MARQUETTE- For three quarters, the annual Upper Peninsula High School All-Star Game was a nail biter. The fourth and final quarter belonged to the East All-Stars. They scored the final 14 points of the game to defeat the West All-Stars, 41-24.
The East All-Stars were led by quarterbacks Alex Briones (Ishpeming) and Jake Pearson (Rapid River). The two signal callers wore down the West Team’s defense by time the final 15 minutes came about. Briones threw four touchdown passes, including an 84-yard TD to Kyle Winkelman (St. Ignace) in the first quarter.
Briones was named the East Team’s Offensive MVP. Ishpeming linebacker Bobby Zhulkie was named the Defensive MVP for the East Team. He had an interception late in the game that ended any comeback hopes for the West.
Speaking of the West, Devon Harris (Menominee) was the Offensive MVP. He scored the game’s first touchdown on a 74-yard pass from Jeff Johnson (Forest Park). Brad Gustafson (North Dickinson) was named the Defensive MVP of the West Team.
The East Team has now won the last six All-Star games. Starting next year, the All-Star game will shift from an East vs. West format to a North vs. South format.
The All-Star game was also marked the end of a legendary career. Retired Forest Park head coach Bill Santilli coached his last game. He leaves the Trojans program with a record of 171-46. Forest Park has made the playoffs each of the last 17 seasons.