Semper Fi: West Holds Off East
Keyon Brown
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Jan 5, 2014

The West held off a late rally by the East in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, but wins 31-24...

: The West jumped out to a 28-0 lead, then held on for a 31-24 win to beat the East in the 3rd Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl at the StubHub Center.

Four touchdowns in the first 15 minutes of the game had the West pointing towards a blowout win but the East fought back.

After a Clayton Thorson (Northwestern) touchdown pass to Xavier Burke (Virginia Tech) cut the lead to 31-24, the East held the West to a three-and-out and got the ball back with 1:54 left in the game.

But the West forced a turnover on downs and took over and Manny Wilkins (Arizona State) kneeled out the clock.

The blowout was on early thanks to a big play by the defense from the West, Xavier Washington recovering a fumble by Thorson at the East 35.

After a couple of big plays by West quarterback Brad Kaaya (Miami), 24-yard pass to Shay Fields (USC) and a 10-yard pass to Erik Brown (Cal), Kaaya ran it in from a yard out to put the West up 7-0.

The next series, Tony James (Oregon), fumbled and Jamardre Cobb (Arizona) recovered and two more big plays by Kaaya, a 40-yard pass to Brown and a 15-yard pass to Shay Fields for a touchdown, put them up 14-0.

After a three-and-out by the East, Jonathan Lockett (USC) took a punt back 81-yards for a touchdown and the West led 21-0 with 2:37 still left in the first quarter.

Another three-and-out for the East led to a quick three-play drive for the West, culminating in a 42-yard touchdown run Terence Williams (Baylor) for a 28-0 lead with 9:54 left in the 2nd quarter.

But instead of rolling over, the East got things going, using an 8-play drive which ended with a two yard touchdown run by Thorson to cut the lead to 28-7.

The West extended the lead to 31-7 after a 22-yard field goal by J.K. Scott (Alabama).

The East would answer with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Thorson to Mikel Horton (Kentucky) and the lead was down to 31-14 with 3:21 left in the half.

East kicker Tyler Newsome (Notre Dame) added a 27-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in the half and trimmed the lead to 31-17 at intermission.

Neither team got on the board in the third quarter, and both offenses were silent for much of the fourth before the East scored with just under five minutes left.

The East had one last chance and after two straight completions by Thorson, he threw two straight incompletions, including one on fourth down that Bobby Okereke (Stanford) broke up, to give the ball back to the West.

Thorson was named by the Semper Fidelis Bowl as the MVP for the game after throwing two touchdown passes and rushing for one and finished 16-for-26 for 211 yards.

Brandon is in his ninth year with and FOX Sports, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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