West faces east in 605 all-star football game

West faces east in 605 all-star football game

After a victory for the West, football coach Jack Williams gives his closing thoughts to the all-stars, at Falcon Stadium in Cerritos College, on June 4. Downey senior, Perry Gomez scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime to make the score 23-16.

Rodrigo Perez

As the clock neared 6:05, all-star football teams representing the East and West sides of the 605-freeway stepped onto the field in Falcon Stadium, at Cerritos College, for a final game as high school athletes.

The 44th annual 605 All Star Football Classic consisted of two teams formed from some of the top high school players on each side of the freeway. Downey seniors Perry Gomez, Miles Claiborne, Jonathan Nava, and Daniel Oveal were chosen to team up with some familiar faces from schools including former San Gabriel Valley League opponents: Dominguez, Paramount, and Warren to represent the West.

“It felt good because ever since I was in 8th grade, I’ve looked up to the players in the 605 game,” Nava said, “it was a dream of mine since I was a kid, and I wanted to win.”

Our side of the freeway hosted the practices at Allen Layne Stadium with Downey Head Coach, Jack Williams, in charge of preparing the West All-stars for the game.

“I felt proud of our football staff because the committee felt we did a good job with our Downey program last year so they wanted us to coach the West All-Stars,” Williams said. “I felt it also gave our staff and players the opportunity to represent our high school in a positive way.

The West kicked off at 6:05, wearing red and white jerseys, to the East, sporting black and yellow. Early in the first quarter, Oveal put the East’s quarterback on his back after obtaining the first sack of the game.

 

“It was a great thing to watch,” Nava said, “In my head I was screaming ‘that’s my boy!’”

Despite two sacks from the West and an interception by the East, neither team was able to take the lead early on in the game.

With just under eight minutes left in the second quarter, head quarterback Andrew Perez from Wilson High completed a pass to Gomez with a 1st and 1, obtaining another complete set of downs. The West scored from a successful field goal attempt to put them up 3-0, but didn’t stop there; with 33 seconds remaining before halftime, a touchdown game the team a 9-point lead. Trying to keep up, the East scored off of a field goal after the end of the quarter as a result of an off-sides and personal foul.

In the third quarter, it was the West’s turn to receive the kick off. At a 3rd and 6, a complete pass to John Bell from Dominguez followed by a fierce tackle led to Bell’s helmet flying off. The West all-stars took the ball, across the field, from the 13-yard line, eventually obtaining another chance to score. Another touchdown pass, and an extra point, put the score at 16-3. After kicking off, Aaron Williams, also from Dominguez, recovered a fumble, but the East gave the West a taste of their own medicine and also recovered a fumble.

The fourth quarter was the East’s final opportunity to catch up, and the all-stars took advantage. With 8:15 on the clock, and 99 yards to go, a 51-yard gain ultimately led to a 25-yard touchdown pass with 5:21 to go. Striving to stay in the game, the East all-stars intercepted another ball in the air and, with 1:19 remaining, tied the game with another touchdown and extra point.

As if the players refused to allow their final high school game come to an end, the teams headed into overtime. With the game on the line, quarterback Aaron Cantu, MVP of the game, found Perry Gomez in the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown pass.

“It was exciting,” Gomez said, “I worked really hard all year.”

Down by seven points, with the ball one yard from the end zone, the East had a final opportunity to stay in he game. An interception by Dominguez’s Aaron Williams in the final seconds of the game secured the victory for the West.

“They put their egos aside to accomplish one goal and that was to beat the East,” Williams said, “You can tell that all these schools have wonderful l coaches who have not only taught them about football but to be proud respectful men; I was proud to coach the west side.”

The annual all-star game resulted in a 23-16 victory, and bragging rights for the West.