Fans watching the Inland Valley Classic Hall of Fame all-star football game in Fontana on Jan. 11 were treated to a thrilling, down-to-the-wire finish.
In the end, the San Bernardino County Western all-stars obtained a wild 35-34 overtime victory against the Eastern team at the Kaiser High School field.
The only unfortunate aspect of the game was that the Eastern team (featuring several players from schools in Fontana) couldn't quite pull out a victory, according to Eastern coach Andrew Amosa of Fontana A.B. Miller High School. Still, he thought it was a very worthwhile event.
"It's great that these players get a chance to have one more game after their high school career ends," Amosa said.
The East was trailing 28-14 before embarking on a terrific comeback in the fourth quarter.
Calvin Burnach, the quarterback at Fontana High School, blasted into the end zone from 1 yard out to draw the East within 28-21. His touchdown was set up by his 28-yard pass to Jahmein Crawford of San Gorgonio.
Then the East recovered an onside kick and drove in for another TD, which came on a pass from Johnathan Calderon of Cajon to Demajea Mitchell of San Gorgonio, tying the score at 28-28.
The West still had an opportunity to win in regulation time, but a long pass was intercepted by the East's D.J. Jackson of Miller.
So the overtime session began, and the East claimed a 34-28 lead on Calderon's 18-yard touchdown completion to David Fisher of Yucaipa. However, the extra point was no good.
The West all-stars received their chance to respond and used a spectacular play to reach the end zone. A handoff went up the middle to Triumph Edwards of Upland, who was stacked up by the East defense but then lateraled the football back to quarterback Cade Miller of Diamond Ranch, who alertly dashed around the right side for a 15-yard touchdown.
That tied the game at 34-34, and the ensuing PAT kick gave the West a stunning victory.
One of the highlights of the first half for the East was an 82-yard touchdown pass from Parker Chaffee of Serrano to Joseph Burciaga of Fohi.
Other players from schools in Fontana who were on the East team roster included Alberto Castaneda, Jose Lopez, Peter Coleman, Matthew Dominguez, Raymond Gutierrez, and Medardo Sanchez of Miller; Daniel Reyes and Patrick Muller of Fontana; Eric McCraney and Jabari McMillon of Summit; and Matthew Lua, Avery Taylor, and Gabriel Ortiz of Kaiser.
The event, which was coordinated by IE Sports Net, is held each year at a site in Fontana and includes some of the top seniors from schools that are located west and east of the Interstate 15 Freeway.
See video highlights here: