11-yard touchdown run, said, "It was unreal and wild to play with this caliber of players. It was a great way to end my high school career."
The passing combination of Cory Yates of McDonough to game Most Valuable Player Eric Westbrooks of Potomac produced two long touchdown plays for the East in a wild, first-half passing show.
The East took a 28-17 lead at the half and got a 4-yard touchdown run by Morgan Green in the third quarter to push its lead to 35-17.
The West did not score in the second half until a bad snap over punter Desautels' head was recovered by C.J. Herbert in the end zone.
Yates and Westbrooks combined for touchdown passes of 54 and 68 yards to give the East its 11-point halftime lead.
Meanwhile, the West quarterbacks were intercepted four times in the first half. With Alaeze applying pressure from his defensive end position, one of the interceptions was made by Randallstown's Jamari McCollough (Maryland).
Desautels, a two-time All-Metro performer, kicked an 18-yard field goal for the winners.